Excerpt from the book “the Subtle art of not giving a damn. A paradoxical way to live happily.”. The publishing house “Alpina” published the book “the Subtle art of not giving a damn.
A paradoxical way to live happily”. The author mark Manson explains how to treat irritations and failures and to stop worrying over little things. Edition vc.ru leads the Chapter from the book dedicated to overcoming failure.
I did not dissemble. Yes, I was lucky. I graduated from University in 2007, just popev to the financial collapse and the Great recession. The labour market was as bad as ever over the past eighty plus years.
At about this time it became clear that my neighbor in the rented apartment did not pay for it for three months. When she started talking about it, she cried, and then disappeared, leaving us with the second neighbor to resolve the situation. Goodbye, last savings. The next six months I slept on the couch of a friend, did odd jobs and tried not to be quite so deep in debt when you search for “real work”.
Wheres the luck. In the adult world I joined a loser. I immediately was on the bottom.
Usually such problems occur later. This danger threatens the people that start a new business, change career or leave a bad job. And now here you are, please. Before you know it — immediately got into a situation that can only continue to improve. Than not luck.
When you sleep on a smelly mattress, count change — can afford to go to McDonalds — and sent twenty summary, has not received any word in reply, the idea to start a blog and wacky online business does not seem insane. If all my projects failed, and all my resumes went into the trash, it will not be worse. Why not to try?.
Failure is a relative concept. If I wanted to become an anarcho-Communist and a revolutionary, my inability to make money in 2007-2008 would have been a huge success. But since I, like most people, I find, after the Universitys first serious work, which will allow you to pay the bills, I was a total loser.
But I grew up in a rich family. Oh, and enough money. But they are often used to avoid problems rather than solve them. And this has its advantages.
I learned early that money is not an end in itself. A lot of money does not bring happiness, and some rogue may enjoy life. Therefore, money is not a criterion for what Im worth.
I appreciated other. Freedom, autonomy. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur has always been drawn to me, for I could not endure to obey and preferred to do things his own way.
The prospect of working on the Internet was to my liking, because it suggested a free schedule and the ability to carry it anywhere. I asked myself a simple question. “What I liked. To make good money at a job I hate, or to engage in Internet businesses, but first in poverty?” The answer came immediately. Of course, the second.
Then I asked myself. “Maybe Ill make this attempt, and several years later it turns out that nothing came of it. What will I lose?” And I said to me.
“Nothing”. Instead of poor, unemployed and inexperienced 22-year-old man, Im poor, unemployed and inexperienced 25-year-old man. Small problem.
With such values it is the rejection of their projects would fail, not the lack of money, not a lack of work experience for a resume and not need to spend the night at friends and relatives (which lasted almost two years). Once Pablo Picasso, already in his old age, sitting in a Spanish cafe and doodling something on a used napkin. He didnt treat such things seriously.
Paint what for a second was wondering how Teens draw penises in bathroom stalls. But Picasso is Picasso. Doodle on top of the coffee divorce was interesting cubist and impressionist designs.
Nearby sat a woman staring at him with awe. Finally, Picasso finished his coffee and crumpled the napkin and prepared to leave. The woman stopped him. “Wait, — she said — can I have a napkin that you drew. Ill pay for it”.
“Of course, replied Picasso, — 20 thousand dollars”. The woman recoiled like he threw it in a brick. “As.
It took you two minutes to figure”. “No, Madam, — said Picasso — the drawing took more than sixty years”. He put the napkin in his pocket and left the café.
Success in any business is based on thousands of small failures. And the amount of success is based on how many times you have failed. If someone is better than you does something, the more likely he and most of you failed. If someone worse than you, its quite possible he did not air the bitter experience of life lessons that you fell.
Imagine how the child learns to walk. He falls hundreds of times and oshibaetsya. But he stops and thinks. “Perhaps walking is not for me.
I cant do anything”. The desire to avoid failures occurs later. I think it is largely due to our education system, which rigidly focused on success and punishes failure.
A considerable role is played by the overbearing and strict parents who do not allow children to bump and be punished for trying to do something new or differently. And then theres the media who endlessly talk about other peoples stellar success, showing thousands of hours of boring and monotonous work that it took to achieve this success. In the end, most of us become afraid of failures, instinctively avoid them, keep only old and trusted ways.
