The book I just finished reading, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson is truly one of the best books I have ever read.
Between the author’s writing style and the lack of fluff and bullshit in this book I can honestly say that this one is a must read.
In one of the chapters he discusses the importance of suffering, and how your personal values dictate your level of suffering.
We all have problems and based on our values and metrics of a good life and happiness, some of us will never truly be happy if we do not shift our thinking and values.
I want to share with you guys some of what the author describes as “shitty values”.
He states that these common values can “create really poor problems for people, problems that can hardly be solved”.
Shitty value #1: Pleasure
He talks about how pleasure is great, but to ask any drug addict about their never ending pursuit of pleasure, adulterer who shattered her family and lost her children or a man who nearly eats himself to death if pleasure helped them “solve” their problems.
“Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed.”
“Pleasure is not the cause of happiness; rather, it is the effect.”
Shitty value # 2: Material status
Here he discusses how so many people measure self-worth by how much money they make or the car they drive. “However, research has shown that once someone can provide for basic physical needs (food, shelter and so on), the correlation between happiness and worldly success quickly approaches zero”.
In the long run, are all of those extra hours of work for another 10 or 20 grand in replace of quality time with friends, family and experiences going to be worth it to you if you already have everything you need?
Odds are, the answer is no.
Shitty value #3: Always being right
“People who see themselves as always right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes. They lack the ability to take on new perspectives and empathize with others. They close themselves off to new and important information.”
You are not always right. You can’t always be right. Accept that. Learn from your fuck-ups. Open your mind to how others may feel. This new found open-mindedness will put you in a state of constant learning and growth.
Shitty value # 4: Staying positive
Shit happens. When it does, you feel shitty. Pretending that you don’t feel shitty is a form of denial.
It’s important to accept how you truly feel, and deal with it in a healthy way. Don’t just brush the pile of shit under the rug, put a smile on your face and pretend that it doesn’t smell like shit in your living room.
“Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems. Problems which, by the way, if you are choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you.”
At the end of the day, we all need to accept that life is not perfect and we will all have problems. However, based on your values and metrics, good values, like being reality-based, will lead to good problems that are regularly solved. Bad values lead to worse problems that are much harder to solve.
The choice is yours.
These days, it gets harder and harder to keep your shit together. Between commercials you see on TV and all of the bullshit you see on social media, it can become very easy to fall into a depression.
If you constantly spend your time looking at someone else’s life that appears to be “great” (which deep down you know is bullshit), and compare your problematic life to their seemingly “problem-less” life, you could feel like shit.
But you have to know that things aren’t always how they seem.
You are not the only one with problems and with the right shift of your thinking you too can start living a good fucking life.
Like Freud said, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
I really hope this helps and you guys take a second to grab a copy of this awesome book.
Until next time…keep moving forward.