In my last post, I introduced you to my notion of “mindblocks,” a portmanteau that plays off of the psychological nature of these issues and the term roadblocks. In this post, I will describe to you the attitude that can help you free yourself from your mindblocks and liberate you to create the life that you want most.
I want to begin this post that has such an irreverent and unprintable title by apologizing for it. I’m not one to use profanity frequently and, in many instances, it can certainly distract from the message you’re trying to send or simply sends the wrong message. At the same time, there are times when “Gosh darn it!” or “Drat!” just doesn’t do justice to your emotions. In these cases, some well-placed profanity can best express the intensity of what you are feeling and communicate with prism-like clarity what you’re trying to say.
If you’re uncomfortable with my use of “f&%# it!,” whenever you come across it in this post, mentally replace it with something that is a little less abrasive to your sensibilities. Some people I know prefer to substitute it with “screw it” which carries much of the same meaning, but is, nonetheless, more palatable for those with an aversion to coarse language. Plus, its use is acceptable in most crowds. If “screw it” still offends your moral compass, other options, such as “Who cares,” “Let it go,” or “Whatever,” may work for you.
What you choose to call it is less important than the concept that it represents, namely, the idea that you need to let go of excessive concerns that have forced you to live a life that isn’t your own and that prevents you from pursuing your life with gusto and without apprehension or hesitancy.
What is the “F&%# It!” Attitude?
Let me begin my explanation of what the “f&%#-it!” attitude is by describing what it is not. This attitude doesn’t mean not caring about yourself, other people, your career, or anything else in your life. It doesn’t mean not trying your best or giving up. It by no means suggests that you should surrender in any way to the seeming inevitability of your life. And the “f&%#-it!” attitude definitely doesn’t mean bailing out on life: quitting your job, selling all of your worldly possessions, and moving to a deserted island.
To the contrary, the “f&%#-it!” attitude enables you to engage more deeply in your life. It liberates you to do so because, at the heart of the “f&%#-it!” attitude, is being able to let go of excessive attachment to the consequences of your actions. In other words, it means not caring too much about your successes and failures, your loves and rejections, your emotional highs and lows. The “f&%#-it!” attitude involves being absorbed in the experience of life and being able to accept whatever life presents to you. The “f&%#-it!” attitude reminds me of the Rudyard Kipling poem If…:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!
With the “f&%#-it!” attitude, you give up expectations, both internal and external, self-imposed and outside pressure, and any pre-occupation with “what should be” or “what might happen if.” You are not driven by fear or doubt or any other negative thoughts or emotions that can prevent you from engaging yourself fully and without hesitation in your life. You are able to throw yourself completely and with absolute vigor into everything you do, whether relationships, school, work, sports, whatever, because the only thing that could hold you back—failure!—is no longer an existential threat, but rather one possible outcome that, should it occur, you can live with.
The “f&%#-it!” attitude means that you will embrace every opportunity that life presents to you and, at the end of a day, year, career, or on your death bed, you will have no regrets because you “left it all out there.”
When you embrace the “f&%#-it!” attitude, you experience something that I call “complete freedom” in your life. Complete freedom involves knowing what you don’t want and freeing yourself from those mindblocks that I describe in my previous post that have forced your life along its current unsatisfying and possibly self-destructive path. Complete freedom also means knowing what you want and propelling yourself along a new and fulfilling path toward that which you seek to:
With this complete freedom, you can know that you did everything in your power to live the life that you most wanted and that would bring you your greatest meaning, satisfaction, and happiness.
So, next time you’re in a situation in which you have doubts, experience worry, or feel fear, tell yourself “f&%#-it!” and jump right in.