However, it stifles and constrains our options. Truly successful, we can only be what you want to fail. If we are not prepared for failure, so we dont need success too.
Fear of failure is largely due to the wacky values. For example, I judge myself according to his ability “to make his friends like me”. This is not life, but a solid hassle. After my failure at 100% is not determined by my actions, and the actions of other people. Here I am not in control of the situation.
My self-esteem is completely dependent on others. Instead, you can choose on other criteria (“improving the social aspect of life”) and a different value (“good relationships with others”). Then everything in my hands.
I myself am a blacksmith of his own happiness and self-esteem. Our values are fine if they are tied to tangible and external objectives that are outside of our control. The pursuit of these goals is deeply worrying.
And even if we manage to reach them, they arouse in us the feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. Success came and what to do next is unknown. Qualitative value-oriented process.
For example, we strive “to be honest with others”, and our criterion of “honesty”. It is obvious that once and for all to achieve this impossible. The problem occurs again and again. Each new conversation and each new communication brings new challenges and new opportunities for honest approach. This value is the ongoing process of a lifetime, which cannot be completed.
Or, lets say your value is “success by earthly standards” and measure you “buy a house and an expensive car”. Twenty years you will work hard like hell, and when you reach a goal, your life, the criterion has nothing to give.
And then begins a midlife crisis, because the problem that stimulated your whole adult life will disappear. And other opportunities for growth and improvement is not seen, but happiness brings us a rising, not a long list of subjective success.
In this sense, the goals in the usual sense — to go to graduate school, buy a house on the lake, to lose seven pounds — can give only limited happiness. They are good to achieve short-term and marketable benefits. But to build on them life does not.
Picasso worked all my life. He was over ninety, and he continued to draw. Until the last years of his life.
If he only wanted to “become famous” or “make more of other artists,” or “draw a thousand pictures”, in some point would be stagnation. Hes mired in worry and doubt. He would not be able to improve and find new ways to work decade after decade.
He succeeded for the same reason youd like to draw on napkins in a cafe. Its fundamental value was simple and unassuming. Did not expect perfection, that is the end. She was “honest expression”. And that was what made the cloth so valuable.
In the 1950-ies by the Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski studied people who survived the Second world war. How they coped with their trauma. The share of poles took many disasters.
People have experienced or seen mass starvation, severe bombing, the Holocaust, torture of military prisoners, rape and murder of his family (first the Nazis, then, after a few years of Soviet soldiers). Studying the victims, Dabrowski noticed something strange and amazing. Many believed that suffering and trauma they experienced during the war, made them better, more responsible and even happier.
Many believed that before the war they were different people. Fails to appreciate and thank the loved ones, lazy, mired in petty issues, take all benefits for granted. After the war, they gained some inner strength and ability to thank and also to keep calm in the face of small household troubles.
Of course, the whole experience was a nightmare. Many people would give anything to avoid this. Many are still suffering from the emotional scars and wounds left by war. But some of them managed with these scars seriously change for the better. And they in this transformation are not alone.
Many have reached the highest only in the face of hardships. Often pain makes you stronger, stronger, viable. No coincidence that many people who have had cancer say that came out of this battle stronger and more grateful.
Many soldiers say they gained psychological stability after survived the dangers of the war zone. Dabrowski believed that fear, anxiety and sadness are not always harmful for the mind. Often not do without them psychological growth.
To deny this pain is to deny our own potential. As for the pumping of the muscles to endure physical pain to endure emotional pain for the development of emotional resilience, independence, compassion, and indeed for the attainment of happiness. Often we are really only changing ordeal.
Only when we feel strong pain, we are ready to look at our values and ask ourselves why they failed us. We need an existential crisis, so we objectively looked at what we think the meaning of life, and then changed the line of action. Call that different.
And “fall to the bottom,” and “existential crisis”. I prefer another name. “to withstand a storm of shit”. Choose what suits you best.
Perhaps youre going through such a storm. You may come out of a severe crisis and felt the confusion, as everything you previously thought right, normal and good, were diametrically opposed. And its good. Its only the beginning.
I repeat again and again. Pain is part of the process. Feel its very important.
