Mark Manson — The Backwards Law
This article is a part of my Best Reads of the Month section on my website www.mikegorlon.com. Each month I pick one or two articles or blog posts that I find on the internet which I thought were really insightful, interesting or moving. Then I share them with you. You can view the previous month’s articles by going to: https://www.mikegorlon.com/best-reads-of-the-month
July 2018: Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards
This post from Mark Manson comes directly from his blog and it discusses an interesting idea called the backwards law which Mark wrote about in his best-selling book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, and which I recently wrote about in my last blog post.
The backwards law is about realizing that the more you chase after something, the more you end up getting the opposite result or feeling worse off than before. This is somewhat counter intuitive to what we’ve been told throughout our lives. Most of our lives we have been told that the harder we work and the more effort we put in, the better off we will be. But Mark discusses how this is true for menial tasks but not for actions that are psychological such as our mental health and our relationships.
“’The backwards law’ [is] the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make. The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance. The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you. The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-centered and shallow you become in trying to get there.” — Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck