Sometimes We Just Have to Say: I Don’t Care!

by Al Smith

guest blog post by Jk Allen

 

My kids teach me valuable lessons everyday. At 2, 6 and 8 years old they are incredibly empowered and have all the confidence in the world that they can do whatever they set their minds to.

At some point, all of us adults had these beautiful and realistic beliefs that we were limitless; that we could do whatever we wanted in life. And sadly, for many of us, those beliefs were replaced with self-doubt, disbelief and lack of confidence.

Sometimes we Have to NOT Care

It’s not hard to understand why we go from enthusiastic about life and our ability to win – to fearful about taking risks because we don’t completely believe in ourselves. Society places labels on us and we accept them; bosses undermined us and we accept it; when we’re dealt a bad card, we forget that there are 51 others in the deck – many of them much better than the bad one in our hand.

We accept these things because we care.  We care what others think about us. We care because we don’t want to be looked down upon. We care because we’ve been trained to believe that we have to.

Well lately, I’ve been constantly reminded that there are times when we simply shouldn’t care. And what do you know; these lessons came directly from my own children. 

When Others Don’t Understand Your Mission…Don’t Care!

My oldest daughter, Saraya, is an artist. She loves to draw and has an incredible gift for art. There are times when she asked me or my wife if we like one of her masterpieces and we’ll say “yes”…but apologize if we can’t make out what it’s supposed to be.

The other day  after apologizing that I liked the look of a drawing but couldn’t make out exactly what it was, she replied: “you don’t have to say sorry. I don’t care that you don’t know what it is…I just like that you like it”. She went on to explain to me that her art teacher told her that there’s no right or wrong way to do art and the best art is unique.

She has great confidence in her ability to be herself. She’s not worried about making her art look like other kid’s art. She doesn’t care if someone doesn’t get what she’s up to at the present moment, because in her heart, in the end, those who matter to her will understand it completely.

When Others Create Unfair Expectations…Don’t Care!

My son Kyren plays sports. He’s talented and gives his all on the field. He had a run where every time he was handed the ball he scored a touchdown…and did so from any position on the field. Even on defense, if he got his hands on the ball, it was a touchdown.

As his head coach and dad, this was awesome to witness. But what came as a result is that people formed expectations that every single time he touched the ball, he would score. That’s a lot of pressure for a little kid.

Of course it’s impossible to keep such a streak, so eventually it came to an end. When it happened, I was prepared to comfort him and let him know that it was okay. But what do you know…he jumped up with the same smile that he had after a long touchdown run. I asked him if he was sad about not scoring. He went on to tell me that he didn’t care about scoring…he just liked juking people. He was completely fine… he wasn’t affected one bit by other’s expectations….he didn’t care!

How often do we hold ourselves back or beat ourselves up because we don’t want to disturb others expectations of us? Too often! Living in this manner is a recipe for living a unfulfilled life. 

When Other’s Place Limits On You…Don’t Care!

And then there’s my youngest daughter, Raylen. She knows she’s the baby and has figured out how to get what she wants in life. She’s a master at getting her way. At the tender age of two she understands the difference between the rules and limits that are placed on her.

Raylen has never told me the worlds “I don’t care”, but she’s definitely showed me that she doesn’t care through her actions. For instance, when her brother and sister are at school, their toys become hers.

She knows the difference between: “you shouldn’t do that” compared to “you better not do that”. One is suggestive, the other is demanding. One is just creating a limit on what she might not want to do; one is authoritative – a rule or a law. 

How many people do you know that say you shouldn’t do this, and you should do that? Have you ever felt limited by your age, sexual orientation, race, education or anything else? Well if you have, do what Raylen does…follow the rules and pay no attention to the limits. Simply say (or yell): I don’t care.

Are you Willing to Say: “I don’t Care”?