If you consider yourself unique, looking for “narcotics” and “painkillers”, an illusory positive thinking, if you dont treat yourself harshly, you dont produce the necessary motivation for real change. I remember in my childhood when our family got a new VCR or stereo, I pressed every button stuck and was pulled out every cord and cable. See how it works.
And eventually understand how the system works. And since I knew that often Im the only one in the house she used. So often the case with generation y.
Parents thought I was almost a Prodigy. In their eyes the ability to program a TV with a stereo, no looking at the manual, made me a new incarnation of the Tesla. It is easy to look down on the generation of parents and giggle over their technophobia.
However, over the years I understand more and more. We all have an area in life where we behave like my parents with a stereo. Sitting, watching helplessly throw up your hands. “But how?” And here it is necessary only to take up the case.
I often receive letters with a question. “But how?” And for many years did not know what to answer them.
Here is a girl whose parents, immigrants who saved their entire life to become a doctor. She really entered the medical faculty, but she was sick. Shes in a coffin seen this profession and with all your soul wants to drop out of College. For her, this situation is a deadlock. So deadlocked that it sends on the Internet a letter to a stranger (me) with a stupid and simple question.
“I quit the University?”. But the student crush on the teacher. He frets about every gesture, every joke, every smile, every replica exchange and sends me the novel in 28 pages, which ends with a question. “How do I ask her out?”.
Or the single mother whose children have grown, graduated from the University, but robotronica. Live at her house, eating her food, spending her money and not respect her personal space. She wants to further they lived. She wants them not sitting on her neck.
But shes scared to death to alienate them. She was so frightened that asks me. “How can I ask them to move?”. These are the “stereosystems” questions.
Seems. What is easier — there is nothing to argue, just do it. However, from the inside, from the point of view of each of these people, questions, unbearably complicated and confusing. A kind of existential riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a Rubiks cube.
Pain — thats what this is all about. To write a letter of dismissal from the University is easy. But how to break the heart of parents. Tell the teacher that ask her out is easy.
But isnt in a stupid position. And will not have a failure. Ask young people to move to another house easy. But what about the feeling that throw their own children.
A large part of adolescence and even into early adulthood I suffered from social phobia. I spent days trying to distract myself with video games and nights a lot of drinking and Smoking to relieve anxiety. For many years the idea of how to talk to a stranger, particularly an attractive, interesting, popular, or smart, — it seemed impossible.
For years I was in a trance, tormented stupid questions. “As. How you can simply approach the person and talk to him. How have people done it?” I have formed absolutely delusional beliefs.
It seems that it is impossible to have a conversation with someone while there is a practical need, or that women accept me as one of the hidden rapist if I just say “hi”. The problem was that my emotions determined my reality. Because it seemed to me that people dont want to talk to me, I began to believe that people dont want to talk to me.
Hence “stereosystems” question. “How can you just walk up to the man and talk to him?”. Since I couldnt separate what I felt from what I was, I could not step outside himself and see the world the way it is. A simple place where two can at any time to approach each other and talk.
Many people experiencing some form of pain, anger or sadness, drop everything and try to numb my feelings. They urgently need to feel good, even if it means to forget, to fall into self-deception or return to incorrect values.
Learn to live with the pain, which was chosen. Along with the new value you choose for yourself and a new form of pain. Cherish her. Savor it.
Please welcome her with open arms. And then proceed in spite of it. Im not gonna lie.
The sky will seem a game. But not so all and is difficult. Lets say you lose guidance. However, this is what we have said. You know nothing.
Even if you think you know, you dont know the real situation. So what have you got to lose. Such is life. Accurate knowledge no, but you can not sit idly by.
This is whole life. In this sense, nothing changes. Even when you are happy. Even when you bzdite magic powder.
Even when you pull the lucky ticket and buy a fleet of Aqua bikes, you still do not know what you are doing. Dont forget about it. Do not be afraid. In 2008, having worked in the specialty for six weeks, I quit my job to pursue Internet business.
I had no idea how and why, but decided. If Im destined to be poor and miserable, so let me be poor and miserable at the job you love. Besides, I was absorbed in novels. Yes, let things go to hell — why not start a blog dedicated to Dating.
