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I’ve often said when I turned 40 my ‘I don’t give a sh** meter went way up. It wasn’t a cognitive thing. It required no effort. Something just organically happened. I’m not sure what, but it did.
Now I’m 47 and I realize I might have had it wrong. I didn’t increase my list of things I don’t care about. I just became more acutely aware of the things I do care about. It’s funny. When you focus intently on that which matters the things you don’t just sort of naturally organize themselves without any effort on our part.
For example, I once worried intently about being seen as a really nice guy. My stepmother had once told me, “People wonder why your brothers and sisters don’t hate you.”
This stung and stayed with me well into my adult life. I used to obsess over it. I think I had this mindset that if everyone thought my siblings should hate me then they must hate me as well. Yikes! To make up for this I needed to be liked. I needed everyone to know I wasn’t the awful person my stepmother led me to believe I was. I needed people to know I was really kind and nice. As a result I would somewhat ‘perform’ for others. I no longer do this.
I don’t worry about that anymore. Instead I focus on those I know love me and work on loving them back, which is no work at all. I focus my attention on being a good and decent person not because I need to be liked and prove my stepmother wrong but because I just genuinely want to be a good person and example.
A lot of people say they don’t care what others think. I’ve found most people who say this actually care deeply what most people think. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have to make such an announcement. They wouldn’t care if you knew or didn’t know they don’t care what people think. You know?
Here is a list of 10 things I’ve determined I won’t do any longer. We always hear of goals and metrics outlining those things we must do, have to do, gonna do. We’re gonna do em every day, every week, we’re gonna do do do all the live long day.
I’ve written before on the power of a ‘not to do list.’ Here’s another take on the concept. Have a list of things you are determined you will focus on so you no longer do the things that simply aren’t adding value to your life.