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Every Reaction Is an Over-Reaction

Things are rarely as bad — or as good — as you think they are. The goal is not to get too attached to lopsided thinking in one direction or the other.

Mark Manson
10 min readOct 17, 2022

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I remember, back in 2008, walking into my manager’s office at the investment bank I worked at for all of three weeks and proudly declaring that I quit. I had just come up with an idea for an internet business that I thought was going to earn me a full-time income within a few months. (It would go on to make about $400… total.)

I remember that summer, working tirelessly on my friend’s futon, watching my bank account fall deeper and deeper into the red, having idea after idea fall flat, being utterly convinced that I had just ruined my life.¹

I remember that next winter, while being supported by a (very patient) girlfriend, coming up with an idea for a video platform, teaching myself how to code it, and actually believing I was going to be a millionaire within a year. (Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.)

I remember in 2009 the first time someone plagiarized me, thinking that my whole career was over. I was too dumb and broke to pursue any sort of legal threat. And I falsely believed that any good idea I came up with, someone with more money and more industry clout could simply steal it and profit off of it more than I ever could.

I remember in 2010, after moving back in with my mom, asking my friends to buy my beers when we went out because I had no money, and seeing the look on their faces as if someone they knew had just died.

I remember that same year, finally producing my first successful product and earning enough money to move out of my mom’s house for the second time, at age 26. It wasn’t enough to live off of in the US, but it was enough to live off of in Latin America, which is where I headed. In my mind, I was living the dream and nothing would ever be the same.

I remember how within three months I got homesick and flew home, wondering what the fuck I had just killed myself working the past three years for.

Looking back, I lived those years on an emotional rollercoaster. One month, I was up, thinking I was the next Steve Jobs. Two months later…

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Mark Manson

Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.