The world we live in can be warm and comforting or cold and harsh. We love the feeling of acceptance so much that sometimes we hold ourselves back from taking on lofty goals or exposing ourselves in fear of being seen as a failure. We’d rather stay safe -guarded within our comfort zone; allowing our potential to remain potential and never become our reality.

We can think about what we want in life, we can write about it, we can try to teach others about it…but until we can connect our thoughts with our actions, and not care about the mysterious limits we “think” are all around, we simply can’t win.

I care so much that I’m wiling to say…I DON’T CARE!

Note: yes, these beautiful kids are mine…even then the blondie!

Jk Allen writes about the “new way to hustle” at HustlersNotebook.com, a personal development blog where the focus is on getting results through taking action. Jk designed this very website, The C.A.R.E. Movement, and has recently opened up growtheffect.com where he’s helping businesses optimize their presence online.  

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Al Smith November 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

Thanks Jk. Great post man. Really appreciate this and all you have done to help me. from the website design to your continued support and encouragement. You are a real class act. Hard to believe this is the last guest post and November is over. Wow.

I never thought I would see the words “I don’t Care” and totally and completely agree with what was said or written. What is here is so true. We take what other people say, very seriously and like I mentioned to you yesterday, when it comes to critics (especially) this advice is great; “What other people think about me is none of my business” Love it. I have had to practice that repeatedly. It works.

Your kids are adorable. Thanks for sharing this post and their beautiful pictures with us. You truly are a blessed man. So grateful for you.

Al

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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hey Al,

I’ve come to learn that some people are highly critical because they are unhappy with their situation…or, they believe that their way is the best/only way to do things. Well I’ve never really done many things in my life to convention. Along with taking that type of approach is that people doubt me, criticize me and don’t have faith in what I do. This used to drive me to want to prove people wrong and I was fantastic at it. But then my focus was all on that…which is negative energy.

Today, I’m more apt to just say I don’t care. I like being who I am. I like being unconventional. So when people doubt me now, I just don’t give it much energy!

Thanks for the opportunity to not only guest post here, but to close out the series. I’m honored!

PEACE
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Bill Dorman November 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

Great looking kids, my friend.

Like you, sometimes I feel I care too much and do take some things personally when I should really just be able to walk away and not give it a second thought.

However, while it is good and noble to be outward thinking and caring; sometimes you do have to be a little selfish to make sure you are taking care of your ‘stuff’ as well.

Good to see you at Al’s and it looks like your man Tebow is going to make me eat my words, but I’ve come to expect it because he certainly did it in college too.
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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hey Bill,

And Tebow even did it in high school. The guy is simply a winner. Even if he doesn’t win a game, you just get the winning vibe from that guy. It’s been a fun 6 weeks living here in Denver and having Tebow as a start.

Selfishness is a bad word in our culture. But so is the word “follower”. In my eyes, there are times when we have to be selfish enough to ignore the naysayers…just like there are times when being a follower can be more powerful than being a leader.

Thanks for the nice note on the kids!

PEACE
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Adrienne November 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

Ah J.K., great post and I love this one. Not only are your children beautiful but smart little whips. Wish I had been like them at their age.

I totally understand what you are saying and I live a lot of my life in that way. Unfortunately, I was brought up with certain limitations placed on me so I had the lack mentality in those specific areas. Funny how you can be so confident and have high self esteem yet feel insecure in other ways.

I love this lesson so thank you for sharing your children’s experiences with us. We can all learn something from each one of them.

~Adrienne
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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Glad you enjoyed! I too grew up with certain limitations place don me…mostly by society and I know how those ideals have held me back in life. Understanding that now, I try to create an environment of expression and belief for my kids. The older they get, the harder it becomes…but I never give up.

Take care!
Jk Allen recently posted..The Factor that Matters Most in our Results Driven Economy

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Melody | Deliberate Receiving November 30, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hi J.K.

