“Five hundred years ago cartographers believed that California was an island. Doctors believed that slicing a person’s arm open (or causing bleeding anywhere) could cure disease. Scientists believed that fire was made out of something called phlogiston. Women believed that rubbing dog urine on their face had anti-aging benefits. Astronomers believed that the sun revolved around earth.
When I was a little boy, I used to think ‘mediocre’ was a kind of vegetable that I didn’t want to eat. I thought my brother had found a secret passageway in m y grandmother’s house because he could get outside without having to leave the bathroom (spoiler alert: there was a window). I also thought that when my friend and his family visited ‘Washington B.C.,’ they had somehow traveled back in time to when the dinosaurs lived, because, after all, ‘B.C’ was a long time ago.
As a teenager, I told everybody that I didn’t care about anything when the truth was Ii cared about way too much. Other people ruled my world without me even knowing. I thought happiness was a destiny and not a choice. I thought love was something that just happened, not something that you worked for. I thought being ‘cool’ had to be practiced and learned from others, rather than invented for oneself.
When I was with my first girlfriend, I thought we would be together forever. And then, when that relationship ended, I thought I’dd never feel the same way about a woman again. And then when I felt the same way about a woman again I thought that love sometimes wasn’t enough. And then I realized that each individual gets to decide what is ‘enough,’ and that love can be whatever we let it be.
Every step of the way I was wrong. About everything. Throughout my live, I’ve been flat out wrong about myself, others, society, culture, the world, the universe – everything.
And I hope that will continue to be the case for the rest of my life.
Just as Present Mark can look back on Past Mark’s every flaw and mistake, one day, Future Mark will look back at Present Mark’s assumptions (including the contents of this book) and notice similar flaws. And that will be a good thing. Because that will mean I have grown.”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck, Mark Manson, pages 115, 116