im­prove your over­all qual­ity of life in one easy step

Elle (Canada) - - Special -

Mark Man­son is the au­thor of this fall’s most provoca­tively ti­tled self-help tome: The Sub­tle Art of Not Giv­ing a F*ck. Nat­u­rally, we sought out his best coun­ter­in­tu­itive ad­vice on how car­ing less could get our lives on the in­side lane to hap­pi­ness. Glean what you can from our en­light­en­ing chat with this NYC-based blog­ger who has a two-mil­lion-strong fol­low­ing.

Does not giv­ing a fuck mean giv­ing up? We want to go places with our lives, thank you very much! “I have a friend who was a VP of a large com­pany and a pub­lished au­thor at 23. You know how he fast-tracked? He worked. Ob­ses­sively. While the rest of us were in class and play­ing beer-pong, he was work­ing at two start-ups and get­ting up at 5 a.m. to write ev­ery morn­ing. You want to fast-track? Work so hard that peo­ple will won­der if you’ve lost your mind. Then go out and get ‘There are no use­ful short­cuts in life’ tat­tooed on your face—prefer­ably back­wards so you have to read it ev­ery time you look in the mir­ror. Those bor­ing bits you’re try­ing so hard to skip are your life. And the only way you will be able to own them and sur­vive them is by not giv­ing a fuck about be­ing amused and feel­ing peachy all the time. There are more im­por­tant things in life than feel­ing like a badass 24-7. Find prob­lems that are so im­por­tant that you come to en­joy them. Choose a strug­gle that in­spires you so much that you en­joy the bore­dom, you en­joy the pain. Stop chas­ing shiny things all the time.” So not giv­ing a fuck is just mov­ing to­ward a dif­fer­ent kind of progress in life? “Not giv­ing a fuck is go­ing to save the world. It’s go­ing to save the world by teach­ing peo­ple that there are more im­por­tant things in life than feel­ing good all the time. That some­times pain is im­por­tant and even use­ful and the only way you can learn to lever­age pain is by learning to not give a fuck about pain. Not giv­ing a fuck is all about sim­pli­fy­ing and choos­ing the few things that mat­ter more than any­thing else and then not wast­ing your pre­cious time or en­ergy. That’s how you get some­where: by block­ing dis­trac­tion, by ig­nor­ing dis­com­fort, by

en­gag­ing in the fear and anx­i­ety.” So how do we start? “Get clear about what your val­ues are. Look at what is cur­rently up­set­ting you or eat­ing up most of your time and en­ergy. Ask your­self if it’s re­ally that im­por­tant or if you’re just chas­ing some high or dis­trac­tion. Chances are, if you’re un­sat­is­fied with your life,

it’s be­cause it’s the lat­ter.” S.L.

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