It Just Doesn’t Matter (Remix)

Do you find yourself constantly complaining about things outside your control?

Camp North Star is down big to rival, Camp Mohawk. All seems lost. Until Tripper (Bill Murray) gives a rousing speech which turns the tides leading to the ultimate underdog victory.

How does Tripper do it? Does he have a new gameplan? Did he discover a loophole in the competition? Is he highlighting the strengths and talents of his campers? Does he share Camp Mohawk’s greatest weakness?

None of the above.

Tripper’s master plan is, “It just doesn’t matter.”

Tripper highlights all of Camp Mohawk’s advantages (great athletes, best equipment money can buy, personal masseuses, training methods from the Soviet Union, etc.). He puts into words what everyone is thinking. All of Camp North Star is consumed with how wonderful Camp Mohawk is. They are focusing on what they can’t control, not what they can.

His solution is simple, stop worrying about Camp Mohawk. Not only does it not benefit Camp North Star in the competition, but it is actually making them perform worse.

I don’t know if Tripper believes that Camp North Star can win. I do know that he believes that they will have a lot more fun, play better, and have a better shot at winning if they stop focusing on Camp Mohawk.

What Bothers Kids?

I find myself saying, “so” to my kids quite frequently.

“Nick is staring at me.” – Robbie

“So.” – Me

“Tommy didn’t hang up his backpack.” – Nick

“So.” – Me

“Robbie got to watch 5 more minutes of show.” – Tommy

“So.” – Me

I think “so” is equivalent to Tripper’s “It just doesn’t matter.” All parents can relate to their kids fixating on things that either don’t matter, they don’t have control over, or both.

However, it’s adults who are the more frequent perpetrators of giving credence to things that have little to no impact on their lives.

What Bothers Adults?

Let’s take the above format (my interactions with my three boys) and apply it to adults. We’ll use Tripper and kids as the voices of reason.

“The neighbors have a new car.” – Adult

“So.” – Child

“Can you believe what that politician said on the 6 o’clock news?” – Adult

“It just doesn’t matter.” – Tripper

“Jody took my parking space.” – Adult

“So.” – Child

“We got a whole staff email about being on time for meetings, but I’m always on time.” – Adult

“It just doesn’t matter.” – Tripper

“That guy 100 yards in front of me didn’t put on his turn signal when he merged.” – Adult

“So.” – Child

“That department gets to telework and I have to commute everyday.” – Adult

“It just doesn’t matter.” – Tripper

Adults fixate on things that either don’t matter, they don’t have control over, or both (does this line look familiar?). What makes this behavior more infuriating is that there are many things which adults do have control over (unlike kids who have no control). But instead of doing something to change their situation, adults prefer to complain about it. For example, if a person’s job requires them to come in person to work and another department is able to work from home, nothing is stopping that person from trying to transfer or find a new job that provides that flexibility.

That leaves you with two choices when something ruffles your feathers:

  1. Tell yourself “it just doesn’t matter” and move on.
  2. Do something about it.

Internalizing the frustration or complaining about it is going to ruin your day and probably the coworker’s day who has to listen to you play your tiny violin.

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