Are You Bullsh*tting Yourself?

Want more actionable ideas every week?

Join millions of readers and subscribe to Your Next Breakthrough newsletter below.

    107 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    Expertise makes something complex appear simple and intelligible. Bullshit makes something simple appear unnecessarily complex and unintelligible.

    Expertise creates value for people who don’t know better. Bullshit extracts value from people who don’t know better.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    One thing for you to ask yourself

    In what area(s) of your life are you bullshitting yourself? That is, what areas of your life are you over-complicating and making unnecessarily complex?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Stop bullshitting yourself. We often over-complicate problems as a way of emotionally coping with the problem. It feels hard, so we convince ourselves that it must be really hard.

    If someone breaks our trust, we assume it must be for 27 different reasons and we have to approach the person like a chess match, when really, we’re just hiding from the painful fact that this person we care about broke our trust.

    What’s one way you can stop bullshitting yourself this week?

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to stop mistaking highs for happiness, to opt out of one of your regular highs and see what happens.

    It turns out, one reader got my newsletter just in time:

    Your email couldn’t have come at a better time! I often mistake the high of shopping for happiness, buying myself the newest designer handbag, thinking it will bring me joy, and as soon as I have it, it goes into the closet and I start shopping for the next one.

    Your email hit my inbox at the same time as an email from my favorite shopping site, informing me of their summer sale. As I read your email, I took a moment to reflect on why I am constantly chasing the high that shopping brings me and reflect on the things that actually make me happy! Maybe I could save some of that money and take a trip with my partner. Or get across the country and visit my family, which I keep putting off.

    Meanwhile, Joe is taking his beloved activity offline so he can enjoy it again:

    I’m an avid photographer and regularly post my photos but never really get any views or likes. This sometimes leaves me feeling down, seeing others getting lots of favorites and I only get six. This has made me question whether to even bother posting if hardly anyone will see them.

    I’ve been so focused on getting more views and followers that photography no longer feels fun, it feels almost pointless.

    Instead I’m gonna try opting out of uploading them online and just enjoy taking them and not worry about how many will see them. Thanks for this Mark!

    Girinath from India got thinking about an addictive high he opted out of:

    One of the highs that I left some time ago was smoking. I always used to feel guilty once the cigarette was burned with the foul smell left in my mouth and on my fingers.

    I used to think about what nutritional value it had, or what was the exact so-called peace of mind that I got when I drew the puffs. I had gotten into the habit because of my own insecurities in my early twenties to better ‘fit in’ with friends and colleagues, and it became a very bad habit over many years.

    I used to compare more enjoyable and sustainable highs that I got with an early morning run or workout, to the sudden one-minute rush of nicotine-induced hormone release.

    This made me realize that everything good in nature and life is usually available in abundance and enjoyable even after you have ‘consumed’ it… For example a stroll in the park where you can see lots of green, flowers, butterflies and hear bird sounds. This stays with you for days unlike artificial stimulants like smoking which vanishes right after.

    I used to be a smoker and successfully quit many years ago. I wrote about quitting in this article if you want to see how I did it.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
    My WebsiteMy BooksMy YouTube Channel