No this is not a rant or some sort of philosophical post about life or a traumatic experience. Mark Manson wrote a book with the title and it happened to have some hidden wisdom inside. The title is misleading because the core principles of the book are actually about giving a f*ck but choosing what to care about. We can’t care about every single thing and still be productive or healthy. Thus the real essence of the book is to choose what you care about.
Initially, I resisted the writing style and found the first few pages a bit obnoxious. As I continued to read, it became more apparent what the real essence of the book was about and the points that Manson makes began to resonate. It is interesting that often times when my first reaction to something is to dismiss it or find it off-putting the more I learn if I continue to engage and allow myself to really listen to the ideas. I’ve found that self-reflection really important in life.
Another key concept is the idea of control. In order to truly enjoy life and find meaning it is important you take extreme ownership of the things, you can control while recognizing the things you cannot. Stop caring about trivial things that are not your fault such as the weather. What you should do is take extreme responsibility for what you can control. While it may not have been your fault it rained on your outdoor surprise party, but you do control how you respond to the situation. This is so true and I see it in sales every day. The top performers understand that there is going to be way more disappointment and a lot of the sales cycle they can’t control. That being said what you can control is doing all of the right things by constantly being relevant, bringing value, and positioning solutions to people’s problems. If you do these things consistently and take responsibility for failures you will ultimately find success. Take extreme ownership of your life and control your expectations and responses.
One last takeaway that if adopted can have a powerful influence on your life is that of choosing your problems. In life we all have problems. It doesn’t matter if you are single or married, skinny or fat, rich or poor; everyone has problems. The difference between how we respond and interpret those problems is if we feel as if we chose them. The example used is running a marathon. In one case someone points a gun at your head and tells you to run a marathon or else they will shoot you. Obviously, you did not choose this problem and you will most likely run that marathon but not be happy afterward. Whereas if you sign up for a marathon and spend months training and then finish the same 26.2 miles, you will feel accomplished. Same run, but in one case you chose to suffer through the pain of running the other you didn’t. This concept of feeling as if we choose our problems has a dramatic impact on our well-being.
To recap, choose the things you want to care about and prioritize them. The idea is to choose what you care about rather than care a little about a lot of things. Second is take extreme ownership and responsibility for your life. You can’t control everything but you do control your response and ability to learn from the situations in life. Lastly, choose your problems. You will always have problems and challenges in life so the key is to make sure they are YOUR problems that you chose.