Thomas Fiffer doesn’t care if you don’t like this list.
Mark Manson’s life-changing article, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is still rocketing its way through the Internet, giving people around the world pause as they obsess over mindless crap that doesn’t matter. It even influenced our own Michael Kasdan to write “The Singular Wisdom of Both Not Giving a F*ck and Totally Giving a F*ck (At The Same Time)” In the spirit of liberating everyone from stress and helping you conserve those valuable f*cks so you can give them where they matter, I’ve come up with my top 10 list of things to stop caring about in 2015, listed from 10 to 1 in Letterman order.
10. Intractable problems that you alone have no hope of solving. Caring about these only reminds of you of your own powerlessness. If you want to make a difference, focus your energy on making that difference where you can, not where you wish you could.
9. What other people wear. Yoga pants. Speedos. Sloppy outfits. Shoes that don’t match the bag. White pants in winter. Fur in summer. Fur period. The same outfit someone else is wearing. One morning you’ll wake up and find yourself in the grocery store in your unicorn pajama pants—so stop caring about other people’s clothing and please, please, stop judging.
8. Traffic. You’re more likely to die of a heart attack brought on by stressing out about traffic than you are in a car accident or from being late to wherever it is you’re trying to go. Calm the f*ck down. The driver in front of you is neither a maniac nor an idiot. He or she is someone just like you trying to get from point a to point b in one piece. Lower your speed. Lower your blood pressure. And lower your expectations for making your 40-minute commute in 25 minutes—unless you ordered “The World’s First Personal JetPack” from Hammacher Schlemmer.
7. Sexual orientation and gender. Honestly. Whatever someone else is in these areas doesn’t threaten you or impact you whatsoever, nor does it threaten the institution of marriage or the sanctity of binary bathrooms. Just leave it alone. Truth is, all the brave souls who have broken these barriers have done you a huge favor. They’ve opened up more acceptable options for you, your kids, and anyone boxed in by the old limitations. You’re still free to be yourself … and now everyone else is, too.
6. Other people’s mistakes, stupidity, and ignorance—unless it harms you directly. Other people screw up all the time. And it’s a good thing you’re there to notice it, make fun of them, and if you’re present in person, make them feel worse about it. Stop. Give yourself a break from all that self-righteousness. It’s not good for your soul—or your karma. When you’re on the other side of it, all you want is to be forgiven, all you want is a smidgeon of grace. So can you give that to your fellow humans, please?
5. Other people’s money. The only time you should care about other people’s money is if you’re leveraging it to make your own money, and even then it’s not how much someone has but how much they’re willing to lend you. Face it. No matter how rich you are, unless you’re Bill Gates or Carlos Slim (depending on the day and the value of their portfolios), there’s someone out there richer than you are. How much money others have and what they do or don’t do with it is their choice and none of your concern. Stop comparing yourself, and stop confusing your net worth with your self-worth. The value you contribute to the world and the legacy you leave will not be measured in monetary terms. It will be in the countless invaluable ways you touch other people’s lives.
4. National politics. Abandon hope all ye who enter here. Don’t stop voting or give up on our political system. But don’t get caught up in the national game of gotcha or the legislative malaise we call Congress. Make a difference on the local level. It’s the only place anything gets done.
3. Winning arguments. When is the last time that winning an argument ever brought you or the person who lost closer together, or actually improved either of your lives? Life is not a debate tournament, and we all benefit from the room for nuance and a multiplicity of opinions. And who’s to say you’re right, anyway? If you want to win something, try winning a kindness contest, or someone’s respect or loyalty. And use all that time you spend defending your opinions to do the things you convince everyone you never have time for.
2. Not having mind-blowing sex. What? Has this writer lost it? How can I stop caring about having mind-blowing sex?Hear me out. Sex is in the mind. And if you worry too much about making it mind-blowing, guess what? It won’t be. This is one of those things you just have to let happen and be grateful when it does. Sure, there are techniques to augment pleasure. But to enter the zone, you have to let go—not of your focus or presence in the moment—but of your anxiety about the outcome.
1. People who care too much. To be passionate is to be human. Let the world-changers—whether they’re making wind power practical or just tilting at windmills—do their thing. Don’t get down on people because they’re all-out committed to a cause and you’re apathetic. Your cynicism and snark aren’t helpful. Margaret Mead was right when she wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” You can choose to be part of that group—or not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is respecting other people’s choices.