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Why life gets a lot better when you stop giving a f*ck

It’s natural for everyone to yearn acceptance; belonging in a crowd and feeling like you’re part of something bigger. This “natural” instinct, on the other hand, can sometimes change the way we grow, and not always for the better.

In reality, we can stop trying too hard to fit in and just become free individuals. But the art of not caring isn’t easy as it takes work and dedication.

It pays well not to care, though, and can change our lives for the better. Everyday, life is going to convince you that you’re not good enough. Whether it’s someone else’s job or friends or appearance, there’s bound to be something wrong about ourselves. But caring about these superficial things doesn’t improve who you are, it only makes you unhappy about your circumstances.

The key is to ignore our instinctual pursuit for the next best thing. Too often, the “best thing” for us is exactly the thing we have, only we don’t realize it because of envy. This behavior leads us into living a life that is only driven by envy and thoughtless pursuit. Stop chasing the shiny things around you and start focusing on your things, and making them shiny.

Stop caring about what people think and your confidence will soar to heights never before imaginable to you. Believe in yourself and what your version of the world can offer, without thinking about someone else’s progress.

At the end of the day, the only progress that matters is yours.

Stop trying to mimic someone’s happiness. Let happiness grow into your life organically instead of pursuing it. A life well-lived is one where you know the difference between things that matter and things that don’t, so stop caring about the latter.

The key is to focus on your strengths and ignore your perceived weaknesses.

Don’t feed the gaps in your personality with insecurity because that’s what everyone else is doing; rise up to the challenge and become better than them.

While you may never improve your weaknesses, take comfort in the fact that you have usable strengths. Stop trying to become someone else and start embracing who you are. And if you’re bad at one thing and amazing at the other, then just focus on the latter.

Know what you’re bad at and come to terms with it. Confront these and you’ll start progressing in no time. Know what you’re good at and continue developing these traits. Eventually, you can utilize these strengths to augment your weaknesses.

Embrace your uniqueness.

So what if everyone in your family wanted to become an engineer? So what if each and every one of your friends went on to be successful lawyers? There is no shame in who you are and what you want to become, even if no one else seems to pursue the same dreams as you.

Acknowledging your individuality may be harder to you because you care too much about what other people would think or say. Remember this: what other people have to say shouldn’t have an impact on you. While others are trudging on the same path, take comfort in travelling the road less traveled. Do the things you are proud of, and don’t let anyone, not even yourself, tell you otherwise.

If you want to create unique things, know that there will always be criticism and that this shouldn’t stop you from unraveling the wonders in your mind. Own your craft and become better at it until you create something so good your inner critic wouldn’t dare say anything about it.

Become an individual by doing things your way.

Question the norm and be open to innovative solutions. Stay curious to new discoveries in life. Do you really want to be stuck doing the same thing the same way forever?

If you’re so afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb, know that  everyone is busy chasing after something, so why should they notice you? Don’t worry about becoming different. At the end of the day, no one’s really watching, except individuals who could temporarily affect your life, like your boss or any other authoritative figure.

Know who you really are, and own it.

Don’t wait for people to affirm who you are. Do the things you feel like you should be doing. Your peers are not going to validate who you are so your self-worth shouldn’t be measured against people’s comments on your performance.

If you’re unsatisfied with an aspect of your life, change it for the better. Your life is going to be stagnant if you refuse to act. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to grow old and be the exact same person you were five, ten years ago.

Bottom line is, you should stop caring so much and start living. Become a better person by focusing on what you think of yourself. At the end of the day, the only thing you should care about is who you are becoming.

In my new eBook, The Art of Mindfulness, Hack Spirit explain how you can use mindfulness practically to help you clear your mind, let go of your worries and live peacefully in the present moment.

By devoting full attention on what we are doing in the moment, we can alleviate suffering, fear and anxiety.

With the power of mindfulness at our fingertips and the beauty of looking deeply, we can find insights to transform and heal any situation.

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Notable replies

  1. Hi @ACD, once again, may I ask you to do your best to contribute to the conversation here.

    Sharing one-liners like this doesn’t really do much to advance the ideas being expressed in the article above. It’s absolutely fine to disagree with the perspective, but it would be helpful to share a perspective of your own. If you don’t want to write it out, you could instead find an article that expresses something different and share it as a link in the comments.

    I think there are some valid points being made in this article. Many people would benefit from living a life on their own terms, as opposed to living life based on the expectations of others.

    Personally, I would also emphasize that we don’t always need to see ourselves as so unique. I shared that in this article:

    Why do you think the ideas expressed work only in a world with a population of one person?

  2. When you have responsibility for things like a family, service, product and you have willingly accepted this responsibility you must never stop caring. Your life will always get better when you meet your obligations. Unless you live in a hole like some trapdoor spider, there will be others that depend on you. If this is too much for you then close the business, divorce the wife and run away to someplace where you are not needed, at least there you will not disappoint anyone. If your life is following some passion, some creative endeavor then stop feeling sorry for yourself and focus on doing the very best you can do. Neither man nor God will fault your effort and life will be good.

  3. I agree with all of this @BillAmes. It’s important to take responsibility for our obligations, especially when we have willingly accepted this responsibility. There’s a cult of individualism in Western culture that I think discourages people from taking this responsibility.

  4. Avatar for ACD ACD says:

    A friend was interviewing for a job and was asked: what is your most admirable quality? To which he answered: brevity. Had he been more pedantic, he might have expounded upon his reply, quoting Shakespeare’s Polonius:
    “This business is well ended.
    My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is,
    Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
    Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
    What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
    But let that go.”
    But we must not let it go. My friend did not get the job but has lived his life in such a carefree way that even I envy him.
    To the point: Why life gets a lot better when you stop giving a … Not everyone can go through life like my friend whose natural intelligence and likeability enable him to get away with what few others can. Most, if not all, of us must give a … and no number of new age platitudes can relieve us of the obligation to get along with others. Unless we live in a world whose population is one. Why? Because the moment two people occupy the same (actual or conceptually proximal) space, each must give up some freedom in order to keep the peace. Most of us have no problem doing this and compromise instinctively, according to our culture of accepted norms. For example, when we enter a library - or a church or a courtroom or a classroom - we change our behavior. No big deal. Bullies may behave as though they do not give a … when they infringe excessively on others’ freedom to be themselves. The author’s proposed cure for bullying, presumably, is to respond in kind by not giving a … about the bully’s bullying. The bully means to intimidate and it is certainly positive reinforcement to flee like a wounded deer from the bully’s arrows. So no, caring in this sense is not productive. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be better if the bully could be made to stop? Caring, in this sense, I submit, is more productive. We, as bullies, cannot occupy the same space as others. We, as bullies, must either tame ourselves or be tamed, thus making the world safe for non-conformists who want to live life on their own terms within the bounds of civilized compromise. Life gets a lot better when we DO give a …
    Did all these expository words add to the advancement of this discussion? Does anyone give a …?

  5. What most people don’t realize is that all earth species are hard wired to be insecure which when you think about is what’s need to survive. This insecurity has lead to wars, various religions, cults, etc. On the plus side it has lead to inventions, culture, protecting others etc… Of course it has also lead to "Why life gets a lot better when you stop giving a f*ck ( about insecurity)!!!

  6. We all try to put the “best” foot forward or in this case the “best” face. On the other hand, he / she seems to be concentrating on the next “step”

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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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