The Unlimited Power Of Not Caring You Need to Know

This Week’s BIG Idea

I’ve often wondered what not caring looks like in practice and I just got an answer. In a recent video, Mark Manson described a framework he called the Five Levels of Not Giving a Fuck. As a way of trying something new, I wanted to share my summary of his video. I keep notes like this in Notion and if these summaries are useful to people, I’m willing to share them often via the newsletter.

People are anxious and imprisoned, but this is self-inflicted. They were taught to care too much about everything. The solution to the problem is to care about fewer things.

Manson describes the five levels of not giving a fuck:

  • Level 1: Embarrassment – The Spotlight Effect is a psychological concept where people assume that others pay attention to them while, in fact, they don’t. To get rid of the Spotlight Effect, you must challenge it by putting yourself out there and doing something embarrassing. Only then you’ll see that nobody cares. The thing people are most worried about (other than death) is public humiliation. This is evolutionary conditioning, but thankfully, you can overcome it with practice and by seeing that even if you make mistakes, nobody cares.
  • Level 2: Rejection – Our self-esteem and romantic lives are interconnected. Hanging out with people often and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is a great way to solve this. The quickest and most effective way to overcome this is by getting rejected romantically over and over again.
  • Level 3: Criticism – When you socialize, you do one of two things: you either perform or you’re authentic. When you care too much, you perform by trying to say or do things so that people like you. This is stressful and it prevents you from having healthy relationships. When you don’t care, you only have to focus on being yourself. Getting rejected for performing hurts, but getting rejected for being authentic doesn’t matter as much. Also, people choose you but never forget that you choose them as well. In other words, you can decide if you like the person you’re dating or not.
  • Level 4: Failure – The moment you don’t care what others think about you, you gain the freedom to fail. The moment this happens, an entire world of possibilities opens up for you. To get good at something, you first have to first have to be very bad at something. We were all raised goal-oriented rather than process-oriented. Life doesn’t work this way. Life rewards being bad at something. You have to be willing to be bad at something just because it gives you joy.
  • Level 5: Zero Fucks – This is when you’ve gained ultimate freedom. This is when you overcome your own doubts and insecurities to the point that you can help others do the same.

When you feel like there are invisible roadblocks preventing you from doing what you’ve always wanted, remember you’ll die one day. Nobody cares what you do with your life, so go ahead and do it.

What I’m Working on

I recently reread Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and I made some improvements to my summary of the book. Finding new books that are worth summarizing is incredibly difficult. Therefore, I think rereading books and improving some of the summaries I already have on the site is a good use of my time. This also helps me review some of the concepts from some of my favorite non-fiction books. As I said in the introduction to this article, I was interested in practice examples of not caring and The Subtle Art was a great reminder of that.

What I’m Listening to

I’m only subscribed to two YouTube channels: Ali Abdaal and Mark Manson. Well, I just recently found out that Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel is also available in audio form. Since I’m always rewatching his videos, I thought this podcast version was a great way to review some of the ideas and frameworks during my commute.

What I’m Reading

Everything Is Fucked by Mark Manson: I thought I had written a summary of this book for the site, but I didn’t. Since I recently bought a copy of this book on Kindle I thought this was the perfect opportunity to reread The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and start working on a summary of Everything Is Fucked.

What I’m Watching

Half-Life: 25th Anniversary Documentary: there’s something irresistible about documentaries and I had to watch this one. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Half-Life, Seattle-based developer Valve released an hour-long documentary of the game. In the film, you can watch a series of interviews with some of the people behind the game. The documentary eloquently articulates how these people went from nothing to developing one of the most influential video games of all time. By the way, the film Danny O’Dwyer and his crew made the film. For those unfamiliar, they’re the people behind NoClip, one of the best YouTube channels out there.

This Week’s Quote

“Late is just for a little while. Suck is forever”

Gabe Newell

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