I’ll get straight to it: It’s mostly about not giving a crap. Before you think, “well that just makes you a complete jerk,” allow me to elaborate.
Passing the time
I started listening to podcasts about six months ago to pass the time in the car. Some of my favs are Anna Faris is Unqualified, My Favorite Murder, Biz Chix, Rich Roll, Stories Podcast (for the kids) and my fav, TED Radio Hour. I had never really listened to TED talks and this podcast gives you snippets of various ones. I found the topics really interesting and insightful, so when fellow contributor (and my biz partner) Myndee shared a TED talk with our group, I knew I wanted to carve out time to watch.
In order to keep this post PG, I’m going to replace the ‘F’ word with crap. The talk is titled “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Crap.” Sarah Knight explains her theory in comparison to the popular Konmari method book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Like decluttering your house, you focus on decluttering your mind. Imagine your mind is like a barn, full of all the things that make you happy and bring you joy. Also imagine all the things that annoy or stress you out are also strewn across the barn. If you could remove those annoying and stressful items, how would that make you feel?
The idea is to create a “crap budget.” Your “craps” translate into your time, energy and money. First, you decide what you don’t give a crap about, then you don’t give a crap about those things. She calls it the Not Sorry Method. For example, you receive your 789547th invitation to a birthday party this Sunday. Yet, on Sundays, you prefer to go to church and have family time. You only have so much time, energy and money to spend on Sundays. Instead of accepting the invite out of guilt, decide which activity brings you more joy and allocate your crap budget accordingly. Respond in a timely manner, with honesty and politeness, and you have nothing to feel sorry about. Simple, but such a lightbulb moment for me.
It’s not an obligation
You may have to attend a mandatory meeting, get the kids to school, and go to work everyday. But you do not have to attend #allthebirthdayparties. You do not have to hang out with people you don’t even like. You do not have to volunteer for every request. If you start visualizing how certain things will make you feel and remove those that don’t bring you joy, you can give less craps to all those things. You’ll realize all those “obligations” were never really obligations at all. It was you feeling guilty about attending and doing everything.
Giving no more craps
Knight explains that decluttering your home feels good, but may only last a couple weeks. Not to say that you should never tidy your house and rid it of clutter – those things are good. But imagine what decluttering your mind would do for you. If you redirect your thinking – stop giving your crap budget to things you don’t give a crap about – that lasts much longer. This approach really was life changing for me. I no longer overload myself or my family with “obligations.” I attend and do only the things I truly want to or am truly obligated to do. No guilt. I will not attend three parties in one day. I’ll pick the one that would bring me or my family the most joy, and I respond quickly and I’m honest about it.
Because I no longer give a crap. In the best way possible.
Well written and something so many of us struggle with.
Good post! Took me a long while to get to this point. Now that I have, I’ve found I have more time to do the things my family and I enjoy. Also, I’m a much happier person to be around!