Awesome post, and your kids are gorgeous! I love how these “new” kids of today are so switched on. They’re amazing teachers (as we were to our parents, really…) I think another component to allowing yourself to say “I don’t care” to societies expectations and arbitrary rules is the ability to allow others to say it, as well. When we judge others and their behavior, we set ourselves up to be judged, too. The goal is to become truly allowing of everyone and their ability to just be themselves. No one needs to color in the lines (why??), no one needs to dance a certain way (just enjoy the dance!), no one needs to dress a certain way or act a certain way. Some rules make sense (let’s not kill each other), but the evidence is mounting that LESS rules actually leads to LESS violence. And I truly believe that the way to a peaceful, empowered and enlightened society is personal freedom and that starts with throwing out all those little “rules” that try to shame us into conforming. Along with “I don’t care”, I suggest we also adopt “So What?”. Not in a defiant way, but in a truly inquisitive way. So what? What will happen if I enjoy myself, even if the “rules” say I should be sad when I don’t win the game. I just love to play. So what? :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Hello Melody,

You made an important point. We too have to be willing to accept “I don’t cares”, because we’re often the culprits of discouragement…even when we don’t mean to be. I’m so glad you included that.

And then you took it up a notch by throwing in SO WHAT. Perfect fit and addition to this post.

Thanks for being so on point and delivering greatness.
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Alex Mangini November 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm

What an awesome post J.K. :D

Life’s too short to care about what everyone thinks anyway. Where’s the fun in trying to make everybody happy? Apart from it never happening, you’ll waste all your time focusing on others when you should stay focused on yourself.

Love how you tied your kids into the post also, great stuff man!
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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Alex,

Man, I’m very familiar with how you are. I’ve been learning from you for about 18 months now…since I’ve started. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from you about Thesis…thanks for all that you do. and your site LifeNotion looks awesome!

Okay, let me step away from my FANdom for a moment…

Yeah, life’s way too short..I agree. Sadly, a lot of people understand that concept but don’t live their life in that fashion. Too often we’re too riddled by ridicule and trampled by triumph. At some point, we just have to say “I don’t care” and keep pushing forward.

Thanks for the comment and I look forward to checking out LifeNotion in more detail!

PEACE
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Kaarina Dillabough November 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Great post Jk, and what a wonderful way to round out your November series Al.

Jk, your kids are beautiful, both inside and out. Children can be our best teachers. I think there are times to ‘care’ about what others think, say or believe, and others when “what you think of me is none of my business.”

When someone takes the time to offer constructive input, a new perspective, a shoulder to lean on, or the like, it’s good to care. But when you are truly expressing yourself; living your bliss; following your dreams and being of service…when you are truly following your mission in life, what others think, say or do about it should give you nary a care in the world.

And I’m so with Melody: color outside the lines, “dance as if no one is watching”, and “this above all, to thine own self be true.” Cheers! Kaarina
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Jk Allen November 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Hi Kaarina,

You are absolutely right about we should care what others think. I know I do. But as I shared here, form the lessons from my kidos, I’ve learned that there are definitely situations I shouldn’t allow others criticism to knock me down. It’s a very fine line isn’t it!

” But when you are truly expressing yourself; living your bliss; following your dreams and being of service…when you are truly following your mission in life, what others think, say or do about it should give you nary a care in the world.”

That was beautifully stated…Thanks Kaarina!
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Deeone November 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Hey there Al and Jk,

This was a very powerful post here, my friend. I liked how the lessons in it actually would could come from your three beautiful and very wise children. I bet they’re a hoot around the house. I think the oldest two have a lot of your features; the oldest daughter definitely does. :)

In the past, I was definitely one of those individuals that operated on what other’s thought about me. Family, friends, and even associates, ran me like I was on a remote controller. It was because I cared about what other people though about me and wanted to be liked, at any means necessary. Even if it went against my own belief system of what I wanted out of my life. I was a total people pleaser.

Being a people pleaser did one thing and one thing only; it left me disappointed… a lot! The reason was due to the fact that no matter what I would do someone would find fault in how I did it. The sad part is that it took me 33 years to figure it out.

