The Life Changing Magic of Living Your Life The Way You Want To
I have read two books in the past few months that have had a brash, but much needed approach to living your best life. The first was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson, while the second was The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight.
In both books, the message was quite clear: in order to live a happy, fulfilled life, you need to stop caring so much. In their words, you need to stop giving a f***.
It's much easier said than done, I'll admit, but they do have a point. We only have so much we can take in life. We only have so much to give of ourselves before we run dry. If we let the things, people, and obligations that don't bring us joy take all of our energy, we have nothing left for the things, people, and obligations we truly do care about!
Pulling ourselves out of this cycle starts with realizing what we truly do and do not care about. That way, you can make sure that if something is on your "do not care about" list, you can start to recognize it, and slowly eliminate (or reduce) it from your life.
I find it helpful to make lists when doing this type of activity. For instance, things, people, and obligations that I like to do and that bring me joy include weightlifting, cooking, maintaining a clutter free apartment, going on walks outside, cats, giving wellness presentations, and spending time in church. It's a small starter list, but you get the point.
On the other hand, things, people, and obligations that do not bring me joy and wear me down include running, politics, messy homes and work spaces, dogs, going to concerts, caring too much about others' opinions of me, sightseeing, and being around negative people.
Once you've taken the time to write down your lists, read back over them and start to see the patterns in your own life that are wearing you down. How often are you in situations that are on your "do not care about, do not bring me joy" list? How many of those can you eliminate or reduce?
After you recognized these patterns, it's time to go back to the first main message - stop caring so much. Literally - stop giving a f***. Start saying "sorry not sorry." Start liberating yourself from the "shoulds" and obligations in life. You are free to choose to do what you want. You are free to be yourself with all of your quirks. Own it, love it!
Now, this doesn't mean you need to become a horrible person. There is a way to be owning your life and your decisions that is honest, sincere, and not mean. You can be clear and direct about your decisions, and as long as you're honest, others should respect that as well. If they don't (and you were honest and sincere in your message), that is their problem. They haven't made their own "care about" and "do not care about" lists (in which case, I recommend you tell them to do so!).
This week, it's time to shed the guilt about who you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to care about. Yes, it's okay to be 23 and not care about kids and dogs (hint - that might be me...). It's okay to not want a super clean house. It's okay to want a super clean house. It's okay to have an opinion!
Either way, the message is clear - start owning your life. It is yours and no one else's - remember that and own that.