I was someone who gave too many fucks about too many things. Everything began to stress me out. What was annoying was the smaller things in life started to stress me out. “Shit, I forgot to put my plate in the dishwasher.” or “I didn’t reply to that comment someone left on my last post on Instagram”. Part of what makes me stressed is the environment and the people. And the stupid part was that everything “negative” (I was just being a bitch about the small things in full honestly) that was happening in my life, I thought I was the only one who was going through it.
Mark Manson created a novel that is funny, brutally honest and most importantly, helped me realize the who, what, when, where and how I should give a fuck.
Everybody has problems. This was something comforting that I learned and it put some perspective on my problems. It made me realize that I am not alone. the rich, the poor, the ones who have families, the ones who are alone, everyone has problems. There is no such thing as a perfect person who has life figured out, no matter how it may look and what they choose to share.
Sometimes, when I look at a friend, I think “Why do I have so much shit going on in my life and this person is just chilling and has everything figured out? How are they succeeding in their academics, work, romantic life and family life? What are they doing that I am not?”. Answer: they are just not sharing their problems with me. Just like I am not sharing my problems with them.
Coming to terms with the fact that no matter who you are, where you end up in life, no matter what you do, you will have problems in your life. It helps you stop asking the question “why me?” and turns it into “how do I deal with this?”.
Give a fuck. Just not about everything. I like to consider myself a caring person. And admittedly, this is something that I am still working on. It is unusual for me not to care. While the title of this book tells you not to give a fuck, it actually teaches you that you need to prioritize your fucks. If I cared about anything and everything, then I am not going to ever be happy because I can’t do everything. It's an unfortunate, simple fact of life. So, what do I give a fuck about nowadays? What actually makes me happy.
For example, while reading this book, I was starting to think about getting my first tattoo. The more and more I thought about it, it went from a small simple tattoo to something bigger, more detailed. Initially, I was going to get a small infinity symbol on my wrist, but it turned into a big, forearm tattoo of an hourglass. Some people in my life did not agree with this. They wanted me to get a smaller tattoo because they were worried about me and my future. I understood their point of view and appreciated the concern. But, I realized that if I went ahead and got the smaller infinity tattoo, I would not be happy with it. It would always end up being a reminder of what I actually wanted instead of something I’d enjoy. So, I made them upset for about a week and got the bigger piece. While I don’t like the fact that it upset the people I care about, I don’t regret the tattoo at all and I love it. Prioritizing your fucks helps you figure out what is important to you. There is no right or wrong answer, you can’t make everyone happy with your decisions, but I did what was right for me at the end of the day. Having a proper tattoo with a deeper meaning was important to me. Give a fuck about yourself and what you want to do.
Can’t avoid pain. Whenever something shitty happens to me, the first thing that I would do is distract myself. I’d tell myself “I am going to distract myself with some Netflix show until I am in a calmer state to deal with this.” That never worked. I just delayed my feelings. After watching Netflix for hours on end, I’d just go back to feeling shitty. I’d sulk for days and eventually just let it go and not learn anything. But here is the ultimate truth. I was being a bitch. Dealing with negative emotions and shitty situations is part of growing and becoming a better person. Avoiding how I feel changes nothing and I’d inevitably end up in the same situation of feeling shitty once again. Here’s what I try and do now: Be alone, calm down, think and write what I am feeling and figure it out. I do this particularly after fights with family and those that I am close to because I don’t want to lash out and say the wrong thing. So, I calm myself down, refuse to talk to anyone because that is only going to make me more upset and just figure it out. It sucks short-term but helps long-term.
I could go on about how much I love this book. To me, it felt like one of those books that were made for me and knew about everything that was going on in my life. If you are someone who gets stressed and overwhelmed easily, you must read this book. Even if that is not you, I’d still recommend it. It has so many lessons in each chapter that are critical to growing as a person.
Buy the book here.