Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!
I want you to participate in an exercise with me. How many times today, or yesterday, did you find yourself upset, frustrated, concerned, or worried about something. Write it down. Now, make another list of things that you prioritize in your life. Be specific. Don't just write down kids - write down what prioritize for your kids (EX: food, health, happiness, etc). How many things from your first list lined up with your second list? If you're like me, almost nothing lined up. We spend our energy worrying about things that we ourselves admitted to not having as a priority. Why is that?
There are several cliché's that I mention in my articles because cliché sayings actually hold a lot of truth to them; you might even consider them prophecies.
"Ignorance is bliss." We've all heard that one. The older I get the more I see the appeal in that mindset. But what about a new cliché - "Not caring is bliss." Instead of not knowing what's going on (or pretending not to know), what if we all choose to not care if it doesn't align with our priorities and principles?
If you go back to the first list you made and if you were genuinely concerned about something like homelessness in your community, that is definitely a priority in your life that I think you should continue to pursue. But if you wrote down that you were frustrated because a blue Jeep cut you off on the freeway then I would encourage you to not give a rat's a$$. I was listening to a podcast the other day that was addressing road rage and that it occurs because we feel like our life is on the line. I think there is certainly truth to that but I also think we get road rage because it's one of few times we are actually in control and someone disrupts our control. We are in control of our vehicle, where we are going, what speed we're going, and which song we are blaring through the speakers. It's not until something or someone inconveniences us that we start to get irritated.
Take another look at your lists. In the first list you made, were any of the things you go frustrated with things you could 100% control? If we can't control it and frankly have no right controlling it, then why do we give a rat's a$$ what the outcome is? And when the outcome does have an effect on me, was it really a big enough effect or was I just inconvenienced for a couple of minutes? Again, I am not talking about serious issues that are certainly happening in this world. I am talking about the amount of frustration we are walking around with about things that don't really matter.
A few months ago I read an incredible book that I recommend to everyone - "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*cK" by Mark Manson. I go back and visit the book often and even find my husband reading it from time to time.
One of the many useful tools and practices from the book is being honest with yourself about how many things you list as a priority. I want you to revisit your second list again and dwindle down what you've got. You can probably combine some priorities and honestly, you can probably remove some, too. We only have the capacity to care 100% about a handful of things so let's make sure it is the best and most accurate handful we can create. Once you can sift through what is of the utmost importance to you and then once you can let go of everything else that is not even in your control, I think you will feel more complete and fulfilled than if you tried to tackle every single thing that came at you. A way that I am trying to hold myself accountable is rather fun, and people around me probably have questions. When I start feeling frustrated and angry about nothing, I just blurt out - "Oh, who gives a rat's a$$?" in my most southern accent. That always makes me giggle and then I just move on with my day. It's hard not to give a rat's a$$, flying f**k, hot damn, or whatever your preference of profanity is. But once you start, or stop rather, it is freeing.