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Aim to Be Better Than Yesterday

9 Things You Shouldn’t Care About Anymore

We love to worry, don’t we? We love to overthink stuff, to constantly agonize over every single detail when we’re doing something we’ve deemed to be “important” – it’s a perfectly normal part of being human. Especially these days with 2020 starting with fires, floods, wars, and pandemics, many of us are stressed out of our minds. Lots of health organizations warn about coping with stress during the Covid-19 pandemic so we thought it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at what we may want to try and care less about. So, here are 9 things you shouldn’t care about anymore – not just during this crisis but after it as well.

Comparing yourself with others

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As podcaster Clyde Lee Dennis puts it “Comparison is an act of violence committed against one’s self”. And we couldn’t agree more. Comparing yourself with others, whether it’s with their success or with their failures, is the fastest way to chronic unhappiness, stress, and depression. Learning from others, being inspired by others, taking notes from others’ success and failings, those are smart things to do. However, comparing with them as if you’re running a race against them – that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Always looking for happiness

We all strive for happiness – we chase it as if it’s the Holy Grail and everything will be all right when we find it. And while being happy is great, as it’s great to help others be happy, we can’t be happy all the time – not only is it impossible, it’s also incredibly stressful. As actor Brad Pitt puts it “Happiness is overrated. There has to be conflict in life.”

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So, while you should definitely try to bring more good things in your life and in the lives of those around you, taking your focus off of happiness for a bit can also be quite freeing. And if you’re looking for some inspiration, we’d recommend listening to Bo Burnham’s “Are You Happy?” song (7) which concluded his “Make Happy” 2016 Netflix special.

Perfectionism might be useful at times but is it really good for you overall? We’ll ponder that in a bit.

The unnecessary material stuff

We won’t try to tell you to “forget the material realm” or to “take the cloth” as that might be taking it too far. However, there’s an argument to be made that we spend way too much time caring about meaningless material stuff that can be better spent in other ways. As comedian George Carlin pits it, “{It’s] the only true lasting American value that’s left – buying things. Consumption – the new national pastime.” So, while there’s nothing wrong with buying something we need, maybe it’s a good idea to stop caring about always having the newest model smartphone or a pair of shoes in every color.

Being perfect or “Good enough”

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Perfectionism is a nightmare to live with sometimes – both for you and for those around you. Yes, it helps us to do things better, to be more productive, to be more successful, but it’s also a major source of stress. Even just being “Good enough” can be a horrible burden to live with if you’ve set unrealistic expectations for yourself and you’re constantly trying to live up to them.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and you should just toss everything and give up. But it’s important to “pick your battles” and to know when you need to try a bit harder and when you can save yourself some stress.
Are you tired of caring about others’ opinions about you? Should you stop trying to be a people-pleaser? More below.

Always being right

We always try to be, think, say, and do “right” things. And striving for truth is indeed an admirable pursuit. However, it’s also important to realize that we can’t be right all the time and neither can anyone else. It’s human to be wrong. And just as we shouldn’t ridicule people when they make a mistake, we shouldn’t torture ourselves when we’re wrong or even worse – be in deniable about it.

What others think about you

Comparing yourself to others is a mistake but it’s also a mistake to compare with their expectations and opinions. This isn’t to say that what others think about you is irrelevant – people can be a good barometer for certain things and it can be beneficial to be liked. However, always trying to live up to others’ expectations and judgments is a surefire way to chronic low self-esteem and unhappiness. Forgive but never forget” usually has a negative connotation but does it contain some inherent wisdom? We’ll talk about that below.

Things outside of your control

There’s a common movie cliché that a lot of people believe which says that “There’s no such thing as chance!” And while it may be tempting to always look for some hidden meaning, fate & destiny or God’s will, the simple reality is that sometimes it’s just a matter of chance. Or, as David Hume would put it – “Stercus accidit”. It’s important to point that out because most of us spend way too much time stressing over things that are outside of our control. And that’s pointless by definition.

Holding grudges

Forgiveness is a powerful skill but it’s also hard to master. Nevertheless, learning how to let go of your anger and judgment both toward others and toward yourself is crucial for a healthy state of well-being. Caring about who’s done what to you in the past is a big load to carry, especially if you’re doing it for a long time. This doesn’t mean you should forget past transgressions toward you and not keep them in mind, but forgiving while not forgetting is usually the best way to go about things.

Shallow short-term trends

Living by and caring about all the different trends around us can be a very hard and stressful way to live your life. Whether it’s fashion trends, technology trends, or behavioral trends, it’s almost always a mistake to waste your time and mental energy following trends that are almost always as short-lived as they are arbitrary. If we’re talking about certain business or financial trends that are important for your job or investments – sure. But otherwise, it’s usually best to let those worries go.

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