On the first morning of free sailing I was terrified. I sat at the laptop for the first time realizing that you are wholly responsible for your decisions and their consequences. I have a responsibility to learn web design, Internet marketing, search engine optimization and other esoteric. Everything is on my shoulders.
So I did what would any 24 year old man, who had just resigned from her job and has no idea what to do. Downloaded some computer games and avoided work like the Ebola virus.
Weeks went. The balance was melted, and it became clear that a strategy is needed. How to roll up our sleeves to a new business moved from a dead point. And suddenly with an unexpected tip came from.
When I was in school, our math teacher Mr. Packwood said. “If you are stuck with a problem, dont sit idly by. Start to work on it.
Even if you dont know what you are doing, the fact that the work will lead to the fact that the head appears right ideas”. In the period when I tried to stand up and every day was not easy; when I had no idea what to do next, and afraid of the results (or lack of), the Council Mr. Packwood began to emerge from my subconscious. I heard the motto.
“Do not sit idly by. Do something. The answers will come”.
By applying the advice of Mr. Packwood, I learned an important lesson about motivation. However, the material has gone eight years. Grueling months of unsuccessful product releases, ridiculous advice columns in Newspapers, uncomfortable nights on friends sofas, exceeded limits on the loan and hundreds of thousands of written (and usually unread) words.
But more important things in my life I didnt realize. “The action is not only a result of motivation but also its cause”. Most of us are doing something seriously, only if you feel motivated. And the motivation we feel only in the presence of emotional inspiration. We believe that it works like a chain reaction.
Emotional inspiration → Motivation → Desirable action. If you want to do something, but feel no motivation or inspiration, you feel frustrated.
Like, what can you do. You have to wait for a strong emotional lift, and only then you have the incentive to get up off the couch and hit a finger. In fact, motivation is not a three-part chain, and the cycle.
Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Inspiration → Motivation → Action → and so on. Our actions create a new emotional response and inspiration, and ultimately motivate your future actions. With this in mind, we can reorient our approach in the following way.
Action → Inspiration → Motivation. If you have little motivation for important changes in life, do something. Floundering.
And then turn the reaction to this in a way to motivate yourself. So lets call this the principle. “Do something”. I used it for business development and then went on to advise his readers that precipitated me “stereosystems” questions.
“How to be hired?”, “How to tell the guy that I want to be his girlfriend?” and so on. In the first two years of free works I efficiency was small for the reason that I was sitting on pins and needles, not knowing what to do. I wanted to give up.
However, I quickly learned. If I force myself to do something, even a mere trifle, big problems will seem much easier. Lets say you need to change the design of the site.
I forced myself to sit down and say. “Right now will change the header design”. No sooner said than done. And it turns out that you can navigate to other parts of the site. Then you look down, and already have the power and enthusiasm for the entire project.
Writer Tim ferriss talks about a writer who has written more than seventy novels. Someone asked this of hack writers, how he manages to give mountains of books, keeping inspired and motivated. The answer.
“A lousy two hundred words a day, thats the whole answer”. So he forced himself to write two hundred words what I got, and usually encouraged it. Before you know it, issued not two hundred words, and thousands.
If we follow the principle “Do something”, failure loses its significance. When the standard of success is action, the result is considered a great success; when inspiration is understood as a reward, not as a condition, we are moving forward. We are calmer to failure, and failure is pushing us further.
The principle of “Do anything” not only helps to overcome procrastination. Through this process we learn new values. If you were caught in the existential storm of shit, and everything seems pointless — if all of your lifes measurements gave a crack, the future is unknown, the dreams were dashed or you feel the need for better standards, but cant find them — the answer is the same. “Do something”.
This “something” can be any adequate action, anything adequate attempt. Lets say you realize that you behaved like a narcissistic jackass.
And that we should show compassion for others. But how. Do something. Start with a simple. Make it a rule to listen to what people have problems and try to help them.
At least once did. Or promise to consider themselves the root of their problems, if you have trouble. Just try it and see what happens.
Often this is enough to snowball starts rolling. The action gives a boost of motivation. That is, you yourself can be the source of his inspiration. You can be the source of his motivation.
So thats that, and the action is always available to you. And if the principle “Do something” will be your only criterion of success, even failure would be considered progress.