As this year comes to a close, the sci-fi horror story complete with a failing economy and killer pandemic is only getting worse. The pressures to do something, to be somebody have only multiplied. Never has it been such a great time to give a fuck less. Enter: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is not your normal self-help book, and it is not for the faint of heart. This book doesn’t coddle you into feeling better or amp you up into believing you can do anything. Instead, it tells you how life is and suggests that you just deal with it. This is something we need to hear right now as Americans. As people, we dress in fancy clothes or use “good English” to set ourselves apart. In our Sunday’s best working hard at our jobs, we simply pray someone, anyone, gives a fuck about us and our faux-pretentious hard work. What if they don’t? Do we give up or do we change gears?
No matter how perfect you try to be or how nice you are to everyone, you can’t please every single person. Have you ever noticed that one insult outweighs a dozen compliments? Celebrities are praised daily on social media, but it takes just one off-color comment to set them off. Just like you, they are only human. Also like you, they shouldn’t give a fuck about what a troll says on the internet, but it’s human nature to want to impress and do better. Yet giving others domain over your happiness doesn’t end well.
COVID may have you scared in the house, and rightfully so. Caskets of the deadly infected are dropping every day while the infection and hospitalization rates climb. This is terrible, and it is fine to feel afraid, but you can’t let this pandemic hold you back from self growth. Use this time to mediate, think and plan. Don’t let other people’s expectations hold you back. Equally, you can’t let those expectations force you to act more quickly than you plan to. Doing so puts you under unfair pressure.
I have always been a believer that in order to achieve goals, I must write them out and go for them. I have never been the type to weigh the consequences. As Mark Manson put it in Not Giving a Fuck, life is a series of problems and when you decide what success you want, you also have to decide what pain you want. That means that everything comes with a certain stock of pain. As science puts it, for every action there is an equally adverse reaction. Simply put, take the good with the bad. Or as Troy Maxon in Fences would say, take the crookeds with the straights.
Success is not easy. You will lose a lot to gain what you want. It is called sacrifice. This is why ninety percent of us fail. Because we lack the fortitude to keep on in the face of adversity. The pandemic and economy may scare you. Failure may scare you. But what is failure? Do we fail by society’s standards or our own? That choice is up to you.
*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, nonfiction, local news stories and national news stories. For self-publishers, authors and other writers and creatives, Jermaine provides proofreading on Fivver. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get my recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.