Are you finding yourself stressed out more often? Are you feeling burned out after years into this never-ending pandemic? Well, you’ll be interested in knowing the source of all stress in life is giving a giant crap. The less you can give a crap about things, the less stressed you will be and vice versa!
Let’s talk about how we can better minimize guilt and stress so we can live happier. At the end of the day, we all want to do more of what we want and be beholden to anybody.
Giving A Crap Causes A Lot Of Stress
The reason why I got my first speeding ticket going 35 mph in a 25 mph zone was not due to racial profiling, car profiling, or any other type of profiling one likes to conjure up when one gets caught.
I got snagged because I was in a hurry to be on time for my doubles tennis match at 6:30pm. I absolutely hate making others wait for me. It’s disrespectful.
If I didn’t care about being 10 minutes late, I wouldn’t have gone 10 miles over the speed limit. I would have taken my sweet sugar time. Maybe I would have pulled over to take some pictures of people’s flower gardens as every other car whizzed by me going at least 35 mph.
I’m not bitter, no sir, no ma’am. I mean, of course I was speeding even though it’s impossible to move faster than a pregnant turtle during rush hour traffic in San Francisco.
I’ve accepted the fact that because I gave a crap about people’s time, I broke the law.
Giving A Crap Is A Reason For All Your Stress And Misery
The people who constantly give a crap also feel the most guilt. They are likely some of the most stressed out people you’ll ever meet.
They might be wonderful human beings, but gosh darnit, they’ll make you stressed out just being with them!
A certain amount of stress is good because it helps motivate you to do good work. If you absolutely didn’t give a crap, you probably wouldn’t bother studying in school, finishing your term papers, coming into work on time, and worrying how some totally idiotic co-worker gets paid more than you!
Let’s highlight some common examples in life where giving a crap jacks you up!
Why You’re Stressed Out At Work
Most people must work for a living. Sad truth. I know. Most people also want money, fancy titles, and recognition for their work. As a result, people regularly bust their asses coming in early, leaving late, and sucking up to their bosses. Working long hours hurts your social life. Sucking up to your boss who ends up not promoting you will destroy your ego. But, let’s say you didn’t give a crap at work.
Boss: Hi Johnny, can you finish your competitive analysis presentation and send me a draft by the end of the week?
You: Hi Jill, nah, I can’t. I’ve got to go to Vegas with the boys for a bachelor party, baby! I’m calling in sick on a Friday so I can get an extra day of fun. Gotta go early to prep, you know what I’m saying?
Boss: OK Johnny, stay safe, and wear protection you ungrateful bastard!
Jill is baffled by Johnny’s defiance. Johnny is definitely not getting a promotion or a raise come year end. But Johnny doesn’t give a crap! He’s going to have the time of his life that weekend. Besides, he’s got help from his parents. Work to live right?
Why Your Friends Are Stressing You Out
Do you know we change friends every seven years? It’s the same cadence with homeownership, strange enough! Our friends come and go, but we last forever, until we die!
Lucy: Hi Patricia, can you do me a big favor and watch my French Bulldog and five year old son this weekend? Jimmy and I haven’t gone on a vacation in years! If we don’t go, I fear our marriage is going to fall apart. We’re too stressed out!
Patricia: I’d love to Lucy! But, I’ve got yoga classes in the morning and massages in the afternoon. I’m sure you understand.
Lucy is obviously disappointed by Patricia’s lack of wanting to be the pooper scooper for two living beings. Patricia clearly doesn’t give a crap about Lucy and Jimmy’s marriage or friendship. Patricia is still trying to find a man of her own, so why the hell would she want to give up a valuable man-hunting weekend to take care of Lucy’s joy? Hell no!
Why Your Family Is Causing You Stress
The larger the family, the larger the chaos! Let’s talk about one important duty every child should face: taking care of their parents when they can no longer take care of themselves.
Dad: Dear daughter, I love you very much. When I can no longer walk on my own, can you live closer to me and help me out? I’d love to see you more as well.
Janet: Hi Dad, I love you too! But I just hate living in Florida. It’s too hot and muggy for eight months of the year. I’ve got a career to develop you know? Besides, I’ve got all I can handle with my own family right now. Have Peter (brother) relocate to be closer to you. You guys always got a long better anyway.
Despite the father raising Janet for 18 years and paying for her private undergrad and graduate school tuition, Janet doesn’t give a crap! She’s got enough problems of her own, and her father is not a priority concern. By not believing she should help out her parents, Janet lives a less stressful life.
Why The Poor Stress You Out
Even in a nation as rich as ours, there are hundreds of thousands of homeless people who beg and sleep on the streets every day.
Homeless person on the sidewalk: Hi Mr! Can you spare some change?
Busy professional walking to Chipotle for lunch: No acknowledgement. Eye contact avoided. Headset rocking to the latest tune.
How many of us have experienced this situation? How many of us don’t give a crap enough to spare a quarter to help someone in need gather $1 to buy a McDonald’s cheeseburger? We ignore the suffering all around us in order to make ourselves feel better.
Giving A Crap About Equality
The majority will always win in a fight and in legislation. If you are a minority, you are screwed. So long as you are benefitting, you don’t give a crap about how other people are being affected.
Working class citizen: It would be nice to get at least a 5% raise to help save some money for my daughter’s education after years of wage freezes.
CEO of PG&E utility company: No raise for you electrical worker. Do your job, STFU, and like it.
Despite a San Bruno gas blast killing eight innocent people in 2010, the CEO still earned an estimated $7.34 million that year. If the CEO gave a crap, he’d take no bonuses beyond his base salary, or use his $7.34 million and give it all to the victims of the blast.
