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The Backwards Law: It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Allan Watts. First time to hear his name? I also just met him a few hours ago. Let me introduce this wise man to you. He is famous for his quote below, more known as “the backwards law” – the idea that the more you try and grab a hold of something, the more it slips through your fingers; the more your pursue feeling better, the less satisfied you become.

the backwards law littlemisadvencha

The Backwards Law

Let’s go back to the basic concept of positive and negative. We all want to be happy. I mean, who doesn’t? We were taught that happiness is relative to a good or desirable experience – just like getting a promotion at work or passing an exam. It is also our nature that any discomfort or failure leads to anxiety, depression and unhappiness. This is how we were taught. However, Allan Watts has other thing in mind. He said that the more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become.

Start caring less about almost everything…

Have you noticed sometimes when you try to care less about a thing, you do better at it? Have you noticed that when you stop caring less, everything seems to fall into its place?

How does “the backwards law” works? It’s interesting. It means that not giving a f*ck actually works in reverse. The injury you had is what leads to brewing a stronger athlete in you. The failures you have are what lead you to a better understanding of what works or not. The pain of a broken heart is what gives you realizations of how far love can really go. Suffering through insecurities is what allows you to improve yourself and be confident with it.

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Don’t frown. It’s okay not to be okay.

I don’t know what depression really is – not aware if I have experienced it in the past or not. Life actually teaches us a lot of things. Wise is the man who learns from every experience he had. I’m happy I was able to read this book again from Mark Manson, which led me to writing this post. I’m slapped with my insecurities, anxiety and failures in life. It actually tells me – Hey! Don’t forget to love us.

Again, it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay if you are tired, confused, depressed, anxious or afraid. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad. Just remember that everything that is worthwhile in life is only achieved through surpassing the associated negative experience. Embrace your insecurities, fears, anxiety and guilt, because the more you avoid them, the more you suffer.

One day, I am going to die.

Stating the obvious? Well, good news! You are going to die, too – you and me and all the people we know. Between today and that day when we will depart this place, we only have a limited amount of f*cks to give. So, why waste of going around caring about everything unnecessary? It will only make you suffer.

Choose your own battles. Face your negatives. Learn from them. Most of all, be comfortable with being you. Be comfortable with being different.

Did you like this article? Let littlemisadvencha know in the comment section.

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Arugba Stanley
April 5, 2020 10:39 am

Very nice and meaningful article. As it goes, you don’t have to worry too much about life, not like we will live forever, just try to be happy and make the most while you are alive.

March 31, 2020 12:45 am

what an interesting read/topic. I never really thought about the backward law until now… you gave me something to think about today! ; )

March 30, 2020 11:12 pm

This is such a good post. Especially in times like we are in now, this is such a good concept to remember.

Britt K
March 30, 2020 12:53 pm

Thank you, I think we all need this reminder right about now. Many of us try so hard to put on a brave face and handle whatever life throws at us without flinching or showing any sign of ‘weakness’, but is it still weakness? Instead, we need to take a step back and recognize that it’s okay to feel whatever feelings we may be encountering, it’s okay to trip and it’s okay to fall. However, don’t stop there. Look past that struggle and recognize where it is taking you 🙂

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