the backwards law littlemisadvencha

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.

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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Gervin Khan
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Gervin Khan

I love this post and really enjoy reading it. Actually, this post is something relevant to what I feel right, I worrying to much about something that is beyond my control and yet I feel that no one cares. So I agree with you, I need to learn to be care less and to be focus more on the things that most important for me.

Ntensibe Edgar
Guest

Hihi….one of these days, I love everything that keeps me different! That way, I move whichever direction I want to go.

Brianne
Guest

This was such a powerful post. I’ve never thought of looking at the world like that before. At first, it seems like it doesn’t make any sense, but when you think about it, it’s very freeing.

Heather
Guest

I haven’t heard of Allan Watts before but he sounds like a very wise man. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Emily Fata
Guest

So insightful! I agree though, that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s a time for introspection, to see what it is that makes us feel the way that we do.

the joyous living
Guest

i love your quote “it’s okay not to be okay”. i’ve learned that these last 5 years since i got sick. more people right now need to learn that.

Myrah Duque
Guest

Great post and perfect during these difficult times we are going through. Worrying more than what we have seems to be the norm around her. IT IS OKAY to NOT BE OK! We have too much going on right now. MANY things right now cannot be controlled.

Wendy @ One Exceptional Life
Guest

I say, live each day to it’s fullest and you’ll be happy. Push your limits, step outside of your comfort zone, show kindness everywhere, put God first in your life and be thankful for all you have. Those are my keys to a great life

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

Great post. We all need to focus more on good and positive things that happens in our life right now. Stop worry and live more.

Fatima Torres
Guest

This was a great post to read. Honestly, I’ve considered not paying attention to the minor things around me.

Kuntala Bhattacharya
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Kuntala Bhattacharya

Very interesting post. Well, I knew somewhat about the concepts but never knew there is a law associated with them. We must really concentrate on activities that add value not which creates a toxic feeling inside.

Ronnie
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Ronnie

My husband follows this mantra without even realizing it. The man is un-phased by most things in life and he is genuinely very happy all the time.

Matt Taylor
Guest
Matt Taylor

Easier said than done sometimes, however, haha. It would be nice not to have a care in the world, though.

Lavern Moore
Guest
Lavern Moore

Knowing that it is okay not to be okay is so soothing and refreshing.

Knycx Journeying
Guest

Thanks for sharing this and I can feel the positive energy – I bet that’s all we need right now.~ Keep it up! – Knycx Journeying

Anna
Guest

I so agree that the more desperately we want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid we become! Really enjoyed reading! Thanks for sharing!

Stacy
Guest
Stacy

Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece. It really changed the way we look at our life.

Stephen
Guest

Lovely post and a great message.

Sadly too many people try to keep a brave face on and bottle everything up, which in the end makes things worse

Christine Weis
Guest

This post reminds me of the book I read, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K. It was very direct and raw. It’s actually very “normal” to feel unhappy and we need to learn how to be content with feeling uncomfortable and with being unhappy. It’s all part of life and learning. Perhaps this needs to be shared and talked about more often.

yana
Guest
yana

hmm interesting thoughts, seems a bit depression in some sentences, but we’re all different and need to be positive!

Robin
Guest

Yes, we try to hard these days to be positivity robots… personally, I like a little drama and despair in life, as it keeps me grateful for the good times!

Angelica Sereda
Guest

Love his teachings and yes, it’s OK to not be OK

Ayishia
Guest

Apparently I’ve been practicing the backwards law and didn’t even know it. I started to realize a few years back the harder I tried the worst things got. It’s kind of bizarre no? Now I do apply effort but I don’t force anything. What’s meant to be will be.

emman damian
Guest

I agree. It’s Okay Not to Be Okay! It’s also a good practice to do introspection and ask yourself if you are genuinely fine.

Knycx Journeying
Guest

Thank you for the spiritual affirmations and the positive energy 🙂 I think that’s all we need right now 🙂 – knycx journeying

Christ Angeli
Guest

Always had this phase of not being okay. But I end up being all right afterwards. All things pass. It’s just a matter of where you spend your energies on.

Heather M
Guest
Heather M

I wish society would catch on. Sometimes I worry and I did add a kid, but in my family, we had to just shake it off and move on.

Kay
Guest

I’m OK with being OK! We need to accept the bad to appreciate the good!

Sol Razo
Guest

Nice post! So inspiring! Reminded me too that yeah, it’s ok not to be ok and how unpredictable life is.

Heather Prudeaux
Guest
Heather Prudeaux

I think that I have garnered that philosophy of caring less now that I am in my 40’s. What I used to worry about, is small in comparison to other things.

Britt K
Guest

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 🙂

Cha of littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.

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Bible Verse of the Day

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

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