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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k

We were in the middle of planned network maintenance. It was not going well. The change window was just about to end. We were fighting with some unexpected issues causing service degradation. I needed to make a tough call. Either extend the maintenance window and carry on working on Sunday evening or try to fix as much stuff as we could and regroup with the rest of my team on Monday. I called my boss, but he was abroad. Other folks from management were not picking up phones.

I was on my own. I decided to instruct my engineer to roll back, stabilise the network and get some rest. We would pick up things tomorrow. I was trying to cool down after huge stress when my wife informed me, we would need to go to hospital as my newborn son was having severe allergy symptoms. Following 24 hours was a painful lesson of the subtle art of not giving a f**k to nonessential things in life. 

The book that will make you think 📕 🤔

The situation described above had a happy end. It was the beginning of my conscious thinking about priorities, obligations and boxes that either I or others, created and put me in. During the following few weeks, I questioned a lot of things, and as a result, I decided what was important and what was really worth standing for.

Time passed, and it was just a few weeks ago when one of my friends recommended me a book with a provocative, straight to the point title: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k”

“If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.” 

― Mark Manson

I thought that it was a joke and the screenshot was fake. But this book exists, and it’s good. I highly recommend this to everyone. Especially if you feel like something is not right with your priorities, things that you do are not aligned with your values, or you just intuitively know someone needs to kick you out of your conformity box.

“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” 

― Mark Manson

Buy it here. 🛒
Listen here 🎧

Craft the art of having distance to everything 🤪🙈

The problem with our culture and current trends is that most of us do not have a distance to what we see, what others are telling us and events to ourselves. Adults have lost this feature somewhere. We always compare ourselves to others.

We care too much about what people say about us. It blocks us. There are many things we can learn from kids and having a distance from the surrounding world is yet another one. Young children don’t care about how they are dressed, what others do or say. 

They create their own little world and consistently pursue their goals if they come up with something that is worth interest. This applies to everything from behaviour, through clothing, to what others say. I mentioned young children on purpose.

Unfortunately, it takes not so long for us humans to start feeling peer pressure and care about the surrounding environment. We all heard stories of what teenagers can do if they feel pressure from their friends, peers or just acquaintances.  

“It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults.” 

― Mark Manson

Where to start? 🤷‍♂️👌

What can we learn? How can we become more easy-going? How do we master the subtle art of not giving a f**k? Maybe we should try to be like small children? Of course, I don’t mean ignorance and being infantile or not caring about appearance. I mean re-evaluating these external factors and their impact on our real well-being and the decisions we need to make.

It may help to review our behaviour towards others in general. I think that being a parent, especially for small children, makes us immune to our surroundings and teaches us to conserve valuable energy. 

“But a true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.” 

― Mark Manson

It helps us avoid excessive discussions of the world around us. And again, I don’t mean to start Amish life. What I mean is making sure we have our priorities right. We don’t need to have an opinion on everything and on everyone. And vice versa, it is liberating to realise that other people don’t talk and think about us as frequently as we think they do.

Personally, I am trying to be very conscious when this process of “what would people say” starts in my head. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am far away from promoting being totally ignorant and not carrying about things. What I propose instead is a healthy distance to ourselves and everything around us. Our brains have a certain capacity, and most anxiety and depression comes from information overload and a lack of internal clarity of what is essential and what is not. 

Lessons learned during this coffee journey ☕️ 🎓

  • It is easy to overthink and get trapped in our perception of the surrounding world.
  • We have a limited mental capacity, and we need to be selective of what we care about and what we decide to be dear to our hearts.
  • Simply speaking – it is good to learn the subtle art of not giving a f**k.
  • Check more on this topic and listen to: 🎧 The Podcast #201 where Radek and Micheal deconstruct this book on their show.
  • Check a very nice summary of that book from Productivity Game YouTube channel: 📺 THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*** by Mark Manson | Core Message

Have you read this book? What is your opinion on it?

Thanks for reading!

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