I finally got around to opening “The subtle art of not giving a f@ck” by Mark Manson, and I have to say, 20 pages in and it is really resonating with me. I spent a lot of these pages nodding and laughing as I recognised myself in so many of the key points.
For me, the title was misleading. I had conjured up the imagery of not caring, and cruising through life without setting goals or creating meaningful relationships. Because of this, I didn’t really think this book would be for me. I care deeply. I feel deeply. I am blessed with many meaningful connections, and I am most definitely a goal setter.
But here is the thing, I know what I care about, and for those things I give my all and do whatever I think is required at the time. The connections and goals in my life are created around these priorities. My energy is invested into these areas. I know my priorities. It isn’t about not giving a f@%k, it is about knowing what to give a f@%k about.
For all those things that do not align to my vision, my intentions and my people, my energy is limited. This is not to say I won’t do anything in other areas, nor will I not care at all. But here is what happens in the areas I have not prioritised: I say “No,” I don’t get wound up or over emotional, I brush things off (comments, negativity etc.), and I just don’t spend my time in these spaces.
Many people don’t set, or even know, their own priorities, which is something I see regularly with coaching clients. Not setting these for yourself can create the following issues:
– It can lead to spreading yourself too thin, and so nothing gets done at the level you would want, nor are you getting to spend the quality time on the areas that really matter to you. This in turn leads you to feel incompetent, which can cause you to put more energy into proving to yourself and others that you are…it is a nasty spiral!
– It can create an emotional rollercoaster. There just isn’t enough time in the day, nor enough energy to care about all the things! To keep yourself more centred, you need to know the areas that you chose to invoke deep emotions within you.
– You can become the “Yes” woman. It is hard to say “no” to things if you are clear in what it is you want and need to say “yes” to. In turn, people learn you will always be the one to do something, consequently your load increases (again not in the areas important to you necessarily). We really do teach people how to treat us!
– This all can create an increase in stress!
So the art of “not giving a f@#k” for me, means to know what it is you do care about. Once you know this, you can declutter your mind, your time, your emotions and your energy by not stressing over everything else. Here are some questions you might want to use, to really help focus this, and work out your priorities:
– What is it you want out of your life?
– Where do you want your energy going?
– What and who do you want to be investing in?
– What is your purpose?
– What does your ideal life look like?
– What do you need to be doing to achieve your ideal life?
– Rank, in order of importance, your daily tasks. Does your time allocation match this ranking?
Some of these questions overlap and as such you do not need to answer them all. Different ways of asking the question help different people to clarify things for themselves, so see if any of these questions work for you. Brainstorm, take notes, or write freely after reading some of these questions and see what it is you come up with. You can then use this to say “No” to things and people that don’t align or go back to this when you are fretting over something to remind yourself of its lack of importance.
I wish I had done this years ago, really figuring out my own priorities. It would’ve saved me a lot of time, heartache, and stress from investing myself in areas that were wrong for me.
“The key is to not prioritise your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey.
Mel H x
P.s – Let me know how you go with answering these questions, did it help in any way, or what struggles came up for you!