“What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?”


In his piece, 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose, Mark Manson writes about a handful of subjects that either, like the title insinuates, help you define your life purpose or really help you understand what is meant by that phrase in the first place and how to navigate that conundrum altogether. 

My favorite chunk is actually the first “What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?” I’d some up that section of his writing with these abbreviated excerpts (don’t take my word for it, click the above link and give it a read). 

“Everything sucks, some of the time.”

“What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually. Might as well pick one with an olive.”

He points out his own pessimism and alludes “Yeah, I get it”, but goes on to divulge his meaning. It boils down to the truth that nothing is awesome, fun, and enjoyable 100% of the time. I don’t care where your passion lays, forced to do that thing every minute of every day . . . you’ll find something about it that “sucks”. His point is that if forced to pick a shit sandwich to choke down it better at least come with a sliver, hopefully more, of enjoyment. 

In all things you decide to take on in life there has to be some weighing of cost. No mater how minuscule no one ever goes into anything without weighing the cost. It may be ultra-mega-super brief, but it’s there. In those moments we’re deciding if it’s worth what we’ll pay for it, what we’ll lose from it, or what the sacrifice will be down the line, long or short. 

I’ve done this for myself time and again sometimes without realizing. The tricky part is weighing all the costs not simply the ones that are readily available to your current state of awareness and are convenient to your cause. In short, don’t forget about the hidden costs or the costs of the costs to get really confusing. Look farther down the line at those that are hidden. 

You’ll also find that weighing costs begins to hinder your decision making on occasion. It may be one of those paralyzation by analyzation moments. Often we want to be thorough, or really just delay what we’re scared of (another talk for another day), and find ourselves stuck and complacent lacking execution. A new wrinkle is thrown in and we’re back to where we started “man, weighing my costs sure does slow me down”, but it’s all part of the process. 

In all aspects of life I have to weigh my costs and weigh how much of my cost I actually want to involve in my decision making. Self-discretion and self-awareness will be key to streamlining the process into one that just happens without needing a notepad and pen or board of trustees to bounce ideas off of. 

Discover it for yourself, but simplify. What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?

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