I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck!. My version would probably called "The Subtle Art of Not Fitting In." They may sound different but they aren’t. I often did not fit in because I did not buy into all those ridiculous unwritten rules about “how one should wear this, not that”, “think this, not that”... you get the picture.
I grew up during the era of “Girls can’t do that!” or “You can’t do that, you’re a girl!” and “Well, it’s different for girls” Believe you me, I did not take this lying down (I know this is not correct grammar - don’t worry I followed the rules that DID matter while growing up and I still stick to that practice in my adult life). I HATE double standards and I HATE being told what I can and cannot do. I also HATE that so many women are taught to tone down their brilliance. The world is a better place when everyone can contribute at their full capacity and can express themselves at their full ambition level. Thank you, Mark Manson. He explains so brilliantly how we tend to follow societal rules without even thinking about it.
My friend, Lisabel, recommended I read this book because we are working on a project together. She is a very successful artist in Montreal and we are collaborating to write her story. During a recent conversation Lisabel tells me “Celine, you have to read this book. It basically describes my philosophy on life.” Being a writer, I do my research. I had come across the book before but my pile of books to read is high and I am trying to be selective about what I add to it. I must admit that I am very happy that Lisabel asked me to read this one.
Turns out, I have also had this philosophy most of my life. Unfortunately, sometimes our resistance to social influence takes a backseat as we get exhausted by the constant fighting. And, when you spend a lifetime being told you are wrong - you start questioning yourself, and even when you still believe you are right - you just start following the crowd because it just is easier. Easier until one day you wake up and realize “This is not me! I am not happy following the masses." I feel like a fraud when I simply follow the sometimes ridiculous, unwritten rules around anything and everything. Not to mention that they seem to multiply like baby bunnies. Let's make it STOP!!!
I spent the majority of my life as an outcast and to be honest, that is where I am most comfortable. That is the honest me. I am not a rebel and I am not trying to hurt anyone, I am not protesting against any particular entity. I am an outcast simply because I choose to live the life that feels right for me. My views are rarely the popular view. I don’t buy into all the media and crazy stories about this one and that one. I try to focus on the things that are important to and for me and my family.
I leave the rat race to those who enjoy it… or feel like that is what they must do. I do not believe in competing against one another. I think we could benefit more from working together. The biggest empires have proven this fact. Large companies only exist when people collaborate together. Ray Dalio talks about this in his book, Principals. We might elaborate on this subject some other time.
In the end, reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck! has driven home the importance of being one’s self. We often lose ourselves in trying to fit in. In doing so, we sometimes forget what is important in the end. The core message in this book is that we should always remember the important things in our lives, not worry about the things that do not truly affect us as a person, and just be the best that we can be while being honest with ourselves and everyone around us.
I would love to read your comments, so please share your thoughts below.
If you would like to learn how to refocus your energy towards the important things in life, join Pam Hamilton and W.T. Hamilton, authors of Your Invincible Power, and myself for a day long workshop on How to Say Goodbye to the Drama. May 11, 2019 in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.