The one thing it has taught me is that all I have to do is do my best. If that’s not enough for other’s then… “I don’t care!” That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about how I make people feel, how I treat other’s, or about making people happy; I still do all of those things. The only difference now is that I don’t allow what other people think of me to drive what I do, or how I feel about them or myself.

Someone wise, I think it was Abe Lincoln, but don’t quote me on that, but he once said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

If we’d grasp that saying in our spirit and know that some people will just go unsatisfied no matter what we do; it’ll be come quite easy to “not care” what other’s think about our actions. As long as I know that I respect other’s like I do myself, the need to care what they think is void and of no concern to me.

Thanks for sharing this awesome point; along with the great examples. Great post! :)
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Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca March 31, 2012 at 10:16 am

Deeone — former people-pleasers unite! :)
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Lori Gosselin December 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hey Jk, I love that your children are your teachers! My mom used to say she learned so much from us, and now I learn so much from my kids. One thing they demonstrate for me is a lack of guilt when they say no. They don’t feel they have to provide an explanation – they just say no. It’s not so much that they don’t care, but more that they aren’t held hostage to my feelings. I’m happy about that!
Your kids are three precious (and cute!) little teachers in your life. What a blessing!
Lori
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Jack@TheJackB December 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

JK,

I really enjoyed your post my friend. I think that many of the limitations we place upon ourselves are there because we let external influences affect us in a greater way than they should.

That is easy for me to say but not always as easy to do.
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John Sherry December 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Boy are they chips off the old block JK – don’t know where they got their good looks from though!! Love the message here and giving a voice to not caring when people try to sit on your dreams, lower your light, devalue your contribution, and undervalue your efforts and character. Be fair and care about yourself at such moments because it will be love that will be well rewarded (just look at those pictures to see why). Love your stuff JK, you speak sense and respect….ever thought of running for President?????
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Cindy December 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I have the same problem as you with my son. As your son, Kyren, my son Jamie is playing sports. He is 9 and he is very talented. But the these kids aren’t able to take a pressure like that. They could easily learn the feeling of the success, but they don’t know what to do/how to handle if they loose. Sometimes they broke. My son, actually broke his racket.
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Bonnie December 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm

First of all, those are some smart kids you have there! Secondly, amazing post! Such great lessons children in their innocent wisdom can teach us if we are just open to learning them!

When I was at my lowest point and struggling to figure out how to ‘fix’ my life I finally had to take some leaps of faith. I would tell myself I can worry about it later. Sort of the same thing in a way. I couldn’t allow myself to remain stuck and that meant I had to stop caring about what other might think.

Interestingly enough every thing you’re kids are telling you it so true! Way to often we hold back or don’t follow our hearts because we don’t wish to upset anyone. Most of the time it doesn’t play out like that anyway and it would be unrealistic to expect that of ourselves.

Wonderfully written and very timely messgae!
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Catwoman January 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

It is always a special thing when little children have to be up to the mark. Expectations aren’t design for children. While an adult can make benefits from the obstacles and handle them, at a smaller age these things could ruin the motivation. At this age, everything should be like a game, I think.
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Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca March 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

JK, dude, I adore this. I learned this lesson (very hard) myself, but I would’ve loved to have read something like this earlier. Thanks for sharing it.

I teach others often, using children as a reference (so does Denise over at NurturingCreativity.net), and I say you’re spot on with it all.

I also have a tendency to polarize others, and so ‘haters’ may exist :) Do I care? Not at all. I used to though. I believe in people, I believe in togetherness and co-operation. I believe in self-expression. So when someone would start to hate on me, I’d care. I was ultra sensitive. Now I feel kind of… ‘beyond’ praise and criticism (but I still prefer some love :D )

This is my first time commenting on The Care Movement and I’m thrilled to see you rockin’ it over here. Hustle on :)

P.S. Tiiiiny typo “Raylen has never told me the wor_l_ds “I don’t care”, ”
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