Love the pain.

Note: This post’s got nothing on programming tips.

I was lazing and watching my boyfriend browsing Reddit on the couch last night when a post caught my eye – it’s an excerpt from ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life‘ by Mark Manson. ‘Oh, I want to read it!’, I told my boyfriend. I then got off the couch and hopped over to ransack our book shelf. I remembered we bought the book while we were at some airport some months ago. I read the first few pages (or more), came home and forgot all about it. I have a (severely) bad habit of not finishing books.

And I found the book! I pulled it out and started reading from the beginning. I find it so apt that I am reading it now with all these changes going on in my life.

The subtle art of not giving a fuck was defined in Chapter 1 and it’s absolutely true that we need to choose what to give a fuck about wisely. If someone were to mess with my family, I would do anything to make them suffer the way they deserve. If I want to change my career at thirty, I don’t care how insane the idea sounds to the unimportant people in my life and I do it. We just can’t please everyone in life.

They say, ‘Fuck it,’ not to everything in life, but to everything unimportant in life.

Words to live by, indeed.

In Chapter 2: Happiness Is a Problem, he asked an interesting and intriguing question, ‘What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?’ instead of ‘What do you want out of your life?’.  It’s only when you want something bad enough that you will be willing to go through the bumpy process even when it requires some extent of sacrifice, pain and struggle.

I asked myself what do I want out of my life? The answer is I want to be happy, earn a decent amount of income to sustain a comfortable lifestyle, my parents to lead a carefree life, marry the love of my life, have kids and the list goes on. The list is typical and predictable and quite similar to what most people would want.

Then I asked myself what am I willing to struggle for to get what I want? Do I want to struggle through all the unhappiness in the event industry for the rest of my life just so I won’t have to worry about learning a new skill or the lack of income? No. Do I want to get into the real estate industry where I could possibly earn a decent amount of income if I were to struggle to burn every weekend and spend less time with my loved ones? No.

But –

  • I am willing to struggle with the loss of financial independence to learn something new and get out of the events field that made me so unhappy.
  • I am willing to struggle through the difficulties of picking up programming with zero background to achieve the goals my boyfriend and I set together for the life we’re building together.
  • I am willing to suffer through the frustrations of not knowing the solutions to the programming problems and not grasping certain concepts for the many months or years to come.
  • I am willing to take the risk and the leap of faith in hope for a better, happier, more satisfying future knowing that I may also fail big time at programming.
  • I am willing to learn to have difficult conversations with my boyfriend to make us work as partners for life even though I struggle every time.

As you can see, on programming alone, it’s quite a battle and I’m willing to fight it.

Often, I may feel emotional. Every now and then, I may feel lost. In the end, I may not succeed. Even then, with or without support from the people around me, I’ll take responsibility for my actions, the consequences and emotions that comes with them.

And I go back to Chapter 1 to quote this:

The willingness to stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it.

Then, there is Chapter 4: The Value of Suffering, which made me realised I am in urgent need to re-evaluate all my values. I’ll just state one that is in relation to my blog – I am not a genius. I need to eat a humble pie and start accepting the fact that I can’t know and remember every single thing in the world of programming even if I try. I am simply not as smart as I think I am. Perhaps then, my learning journey will be a tad less exasperating.

I now constantly remind myself to prioritise my values and access the fucks that are worth giving.


3 thoughts on “Love the pain.

  1. I’m interested in reading this book now, haha. It’s frustrating and the struggle is real, when I write code, run it, and the terminal throws back syntax errors. 😦 But, it’s a pretty amazing feeling, when I’m able find a solution, and understand it. 😀 Oh yes, and nice blog post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jessica! It’s a really good book and it gives you a new perspective of life. 😊 Completely agree on the love-hate relationship with coding. Hopefully only the love part of it will grow with time!


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