49 minutes | Aug 16, 2017

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – 111

The title of the book sounds like the author, Mark Manson, will teach you not to care. In fact the book is all about learning how to care in the right way. The author wants you to care about things that serve you, that are truly important in life. we sweat the small stuff and that drains us from giving proper energy to the best stuff. Like Gary Keller’s The One Thing, care about what is most important to you, and care less (or not at all) about everything else. The more you pursue something the more it reminds you of the fact that you don’t have what you pursue. Pursuing positive things is a negative experience and pursuing pain and suffering is a positive experience. Happiness is in the solving of problems. We will always have problems. Emotions are signals to take action. Negative emotions are a call to action while positive ones are a reward for success. the author talked about how in Russia they are candid and tell it like it is Take responsibility for your circumstance, regardless if it was your initial fault or not. I recommend of Viktor Frankl. He says you make meaning of what happens to you. The author has similar sentiments. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we interpret and respond. The happiness of pursuit (book recommendation). We are always chasing the next high. Don’t do things that make you feel good, do things that give you purpose. It’s good if some things make you feel good – but you won’t always feel that way (sometimes working out sucks) so using ‘feeling good” as a barometer of whether or not to do something is a very bad idea. It is better to Commit to activities that are fulfilling, better to be satisfied than happy. Back in the day we were in competition for survival, today we are in competition for “status”. Status is an illusion. Modern “success” seems to be measured in your house/car/girlfriend/FB status. Author discusses diminishing returns and after a certain amount of money you really don’t get happier. Focus on the process, not the end result. Pursuing a process is a rewarding experience. People need adversity in their lives. It’s true that rough seas make the best sailors. When we try to eliminate hardship, we shortcut the process. We learn from mistakes. Working towards a goal makes it more enjoyable once the goal is achieved. I equate good vs. bad experiences like tasting sweets vs. salty. If you have all of one and not enough of the other, you get numb to the overall experience. Don’t try to be “a happy person” all the time. Be realistic. Practice gratitude when possible. People who try to be happy all the time are delusional. “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus Push through the adversity and pain by not giving a F about the bad. We are all going to die someday. Once you release your fear of death, you increase your ability to live, uninhibited. The author spent a lot of time on the death concept. The human mind has a tendency to invent problems when you don’t have any in order to fill the void. Suffering is inevitable. What you resist persists. Push through it. Being concerned with what others think doesn’t serve you. The author feels it’s due to what values you hold. This makes sense and I will add that you should not have an external locus of control. You need to refocus to having an internal locus of control, so that your feelings and the decisions you make are based on your core values. Rather than focus on the way you think things should be, its better to focus on what is. Got dealt a raw deal? Accept the situation, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and move on. Take action and fix it. Own it. The author talks about how unreliable memory is. False memory of molestation. One of the most insidious foes we face is entitlement. When we feel entitled to a reward, we seem to stop working towards it. Also when we suffer a setback we spend more time resenting the setback than working to make up lost ground. Whether you had it and lost it, or never had it to begin with, we must own our current circumstance and work towards where we want to be. Fight Club-ish quote: We work at jobs we hate to buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like. The majority of people cannot be above average. People tend to feel they are a special. You are not. You may not be special to (many) others, but you are special to you. So be kind to yourself. You are not a special snowflake in the sense that your problems are not unique. This may be depressing at first, but it becomes comforting when you think more about it. Common problems have been solved many times before – and you can solve all your problems more easily than you think. And since the problems are so common, you are likely to find solutions and how-to’s out there that will make your challenge easier to overcome. If someone else has done it, so can you. Picasso napkin – lesson learned, don’t ask for the napkin. Fish it out of the trash instead. We get better slowly over time. Don’t expect instant success. The more you progress, the better and/or harder your problems get. Something I got out of this book, be it directly from the author or indirectly is this: Often we hide from challenge because we are afraid of failure, or we are avoiding pain of some type (the more you ask for, the more you get in severity or quantity). Don’t retreat from the challenge. If anything charge at it. Let yourself throttle the pain/load. For example, in the workplace – ask for difficult or high volume work if you feel you can handle it. Also don’t be afraid to tell work that you need time off. Defend your borders. Don’t become a workaholic. One of the lessons in the book is to not to live for work. The F’s you give need to be things like “family first” and “when you die what will be your regrets?”. Once your boundaries are set, feel free to go all in on your work. This distinction is important and nuanced. It’s a challenging balance to become the go-to pro at work and also put your personal time first. Avoid the American pitfall of thinking the 80 hr workweek is heroic. It’s not. It’s suicide. Granted times will arise where you must push hard to get a goal. Make sure it’s a goal you really want. Use these 80 hr weeks prudently as they come at a cost. As technology progresses, so will your exposure to more/differing ideas. Be prepared for this. The same way everyone reports only the best and most exciting things in their social media, the news sensationalizes everything – because of revenue. If it bleeds it leads. You will be bombarded with how awesome everyone else is. You will feel that you really suck. Don’t fall for this. There is NO overnight sensation or BORN talent. Everyone must work very hard for many years in order to get good at something. Just like how people post pictures of their European vacation but never the mundane daily commute to work and all the bills they pay. The author states the more uncomfortable an answer is the more likely it is to be true. I would modify that statement to read the more uncomfortable an answer is for you to hear, the more important it is for you to receive it. The theme here is take criticism of all forms and make it constructive by taking action. People who base their self-worth on being right all the time prevent themselves from improvement and learning from their mistakes. You must empty your cup before your teacher can fill it. Ryan Holiday in Ego is the Enemy stated that ego prevents us from advancing – how can you improve if you think you are perfect already? People want to always be happy and successful. This is not the key, we are better off accomplishing things and persevering through adversity. The feeling at the end of that is more sustainable and healthier for people. Chasing the next high is like eating cookies. Your identity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be inspired to do something. Then derive inspiration from the accomplishment which fuels the next endeavor. This is an upward spiral. How does one be a prolific writer? “200 crappy words per day” The author talks about going deep, plant roots. There is joy in focusing from breadth to depth. The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker Life isn’t just one big problem to solve. If we avoid problems we won’t be happy. We have to learn to enjoy solving problem. And we need to be careful which problems we choose to solve. It’s ok not to finish #1 in every contest you enter. You can’t be the best at everything. However if you focus and work hard you can be the best at something, or at least really good at it.
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