Mark Manson, blogger and best-selling author, has an eloquent message for you: Stop giving so many fucks. To live a rewarding life you need to be mindful of which fucks you give and which you don’t.
Here’s how he recommends going about doing so:
Choose Your Fuck
A rewarding life is not an easy life. A rewarding life is one lived pursuing a struggle—a fuck—you are passionate about. To find this fuck, Manson recommends you ask yourself one question:
“What pain are you willing to sustain?”
Manson shares as examples that, “People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can bench-press a small house. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.”
What struggle (a.k.a. fuck) do you enjoy? There’s an infinite number to choose from. Pick one. If you don’t, you’ll be empty inside and other fucks you don’t enjoy and aren’t worth struggling for will fill the void. Those are not fucks you want to deal with.
So choose your fuck, and choose wisely.
Stop fucking around
Albert Camus said, “You will never live if you are always looking for the meaning of life.” In Mark Manson parlance, this means that regardless of whether you have found a proper fuck to give or not, you need to stop fucking around and start moving anyways.
Don’t wait for inspiration to motivate you to start acting. Instead, start by acting. Inspiration will come through action, and it will motivate you towards more action. It becomes a cycle of Action -> Inspiration -> Motivation -> Action -> Inspiration, etc. So stop fucking around and start acting.
Don’t Give a Fuck About Being Right, Because You’re Not
If you look back at your younger self, you will probably chuckle at all the things you were so wrong about. Well guess what? Hopefully one day you’ll look back at yourself today and do the same.
That’s because life is about going from being wrong to less wrong, then from less wrong to less less wrong, and so on. The sooner you realize this, the better. That’s when you stop giving so many fucks about being wrong and instead only give a fuck about becoming better.
Don’t Give a Fuck About Who’s At Fault, Because You’re Responsible
Whatever good or bad may have befallen you, and whether it’s your fault or not, who gives a fuck? You shouldn’t. The only certainty is that you are now responsible for choosing how to deal with it.
As Manson writes, “Fault is the past tense. Responsibility is the present tense. Fault results from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices you’re currently making.”
In the end there’s only one fuck
Perhaps the single most important way to stop giving so many fucks is to constantly remind yourself of one thing: You’re fucked. You’re going to die eventually, so you need to keep in mind the most important question of all, “What legacy you want to leave behind?” That’s a fuck worth giving.
For more from Mark Manson on how to stop giving so many fucks, start by reading his essay, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. From there, explore his blog and then read his New York Times bestselling book of the same title.