We’re all supposed to give a fuck. About a lot. Fashion, sports, your career, the car you drive, your family, the food you eat, your carbon footprint, how many reads your Medium post got. The list is endless and overwhelming. And you’re expected to give a fuck about it all.
Individually, any of these things might truly be important to you. The problem is that you only have so many fucks to give. Each time you choose to apply valuable time and mental resources to something, the fewer resources you have left to apply to everything else. Ultimately, the more you decide to care about, the less you can care about any one thing.
Happiness, great work, satisfaction; it all comes from focus, not distraction. If you commit to nothing, you’ll be distracted by everything.
It’s time to let go.
Let go of the pressure to care about everything. Embrace the simplicity and joy of focus. Make some choices and commit.
You are more likely to find success and satisfaction when you focus your energies on the few things that truly matter to you. Steve Jobs got it.
Ok, great. I’m in. But how do I do that?
The easiest way is to get super explicit about the fucks you are willing to give. Sit down, get some paper and start your “Fucks Given List.” It’s simple. It’s binary.
Step 1: On your paper, create two columns. Label column one THINGS. Label column two FUCKS GIVEN.
Step 2: Populate your Things column with anything and everything you might consider giving a fuck about. You can start broad: clothes, hair, cars, sports, your kids, your job, friends, the environment. Or get granular: your friend Steve, your morning coffee, The Walking Dead.
Step 3: Now the fun part. Time to make some decisions. For each item in the Things column put a 1 or 0 in the Fucks Given column. This is the number of fucks you are giving. A zero means you don’t give a fuck. (Right now. Maybe at some other time you will, but not now.) Be ruthless in step 3. And do it just for you. The 1's should speak to the core of who you are in that moment.
I’m not going to give you a prescribed number of 1's to give. But remember, the point is to focus. So hone in on only the most important things to you.
You now have your roadmap to focus.
Lastly — revisit your Fucks Given List as often as you’d like. Feeling pressure to go out to the bar? Throw it on the list and make your decision. Do I really give a fuck about going out tonight? If you do, give it a 1 and go. If you don’t, don’t. Be true to yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it. And if going means something else has to come off your list so be it. Only you can be the judge of how many fucks you have to give.