For this weeks blog I’m going to shift focus a bit and talk about what it really means to be human. The idea that sometimes life sucks and that’s ok! We’re not always going to be doing something interesting or saving lives. We have a false sense of expectation to live up to this super human mirage that everything is always awesome and that we should always be solving world issues and saving lives. A healthy life is about the ebbs and flows. It’s all about making a choice about what to care about and when its necessary to care a lot vs a little. We choose the values we base our meanings upon.
This all stems from a book I just read that was recommended by a mentor of mine. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F##k by Mark Manson has changed my life and the way I view each moment and each day and how much weight I put behind them. Manson calls it an anti-self-help book. Mark Manson is a blogger whose blog is read by millions. His blog covers everything from personal development to culture and current events.
The core of the book is the idea that things might suck sometimes and that’s ok; it’s not about being indifferent but rather being ok with difference – the different things that will be thrown at you in life. Things are not always going to run smoothly and to carry soundly on living one must be aware of this subtle fact.
I am someone who cares a lot. I care a lot about everything and I put a lot of thought behind most aspects of life. Sounds good, right? It’s not always so great. Sometimes it is very detrimental. I’m learning not to care as much about things out of my control. Placing too much value on things or thoughts out of your control puts you in the Feedback Loop from Hell as Manson calls it. This is circular thinking. Thinking a negative thought until it becomes a negative thought about a negative thought, etc, etc.
An example, albeit maybe extreme, would be this: let’s you have a date coming up. You asked out someone you’ve had your mind on and they said yes. The moment of happiness and relief wears off and leading up to the date you become a nervous wreck. You’re anxious and nervous but why? The girl/boy said yes so what is there to worry about? You then become anxious about being anxious and the feedback loop keeps going until the date begins and you realize you had nothing to be nervous about in the first place.
To progressively move forward we take from these moments and use them as experiences that we’ll be aware about the next time around. Easier said than done. Most of us, myself included, do not always learn from experiences. As we get older this becomes a bit easier but it takes lots of continued practice and lots of failure to know when to give a f##k and when not to.
Not every day is going to be great. It takes a very wise person to move over come and not let it paralyze you into the feedback loop.