The secret of happiness

In the last years something has changed in my way of seeing life. With this new insight I feel less stressed, I enjoy social interactions more and I am more honest with myself and others. The change is so noticeable in my everyday life that I claim I have discovered the secret of happiness: To not give a shit.

I am not talking here about the cynical version of it: There are a lot of problems in this world but I’m fine because I do not give a shit. I am talking about the zen version of it. I give some examples.

When having a conversation, I used to be stressed about what I would say because I was worried of being judged. This was not only about offending the other person, it was also about being judged for my way of thinking. Sometimes I was stressed after the conversation, I would find myself thinking “may be I should not have said that. Probably now they think I am an idiot/asshole/ignorant/…”.

When I was at someone else’s for dinner, there was always stress . I used to feel compelled to say no if someone was offering more food even when the thing was delicious and I was dying to have more. I was stressed about how fast I would drink and how much bread I would take. I was overall stressed about behaving as “I was supposed to behave”. Now that I am a no-shit-giver I have even realized that the “supposed to behave” thing does not make any sense.

I used to be stressed about saying I don’t know, specially if it was about something related to my field of study.

There are also implications at a more personal level. I feel less frustrated with unachieved goals and less guilty about everything. I accept myself as I am because I do not give a shit who I am, so I have been able to not judge myself so much.

Now, often when I preach my new doctrine my interlocutor confuses a no-shit-giver with an asshole. They are not the same. I am not saying that one should be rude and cynical. For instance in the dinner example I do not intend to say that one should drink all the wine and eat all the bread. I am saying the one should not be stressed about it.

Now that I have mentioned assholes. This new doctrine has also helped me to not be bothered by them. I will exemplify this with something that happened to me not long ago. This is a very good example because it also shows clearly the difference between a respectable no-shit-giver and an asshole.The story involves two friends of mine. Out of politeness, and may be contradicting my no-shit-giveness, I will refer to them as Pepe and María instead of their real names. Pepe was about to leave the city and sent me a text to invite me to this brunch he was going with some other people. When I arrived to the metro that is just next to the brunch place I saw María. I said hello to her and she asked me what I was doing there. I told her I am coming to a brunch Pepe invited me to. What about you?. She answered: I am going to the same brunch, but I do not know why Pepe invited you, I told him this was a petit commité thing. After she said this, I noticed that I was not feeling bad about it. I did not feel guilty or out of place. I was just fine. Some years ago this would have made me feel uncomfortable and probably I would not have enjoyed the brunch. In this story I am the respectable no-shit-giver, María is the asshole and her attempt to make me feel guilty failed thanks to my new doctrine.

In summary, adopting the I don’t give a shit doctrine will dramatically decrease the stress in your life. A no-shit giver is not necessarily an asshole but can turn into one if he/she takes the doctrine too seriously (in other words, one should not give a shit about not giving a shit). I hope the reader find this thoughts interesting, and if not guess what …

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