Not giving a f*ck

I bought a new book today – ‘The Subtle art of not giving a fuck’.   It will be a good sun lounger read, but I may have to change the cover in front of the boys….


The Author, Mark Manson, gave a brilliant insight and summary in to the key philosophies he shares in the book in an interview with Marie Forleo.


And I think I need to learn to ‘not give a fuck’.  I care too much.  Always have done and about too much.  But as one of the points he makes and a well known saying – ‘Man who believes he knows everything in fact knows nothing and learns nothing.’  So this is my new lesson to learn and put into practice.


He also threw a brilliant new light on my pursuit of happiness and a return to joy.  He helped me see it from a new perspective, and as I keep reading, that is the foundation of miracles.  The basis of his theory is that happiness isn’t always found in spirituality and joy and love and light… but it comes from the satisfaction and fulfilment from solving problems;  including overcoming anxiety, feelings of guilt and negativity.


He says we should not ‘hope for a life without problems, but hope for a life with good problems.’   And I love how he says ‘Problems are the building blocks of a happiness’ and that gives me so much hope.  I have had my fair share of ‘problems’ in the last few years and I am proud of myself for continuing to face them, tackle them head on.  Looking back, each time I do, happiness is found and so as I face my biggest problem to date, I know the happiness waiting will be the most fulfilling and meaningful of all.


I find more hope in the way he explains happiness further.  He says it is easy to dream and visualise a future of happiness in what you do and who you are, but to actually achieve it, you have to be willing to go through some element of pain or discomfort to get there.  It goes back to Liz Gilbert’s ‘Shit sandwich’…  putting yourself out there, doing what you love, doing anything radical or bold is always going to attract opposing praise or criticism.  Only you can decide if it is worth it.


If I apply that philosophy, I guess I have made the decision that the suffering of having to lean into my discomfort and pain is worth it;  to acknowledge these feelings inflicted on me by years of betrayal by a man I loved so much, I was blind to the truth and recognise the ensuing deep wounds inflicted by a woman scorned, who lost her ‘free’ accommodation and lifestyle, who realised there was no love in a false relationship, a woman who lost her self worth and wanted to make me lose mine and for him to lose his loves and life.


This is my ‘shit sandwich’.


I can see our happy future, I dream about it and visualise it and I am willing to eat it to get there.  I am willing to do the time and carry out the work that comes with any success and appreciate that this isn’t an overnight lottery win.  Each time I have to replay the story to a friend, each time I see someone for the first time, as I get more confident to be sociable, I feel the pain.  But I do it anyway.


The shit sandwich has a crappy after taste.  But the desert is the walking away knowing I survived to tell the tale one more time.  I am the one walking tall.  I am the one coming home to a future with a family and a man I love.  And that takes away all the bad taste, leaving only sweetness.


The best advice came at the end of the interview.   ‘Give less of a fuck about fewer things.’ And how do you do that?  By keeping things simple and using Simon Sinek’s advice – ‘start with why?’ Each time you do something or don’t, ask yourself why?  What is your motivation? Check your assumptions.  And soon, the seemingly important becomes the unimportant.


Keep life simple.  Focus on the important stuff.  To me that is family.  And from now on, me, my life.  I look back and I was so focussed on helping and rescuing others, I forgot to help myself until in the end, I needed to rescue myself.  And not give a fuck about anyone else.


Mark Manson

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