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Sometimes, life just sucks and we cannot run away from it. Nevertheless, the healthiest thing you can do is to admit it. We need to learn how to let go in order to enjoy life more. The key to living a good life is not having more, but rather focus only on the things that align with your personal values. In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson writes about his philosophies and take on life. A practical guidebook for lost souls like us who need a reality check of what is important in life.
1. Priorities are important but let your mind focus on the things that matter
In a day and age where so many things are coming out every single day – technology, fashion, sports equipment – often we cannot control the urge that “shiny new thing” because, well, it’s shiny and it’s new. It is about having a minimalist mindset because the secret to genius is not complexity, it’s simplicity. When you suddenly create time then you can focus on the stuff that really matters.
2. Happiness comes from solving problems
Problems are a constant in life. They never stop; they merely get exchanged/upgraded. To be happy, we need something to solve. If you are avoiding your problems or feel like you do not have any problems, then you are going to make yourself miserable. If you feel like you have problems that you cannot solve, you will likewise make yourself miserable.
The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place. Thus, happiness is a constant work in progress since solving problems is a constant work-in-progress – the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.
3. Choose your struggle and the value of suffering
We often are attracted to results but not the process. What determines your success is not “what do you want to enjoy?” The relevant question is “what pain do you want to sustain?” For example, most people want to make a lot of money in the corner office of a high-rise building, but not many people want to suffer through sixty-hour workweeks and tiring long commutes. People want a partner, a spouse.
However, you do not just end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with rejections and heartbreaks. It is all part of the love game. You can’t win if you don’t play. Only choose to have values you can control. Values you do not control are bad as they will be a constant source of unnecessary suffering in your life.
4. With great responsibility comes great power
The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise in our lives. Accepting responsibility for our problems is thus the first step to solving them. Many people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems because they believe that to responsible for your problems is to be at fault for your problems. Responsibility and fault often appear together in our culture. But they are not the same thing. The fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Faults results from choices that have already been made.
Responsibility results from the choices you are currently making every day. We are responsible for experiences that are not our fault all the time. This is life. That is why there is a difference between blaming someone else for your situation and that person actually being responsible for it. You always get to choose how you see things, how you react to things, how you value things. You always get to choose the metric by which to measure your experiences.
5. Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow
Most of us commit to action only if we feel a certain level of motivation. And we feel motivation only when we feel enough emotional inspiration. The action is not just the effect of motivation; it is also the cause of it. If we follow the “do something” principle, failure feels unimportant. The “something” can be the smallest viable action toward something else. It can be anything. When the standard of success becomes merely acting – when any result is regarded as progress and important – we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail and that failure moves us forward.
Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat!