I recently came across an article that uses the word 'fuck' 127 times. That is a lot of fucking 'fucks' in one fucking article. The article is aptly called The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, and it contains a few brilliant passages. This is one of my favorites:
"In life, our fucks must be spent on something. There really is no such thing as not giving a fuck. The question is simply how we each choose to allot our fucks."
— Mark Manson
There is so much that I love about this article. I interpret his thesis to be that the whole point of life is to find and pursue the few things that are truly worth giving a fuck about.
When you start giving too many fucks about things that don't deserve to receive your fucks given, like a rainy day or a tiny mouse inside your house, then it's an indication that you don't have enough stuff in your life that is truly deserving of your fucks given. At least, that's my fucking understanding of his post.
After reading it I started thinking about people and animals that I admire, and about how many things they give a fuck about. I've already written posts about Valentino Rossi and my cat, so perhaps I can use them as examples.
In my post about Valentino I wrote that "In order to perform at the highest level year after year, a rider needs to put their goal of winning Grand Prix above everything else in their life. For Valentino, his life is completely set up to give him the best chance of winning on Sunday." In other words, Valentino is crystal clear about the thing that he gives the most fucks about.
For Carlos & Maria (my cats), they give tons of fucks about eating and sleeping, a significant number of fucks about grooming and playing, and a moderate number of fucks about human affection. Like Valentino Rossi, Carlos & Maria are crystal clear about what they give a fuck about, and I admire them for that.
How Fucks Given Can Propel Your Forward, Or Hold You Back
For me, and maybe a couple other people in the world, it can at times be difficult to give the most fucks to the things I really care about. I already give a fuck about my cats, freedom to choose how I organize my day, my creative process, Valentino Rossi, my parents, a select number of special people, and climate change (not necessarily in that order).
This is a fairly tight list, however the truth is that there are many other things that rile me up, and make me respond as if those things are fuck-worthy, when they are actually not! Know the feeling?
For example, I find it quite difficult to tell people about my new entrepreneurial endeavours, and even to talk about this blog. Obviously I should just be proud and confident about what I'm doing, and not tie myself in knots over my own ideas about how other people might react to what I'm telling them. It just doesn't serve me.
What does serve me is to do the best quality work that I'm capable of. Period. By giving less fucks about my own fears and insecurities in this area, I'm sure that I will have more energy and more confidence to pursue more ambitious projects.
How To Only Give A Fuck About Important Things
Honestly, I think it is pretty fucking hard to only give a fuck about the most fuck-worthy things in your life. But it is a noble goal that will bring great rewards. I think that the key is to be super intentional about what you allow yourself to give a fuck about.
Write a list and post it on your fridge, or your computer in order to remind yourself. This is a picture from my desktop.
By consistently reminding myself of these things, I am able to stay on the rails. It is so easy to get distracted and pursue things that seem fuck-worthy, but actually take you far away from your main fucking goal.
Apparently in the early days of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was singularly focused on growth. If someone came up to him with a great idea on how make money from the social network, and it didn't help grow Facebook, then Zuckerberg would say 'fuck that.' Maybe he didn't use those exact words, but you get the idea.
The point is this. Everyone needs to give a focused fuck about something that makes them fucking excited. If you currently don't have enough time or energy in your life to give a fuck about things you fucking love, then you may need to make some changes. Those changes may lead you to a road less traveled, which can definitely be fucking scary, but the alternative is likely much worse.
As Robert Frost once wrote: "Two roads diverged in a wood, And I took the one less traveled by, And that made all the fucking difference" (again, not an exact quote).
I would love to know what you give a fuck about! Tell me in the comments.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I think you will like The 10 Best Fucking Quotes From Socrates