After a difficult few months, where I was struggling to accomplish things that felt just out of reach, I am revisiting Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, and, once again, I find his approach revolutionary.
I went through a brief period this summer of reading books about manifestation. I dusted off my copy of The Secret and began an affirmation journal and fixed every thought and feeling on achieving the life of my dreams. The result? Misery.
I met a seemingly great guy, who turned out not to be “the one.” I had publishing interest from a Big Five publisher, who ghosted me, and my attempt at veganism completely backfired. So there I was – me, who helps other people find emotional equilibrium, feeling gutted and blaming myself because, according to the manifestation ethos, nothing can exist in our lives without us calling it into being.
Anyway, I ended up feeling like a total failure. Until I realized that I don’t believe in that kind of manifestation. I believe in having goals and dreams and focus and intention, but, at the end of the day, I think so much of life is out of our control and that forgetting that is the surest way to shame (for me, at least). So I’m listening to Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*uck, for the second time, because I realized that I was giving too many fucks about things that didn’t matter and, while my external life hasn’t improved one iota since I started listening to his book, my internal life feels immeasurably better.
These days, I don’t seem to be caring so much that I haven’t “made it” as a writer yet or that I’m not a size two or that Mr. Right is nowhere to be found. I’m happy. I love the work I’m doing, helping people through yoga and EFT, and working on my second memoir. I’ve reconnected with family members I hadn’t seen or spoken to in a while and I’m laughing my proverbial ass off at improv each week. Life feels good. It’s not great. It’s not perfect. It’s not all I’d want it to be. Hell, I’m not all I’d want to be.
But my priorities have shifted. My story has shifted. I know from experience that changing my perspective can be a springboard to personal growth. So thank you, Mark, for the much-needed reality check.