TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.
What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?
Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.
Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?
It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!
But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.
Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂
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