10 Things to Stop Caring About
The world loves to tell us what we should care about - usually as some sort of marketing ploy, other times just to promote someone's agenda. It's far too easy to get wrapped up in these sorts of things because everyone else is - it's a herd mentality. If everyone is telling me that I should care about it... well, maybe I should!
There are certainly a large number of things worth your time and attention. Some however, just aren't worth it.
1. Other people's opinions of your work
As with all things, there are exceptions. If you're producing a product, your customer's opinion matters. That sort of thing is understandable. Primarily, what I'm referring to is the way in which you live your life. The decisions you make will always offend, upset or disagree with someone. Your job is to know why you make the decisions that you do. Two exceptions to the rule when it comes to making life choices: your family and your mentors. Your family is part of your identity - they love and care about you and your choices and whether you like it or not, your choices have a significant impact on them.
I believe that everyone should have a select handful of people who's opinions matter and hold significant weight in the choices you make. These people are your mentors. The choice is, of course, yours but sometimes it is advantageous and wise to get council from those who are older, more experienced and wiser than yourself.
2. What you haven't done with your life
It's easy and often addicting to dwell on what you haven't done with your life. But looking back and wallowing in self-pity is an easy way to continue avoiding what you desperately need to do. At some point, you must root your focus in the present and make up for lost time. Start doing all of the things that you wish you would have five or ten years ago. Make it a game to see how much you can accomplish in just the next year of your life. Begin doing!
3. When you will get married
Not only is it easy to care about when you'll get married, it's exciting! This is a pretty big step in your life so it's easy to justify spending time worrying about it. But here's the catch - marriage isn't something you can put on your calendar 3 years from now. Finding the right person is a process that sometimes plays out over several iterations. The only thing you should be caring about is the person you are with - if that person is right for you, marry them. But stop freaking out if you're moving through your twenties and you haven't found Mr. Right yet. Give today your due diligence and understand that your life is worth living right now.
4. What is going to happen on the next episode of ____
I get it - television has some highly addicting shows and it feels so good to speculate with your friends about what's coming up next. But you've got real life to live so keep it short and don't get your panties in a wad when it doesn't turn out the way you want it to. It amazes me how much time people spend discussing a fictional reality.
5. People using you
People are going to use you in life. It's pretty much inevitable. You can't really control whether or not you get used, but you can control your response to it. I love the perspective of the Roman emperor and brilliant mind behind "Meditations," Marcus Aurelius, when he says,
6. Missed Opportunity
Opportunities come often and though it may be a disappointment if you missed out on one, another will come along. Maybe it was for the better. Intently focusing on a few things proves far more rewarding and effective than spreading yourself thin. Sometimes this means you have to let an opportunity slip by because your attention queue is full.
A lot of times, when it comes to making decisions on opportunities, if it's not a clear 'yes' it's a clear 'no'.
7. Other people's fame, fortune or fun
Comparison ruins your ability to create a life for yourself that is uniquely yours because you are constantly dwelling upon another's life which you have placed on a pedestal. Mark Twain, once remarked that “Comparison is the death of joy.”
We are given one life in which to find the fulfilling balance between what we love and helping others and to do it to our fullest potential. Because you have a catalog of experiences, relationships, beliefs and skills that are so individually yours, your life is utterly unlike anyone else's. So admire and applaud the success of others but create your own with the life that you have.
8. Your social following
I'm so guilty of this one. And you know what's funny? Every time I stop paying attention to my follower count, I check it out later only to realize that I had been gaining a tremendous amount of followers over my usual pace. Key Takeaway: Stop worrying, start giving.
Your social following - whether 10 or 10,000 - consists of people who are purposefully plugged in to what you have to say. That is an incredible platform that a majority of people didn't have access to just fifty years ago. So stop worrying about the quantity of followers and start worrying about the quality of content you're feeding them each day.
9. Keeping your Snapchat Story full
Seriously? 'nuff said. And this goes for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Meerkat or whatever other social platform is vying for your undivided time and attention.
10. The latest and greatest
Buying the latest and greatest is a perpetual game which you will always lose. In ten months, there will be a replacement for your precious little gadget and the retailers will be laughing behind their registers watching you shell out the Benjamins for a few minor design tweaks or a new function you'll never use. Rarely will last year's model not sufficiently meet your needs.
Those who must have the newest toy on the market have what Zack Arias likes to call GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). The problem with GAS isn't the new toys - those are great - it's that the buyers many times believe that this new piece of technology will change their life. It's a glorified distraction, basically. Rather than hone your craft, you convince yourself that if you only had ______ you could finally ______. In reality, those who have mastered their craft can use last year's gear and still crank out gold.
Though I may not have the answers concerning what you SHOULD care about - that depends on your lifestyle - these are a few things that I'm confident you could let go of