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102 Key Principles for Success

Principle 50 - Not Caring

I was playing a game of basketball with my son. He was feeling down, so I thought I'd let him win. I'm not that good at basketball, yet, so it shouldn't be that hard.

During the game, I stopped trying and didn't care if I won or not. So instead of putting pressure on myself to make a shot, I just threw the ball up towards the basket.

It went in.

I tried to miss again. It went in.

I kept repeating my shot and didn't care. I actually hoped I missed but the ball kept going in the basket.

Now, this was strange. I was making shots I'd usually miss because...

I didn't care.

So there was something about putting pressure on myself to succeed that made it harder to succeed.

Instead of hoping for a result and getting angry when the result wasn't achieved, I just didn't care. Today I believe that not giving a shit is a key principle for success.

Does this work all the time? I don't think so. Sometimes you hear that you're "Trying too hard."  

If I'm giving a speech and desperately don't want to make a mistake, I'm more likely to make a mistake than if I didn't care.

If I'm trying to meet someone and fear failure, I'm more likely to fail.

I go on a job interview and really want the job versus don't really care that much. This doesn't mean I don't prepare. It means that there are other jobs that are better than the one I'm applying for.

I had one situation where I went on a job interview and got an offer. I had 3 more interviews coming up. I could have stopped and settled on the first job I got. But I didn't. I continued going on the job interviews with a "Don't care" attitude. I would walk in and the first thing I would tell the interviewer is that I already had an offer. It turned out that this "not caring" attitude got me three more job offers, so I took the best one.

Of course like all rules, this doesn't apply to all situations. If you don't care about your work quality you can get fired. I'm referring to situations where you want to succeed so badly you put undue pressure on yourself and cause the opposite to happen.

Try this out and let me know if it works for you. But if you don't let me know, "I don't care." :)

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