Over the last couple of days, I re-read Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
In it, he tells the story of William James, and his year of personal responsibility.
Here’s a blog post from Manson about it: The Prime Belief. Go read that before continuing on – the rest of this post will make a whole lot more sense if you do.
That’s where Imma dedicate most of my available fucks to this year – 100% responsibility for my own life – knowing that how I respond to everything is all Lyman, all the time.
No blame, no fault finding, no thinking that because of my genetics or my upbringing I suck too much to live a useful life.
Blame, fault finding, and woe is me are always options – they are responses that I’ve pulled out of my pocket in the past. Mostly the last one. I was (am? yes, am.) such a special snowflake that everyone but me has this life thing figured out. Poor Lyman, might as well just kill yourself. But wait, even that is asking too much of a scared and weak little piece of shit like you.
This doesn’t come up as much as it used to, but I still do it waaaaaayyyyyy too much more than I want to. Probably even more than I consciously realize.
This is about living the Serenity Prayer, with a focus on courage and wisdom. It seems to me that serenity is actually a by-product of acceptance, and I’m really good at faking that – dying on the inside with a bullshit smile on my face, and hiding from the world if I can’t manage that smile.
I’m going to work on developing:
- acceptance (for really reals) when it comes to the things I cannot change (for really reals)
- courage to change the things that I can
- wisdom to know the difference
I’m not asking a god to grant me anything. I’m asking present Lyman to develop these things, so that future Lyman can live a richer, fuller life.
Just Do It! isn’t going to work here. The only thing to “just do” is point yourself in a direction and move. Here are the tools I plan on using to point myself if the direction of acceptance, courage, and wisdom:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), with a focus on values. As in, what do I *want* to give a fuck about? The Happiness Trap and The Reality Slap by Dr. Russ Harris, and A Liberated Mind by Dr. Steven Hayes are excellent introductions to practicing ACT.
- Love, Forgiveness, and Gratitude via Ho’oponopono style meditation (just picked this up again thanks to a mention by Aubrey Marcus in Own the Day, Own Your Life). Unfortunately, there’s a lot of woo woo bullshit out there regarding this – mostly about “attracting” stuff into your life (bleh). For me, it’s more of an alternative to Loving-Kindness Meditation, which I haven’t been able to really grok after years of trying. I like this guided meditation: Ho’oponopono Meditation. It’s long, so if you aren’t experienced in meditation it may be a bitmuch – just stop when you want. The minimum effective dose for meditation is about a minute. There’s also a bunch of new-agey stuff on there – ignore if it isn’t your cup of tea. If you’re interested, I wrote a post about sticking to a meditation practice here: How to Stick To a Meditation Practice).
- Choosing my pain. (more on this one in a future blog post)
Life gonna test my resolve here – that’s what life does. I’m gonna fail, over and over again. That’s what humans do.
I don’t give a fuck.
Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!