Earlier this year, I was really affected by something I cared about. Let’s call this issue “X”.
I poured in a lot of effort into X. Emotional, physical, psychological.
Then I realized one day that X isn’t going to work out, in spite of the disproportionate amount of effort and energy I’d put in.
I was upset.
I was really happy about the X process though– I felt that as a person I’d grown a lot from it. It’s just that the end result of X is not viewed by certain groups of people as the conventional best. Not even a “good”.
Then I asked myself why.
I also asked myself, “How can I not give a damn about the negative components of X? I’m really upset. It really hurts.”
I think I found the answer today–the only way not to give a damn about the negative aspects of things is when you understand what you really want to do in life. This motivation is innate. Once you understand this inner motivation, your personal vision would become clearer, and honestly people’s opinions won’t be a priority anymore. Positive opinions of you and your actions become a bonus–not a requirement. Negative opinions of your actions and you are irrelevant.
Notice I said “opinions”, and not “constructive feedback”. Of course we should always welcome constructive feedback–our competencies get better with these! My point is that once you understand your vision well, the concept of “being liked” becomes secondary, or even something that is not a consideration.
When I once cared about X, it’s not even mainly because of my inner motivation. It’s because I was caught up in this crazy circle of competition. I wanted to stand out, to be the best, to compete. So I was lost in this psychological vicious circle of competition–and consequently lost sight of what is truly important to myself in life.
The question then is, how do you find out about your inner motivation? The answer is really simple–experiment and be random. Do a full range of things, find out what makes you happy and at ease, and what you are competent at. Then stick to it and do them well for a long period of time, until you gain even more competency. That will be your niche.
So anyway, this is a vague post (as usual), but here’s the answer to the title:
How not to give a damn–Be crystal clear of what is inside, and your vision for the future.