You Don’t Have To Take This Too Seriously

When I take on worthy endeavors, such as religion or work or self-improvement, I often get this voice in my head that says, “You don’t have to take this too seriously.”

I think I first developed this as a kid. I never liked doing anything I wasn’t into. So when I had subjects at school I disliked, I just told myself, “You don’t have to take this seriously.”

When I realized at about age eight that the things I wanted most — success in this world — were of little consequence to my religion — I think I started saying to myself about the Seventh-Day Adventism I was raised in, “You don’t have to take this too seriously.”

Converting to Judaism was a shock. It’s hard to convert from a non-ritualistic religion to a ritualistic one. So as the rituals started piling up and I wasn’t into them, I’d tell myself at times, “You don’t have to take this too seriously.” Mind you, on plenty of occasions I said to myself, “You need to change your slovenly ways. You need to take this seriously.”

I entered psycho-therapy in 1998. I went every week, religiously. I read the books recommended to me. My life lurched from crisis to crisis over the next decade. At times with regard to therapy, I said to myself, “You don’t have to take this too seriously.”

With my last therapist in 2011, I said to him, “I often think that I just fine-tuned things, I could be great.” He recommended, however, that I seek major change.

I took up Alexander Technique in 2008. On few occasions did I say to myself, “You don’t have to take this too seriously.”

I’ve long found it hard to put much attention into my work if I wasn’t into it. I’ve never done well at anything I wasn’t passionate about.

I love irony and sarcasm but those who are building the greatest accomplishments tend to be deadly serious. The biggest winners I know aren’t ironic.

Sarcasm and irony tend to be markers of those who are detached. They’re not going anywhere in life and they know it.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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