The art of not caring is really about prioritizing what’s important in your life and what isn’t.
While this might sound harsh, the simple truth is that we all have a finite amount of emotion and focus. While the total amount may fluctuate over time, it’s still static at any given moment. If we’re able to describe why something or someone is important to us then we’re able to prioritize it. But if we’re unable to identify that definition then it’s time to stop caring ™ and move on.
Sure, it makes sense to care little bit about the things that require only a little attention and care–you can certainly have a gradient of value vs. care–but forcing yourself to take stock of what matters in your personal and work lives will allow the things that really are important to flourish. In our lives at home this is closely tied to our personal values, and at work, these factors are closely tied to what will move the business forward.
The art of not caring also shouldn’t be moralized. It’s not about laziness. It’s not about doing something because we should. It’s not about bucking perfectionism. It’s about allowing the best parts–the areas where we truly feel we’re meeting the values we’ve set out for ourselves–to come to the forefront so that we focus on and prioritize them. And if you don’t truly care about someone or something, then you have no business bothering them or it.
Too often we feel compelled to “finish” something, or see something (or someone) out because we’ve already sunk so much time, or feel compelled to drag ourselves along due to some other cognitive bias that keeps us stuck in the past and unhappy. But the truth is that the sooner you quit something, and the sooner you stop caring, the sooner you’ll be able to prioritize what gives you deep happiness and success over all else.
The rest falls away and the foundations for a good life can flourish instead.