I owe a great deal of my contentment and peace of mind simply to not giving a fuck. And we hear this all the time. If you wanna be happy just stop giving a fuck about everything. And while this is great advice, exactly how do you go about not giving a fuck? Because it’s often a lot easier said than done.
I think it’s easy for anyone to understand how we would all be a whole lot happier in life if we just didn’t give a fuck. And what I mean of course is, if we weren’t so overly concerned, if we didn’t worry so much.
And so we try not to give a fuck, and maybe sometimes we act like we don’t give a fuck. But if we’re acting like we don’t give a fuck, then really we’re just acting. And probably, deep down inside, we really do give a fuck. So how do we let that go?
Probably the best example of something we do give a fuck about is what other people think of us, their opinions and judgments. We probably give a fuck about that more than anything else, and if we didn’t we’d have a lot more freedom to be authentic and to do the things we’re truly inspired to do.
So you have to ask yourself, first of all, why do I give a fuck what other people think? And the answer is probably that you’re insecure. So can you simply acknowledge that? And it’s not anything to be ashamed of. You don’t have to feel bad about it. It’s actually a lot more common than you might think. So can you just begin to acknowledge it?
And then ask yourself, why am I insecure? And it could be any number of things.
When I began to really explore this within myself, I had variety of answers. I’m not talented enough. I’m not attractive enough. I’m not wise enough. And it’s almost always this feeling of not being enough in some way or another. But what does it even mean to be enough?
I think what we mean by it is some sort of perfection. But no one’s perfect. Not in the way we imagine perfection. Everyone’s got some flaw, some limitation, some shortcoming. So what does it even mean to be enough?
This whole idea of being inadequate in some regard is only dependent on comparison. And how do we compare ourselves? We compare ourselves to others. But we’re also very selective about who we compare ourselves to.
So if I’m a musician, for example, who doesn’t think I’m good enough, that my skills or my talent isn’t good enough, it’s because I’m comparing myself to other musicians who are more skilled and talented than I am, and it’s probably because they’ve been playing longer than I have, and have dedicated more of their time and energy to practicing and mastering that skill. But we don’t tend to consider these things.
But if I were to compare my skill and talent to everyone, and I mean everyone, I would find that there are many people with greater skill and talent than myself, but I would also find that there are just as many people with less skill and talent, and even some people with no skill or talent whatsoever in regard to that particular area. Because the reality is that we’re all in different places in our lives. We all have different temperaments, different strengths and weaknesses, different ways of approaching things. We all have a certain amount of experience, or practice. And so we all have different skill sets and skill levels, depending on so many different factors. So it’s not really a matter of being better or worse than anyone else. It’s just that everyone’s in a different place.
And just as there are people who are more skilled than I am in one particular area, there are people who are less skilled. So it goes both ways. But we tend to focus more on the people who are more advanced in these areas. And we get so caught up in that comparison.
And the thing is that we really shouldn’t be making comparisons at all, given that everyone’s experience is different. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to people who are more advanced then we are, and we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with people who are less advanced either We should simply acknowledge where we are in the context of our own lives.
So if we do feel compelled to make comparisons, really the only person we should be comparing ourselves with is ourselves. So if I’ve spent a lot of time learning to play an instrument, rather than comparing myself with a master, I might simply look at how far I’ve come by comparing my present skill level with my skill level from a year ago or longer. Because probably there was a time when I didn’t even know how to play that instrument. And in comparison to that, I can recognize that my skill has greatly improved. And that’s something I feel good about.
Now, I still may not be the most skilled or the most talented in that particular area, but that doesn’t mean that what I have to offer isn’t valuable. If someone has some gold, and all I have is silver, that doesn’t make the silver any less valuable. I’m not gonna think to myself, this silver isn’t gold enough and therefore it’s worthless. No. That would be ridiculous. It has it’s own value independent of the fact that someone else has gold.
So whether what you have to offer is valuable or not has nothing to do with anyone else. It all really depends on whether or not you can see the value in it. And it doesn’t have to be perfect to be valuable. YOU don’t have to be perfect to be valuable. And this brings me back to this idea of what it means to be enough, because again, we have a tendency to think we’re not enough in some regard.
Well, the word enough means, as much as what is required or what is sufficient. It doesn’t mean absolute perfection. And it certainly doesn’t mean excess. It just means a reasonable amount of something. And if we really look honestly at our own skills and talents, without comparing ourselves to others, we’ll find that generally what we have to offer is reasonably sufficient. In other words, it’s enough.
Could it be better? Sure. There’s always room for improvement. And even the most skilled people still have some room for improvement. In fact, there’s probably no limit to how far you can improve upon something. So if you’re trying to reach perfection, you’ll never actually get there. All you’ll do is drive yourself crazy trying.
What I’m really getting at here is that we need to shift our perspective of ourselves away from comparison to others, and away from being dependent upon other people’s opinions of us. Because their opinions are also based on these biased comparisons. What we really need to do is simply recognize the value in what we have to offer, based on itself, not on comparison. And that goes, not only in regard to skills and talents, but characteristics as well. Are you compassionate? Are you considerate? Are you helpful? Are you generous, even with what little you may have. Because these kinds of things are extremely valuable. And if we really take a honest look at ourselves, we can always find something of value which we have to offer.
And once we begin to recognize the value we have, and to honor that, the less we feel the need for others to evaluate and validate us. In other words, we stop giving a fuck about what other people think. And that’s just as true of positive opinions as it is of negative ones. Because as long as we rely on other people to tell us how valuable we are, we’re not really seeing it for ourselves.
But once we do, and once we let go of the need to be validated, we don’t value the opinions of others as much as we value our own recognition of ourselves, that is our recognition of our own value. And when we come to that place of no longer giving a fuck, we suddenly find that we’re free to truly be ourselves without apology, without shame, without concern for whether other people find it acceptable or not. And with that comes a deep and unshakable sense of peace and contentment.
When our happiness is no longer dependent upon other people, or on how much money we make, or how talented we are, and so on, we can be happy anytime. And we don’t need a reason. It’s only when we need a reason to be happy that we find so many reasons not to be.