Value-Based Decisions: How to Not Give a Fuck Like a Cowboy (Even If You are Just a Cow)

Sometimes, life gets too much down here. It’s the jobs, the relationships, the new TV show, your colleague’s birthday, Venny Newson, daily commutes, and ice-cream. There is a never ending supply of things fighting for your attention, and waiting for you to give a fuck about them.

But should you? Yes. Though, only about things that are important and immediate. The rest is just litter polluting your mental atmosphere. So, treat it as such. What do I mean by that? I mean you should be stingy with the amount of fucks you give. That is your time, energy, and money.

Let me explain:

When you give your fuck to something, it means you care about it. When you care about something, like it or not, you start to slowly incorporate it into your life and spend your resources, both mental and material, on it. Some of these things will be superficial, unimportant, and useless to your life. There won’t be any real value in them. Others, however, would be things that will have a positive impact and improve your well-being, hence making you a better person who is capable of taking care of themselves and others.

The Game of Thrones example

The whole Western world watched Game of Thrones when it first came out. They would sit down at a certain time of the day, and turn into couch potatoes for the next hour as they would be staring at a screen, eating chips, and drinking [insert a beverage of your choice.]

They gave their time and energy to it without consciously being aware of it. Just like cows do.

That tastes delicious. It must be chips.


On the other hand, let’s say you don’t give a fuck about Game of Thrones. That is, you don’t watch it, you don’t talk about it, you don’t spend money buying their merchandise like books, t-shirts, hats etc.

Then, what you will be left with is a reservoir filled up with energy, time, and money to spend on things you do actually care about and can benefit you.

Now, although you may still not be aware of it, you’ve started slowly turning into a cowboy.

Well done. 

What can you do as a cowboy? You can own a gun, ride a horse, drink all day, and if you are good at these, become known and rare, which means more women, of course (but not really.) 

Making calculated decisions 

Every time you are choosing something, you are also choosing against something else.

  • When you say “yes” to the Friday party, you say “no” to catching on some sleep and being sharp the next morning.
  • When you say “yes” to Game of Thrones, you are saying “no” to a walk in the park, or a workout in the gym.
  • When you say “yes” to staying late at work to finish that project, you are saying “no” to being home with your family; or having dinner on time; or sealing the deal with [insert a gender of your choosing here.]

That is not to say you shouldn’t go out, or socialize, or have a drink, or stay late at work. If you feel like it, do it. Just do it with conscious awareness and know where and when to draw the line.

Drawing the line

If you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry, I don’t know, either. But somewhere I saw these 3 suggestions that I think may work. 

Let’s take a look at them: 

  • Setting boundaries and saying “No” – Frustrated with always having to agree to someone’s invitation or request? No need to make a fuss about it, just be direct and honest.If you’ve been invited to a party you don’t feel like going because, you know, just a long day and your feet hurt, you can always turn it down politely by using the following sentences: “No, thank you.”
    “I don’t have time.”

    “I can’t afford it.”
    “I don’t want to.”

    These are all real sentences. They do not require a justification or explanation. Besides that, they are honest and polite. That’s enough.

  • Give less fucks – You only have so many fucks (energy, time, and money) to give, so spend them wisely. How? Stop giving fucks about everything and everyone. That is, about whether you drank your post-workout protein shake on time or not, about whether that cute boy/girl called you back or not, about what others are thinking about you, or about the going-away party for a coworker you don’t even like.
  • Allocate your fuck budget – Decide what you really don’t care about, write it down, and cross it off. These are the things that don’t deserve your attention = your fucks = your time, energy, and money.

Let’s start making a list of everything that annoys you and is cluttering your brain. For example, that can be people, cocktail parties, team building, obligations, homework, birthdays etc. ← The fucks you’ve been asked to give.

To keep it manageable, it’s better to divide them by category. For instance, relationships is one category, and 5 fucks on your list might be: Setting dinner with your partner; Visiting your grandmother for Christmas; Going out with a girl/boy you met at the bus station yesterday; Partying with people you don’t even like; Attending your mother’s birthday.

Once you’ve listed them all out, it’s time to decide which ones bother you and aren’t worth your time. Then, after you’ve decided, it’s time to cross them off your list.

What I am saying is, you may have to call your mother for her birthday, and visit your grandmother for Christmas because they are your most valuable people, people who looked after you and raised you. But you don’t have to try and get the approval and attention of people you don’t even know that well yet. Which one is worth more to you, your mother’s birthday, or going out with a girl you just met? The dinner with your partner, or attending a house party full of people you don’t even know?

Note: You may even try establish a relationship with a mentor or someone ahead of you down the road you want to go. That’s a kind of relationship you want to foster.

You get the idea.

You are not going to be able to accomplish everything in life. Therefore, you need to get clear on what really matters to you and ignore the rest in order to develop your ability to find that “worth it” thing.

With that being said, if you care about stuff that ultimately aren’t getting you anywhere, maybe it’s time to reconsider what you choose to value in your life and make the necessary changes. Remember, there is a never ending supply of things that will always get in the way and try to get your attention, whereas your fucks are limited, friend. So, use them wisely.

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