Oh, and what’s more, the CEO got a $35 million retirement package at the age of 58. Do you think he’s using any of those millions to compensate the families of the victims? Doubtful. By not giving a crap, the CEO can live out his retirement in peace.
Giving A Crap About Your Business
The online media business is interesting because you invite an unlimited amount of people to comment and criticize your work, even if they don’t offer a better solution, or don’t bother to try themselves. It’s tiring and soul crushing sometimes. But don’t worry, I will never surrender! Read: Feeling Down And Out In This Perfect World
Commenter/Business Reviewer: Your writing sucks, food sucks, product sucks, etc.
Business owner: If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.
If a business owner actually said, “Go somewhere else,” s/he would probably get lynched by an angry mob. That said, I’ve read a number of interesting business owners who purposefully try and get one star reviews on Yelp, or who simply tell their complaining customer to eat somewhere else, and succeeded due to their authenticity.
As the creator of content on Financial Samurai, I feel it is my duty to respond to any comment and email that requires responding to. Sometimes I miss some, but for the most part I am a juggernaut when it comes to interacting with the community.
This is part of the reason why I space posts out every two days. One day to write and publish, one day to respond to others. I’ve been told some of my responses are weak, curt, and defensive. All I can say is that when you have to respond to sometimes 200 comments and e-mails a day, it’s very difficult to write long prose.
Take a look at the 2,500+ words I’ve written commenting on the post, How Investing In A Hedge Fund Saved My Retirement Portfolio. Damn, that took a long time! Sometimes, I wonder if it’s best not to give a crap and ignore everyone! I could use the time spend responding to everyone and just write another post. Or, I could just hire ghost writers like I know so many other sites do to write for me.
Giving A Crap About Your Physique
It’s so difficult to stay in fighting shape the older you get. I’ve constantly written about weight loss because I use to be very lean. But I used to also work out five days a week vs. only two or three days on average now. Who am I to blame for being 15 pounds heavier than ideal weight? You of course!
Guy eating an entire large deep dish pizza: Despite being 80 lbs overweight, he doesn’t give a crap because he has enough confidence and self-esteem to not care what other people think. He’s got a great personality and the ladies find him funny. Besides, the pizza tastes amazing.
Girl eating a salad and working out for the fifth day in a row at the gym: Despite already being in amazing shape with a 15% body fat percentage and buns of steal, she still feels too fat, and therefore insecure. She’s always checking herself out in the mirror, along with the beefcake next to her who turns sideways and flexes his guns.
Come on everybody! You know what I’m talking about. The fittest people have the lowest self-esteem! Who spends hours and hours a week working out when they are already fit when they could be using that time to produce something of value to society! Don’t fight old age. Embrace it.
Caring About Your Legacy
On of the reasons why we save, invest, and work so hard is because we want to leave a good legacy. We might have children we want to provide for. Or, we might want to continue supporting charities long after we are gone.
Instead, if you adopt the YOLO retirement philosophy of spending all your money while living, you may feel less stressed. You won’t have to work as much and you won’t have to plan as much for the future.
As a father and a writer, I care about my legacy. Caring about my legacy is why I continue to write at least three times a week and maintain Financial Samurai. I’m well past my 10-year anniversary where I said I would take things way down.
Every day I’m grinding between 5 am – 8:30 am to work on Financial Samurai before I will spend the day with my children. I figure, might as well keep earning when the pandemic is still raging on.
Thinking About Yourself = Happiness
When I worked in finance, I deeply cared about how my colleagues thought of me because I wanted those raises and promotions. I made it a point to build a network of supporters from top to bottom.
I liked most people, but I did have to brown-nose and laugh at unfunny jokes for some in order to get ahead. And get ahead I did, with a VP promotion at the age of 27.
But man, oh man, was I much more stressed during my financial services career than I am now running my own media business. I don’t give a crap about office politics anymore, because I’m not jockeying to ascend the corporate ladder.
I’m just looking to help out the companies where I can be my genuine self. Amazingly head-scratching things in the work place don’t bother me anymore.
When someone throws me under the bus in a meeting, it’s a thrill! I was in a consulting meeting one day and a woman said, “Sam did it!” when discussing something that went slightly wrong.
I no longer get bent out of shape, plotting a way to avenge my honor. I just analyze the situation in order to come up with some entertaining posts for y’all to read.
Fortunately, I’m always going to give a crap about my family and friends. I want the best for them, and I will worry if they are going through difficult times. The Buddha says desire is the cause of all suffering. He’s right. Sometimes we have to just let go.
Some thoughts people don’t give a crap think or say:
What’s in it for me?
Shit, I got no time for that!
He can wait.
Leave me alone.
If you don’t like it, leave.
Figure it out yourself, dumbass.
It’s your fault for being poor.
I’ll get back to him whenever I feel like it.
Since we’re splitting the bill, I’m going to eat and drink the most.
Look at my selfie.
Why should I wear a condom?
Who cares about your husband or wife?
Do you know who I am?
Pretty selfish right? However, maybe these selfish folks aren’t very stressed, at least in the short term.
If you don’t want to feel stressed, then you should give less a crap about things. Unfortunately, as long as there is life, there is suffering.
Manage Your Finances For Free
You know who is the only one who gives a crap about your finances? You! If you stay on top of your finances, you will feel less stress.
Sign up for Personal Capital, the web’s #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. In addition to better money oversight, run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool. It will show you how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.
After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible.
I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management. There is no rewind button in life folks!
For more nuanced personal finance content, join 50,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. To get my posts in your inbox as soon as they are published, sign up here.