Most of us spend far too much time doing things we don’t want to do in places we don’t like with people we don’t want to be with for ends we don’t care about it. All because of what? Essentially, fear. Fear of the judgement and criticism of others. It’s this which zaps us of time, energy and money, three crucial elements of life which Sarah Knight seeks to help us reclaim in her ‘practical parody’ book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do.
Whether it’s conference calls, bikini diets, cake sales, or weddings, she navigates us through the tricky art of tuning into what genuinely does matter to us – and having the ability and courage to say what this is out loud. By shedding guilt that comes from not giving a fuck about certain things, Knight has found that she has time for what really matters in life. Surely the aim for us all. It is absolutely ‘not about being an asshole’ but instead recognising that all of us have a limited amount of energy with which to invest in the world and so shouldn’t be wasting it on things which are unimportant to us. When your ‘fuck giving affects you and only you’ – give it up.
Written in a directional format, with clear guidelines on identifying what to give a fuck about, the minefield of opinions versus emotions, how to not give a fuck and not be an asshole, and formulating your own personal policy, it’s a self-help book written in the most irreverent fashion. Working through the holy grail from things to family – the hardest group to not give a fuck about, it’s an entertaining but brash read, liberally littered with both fucks and perceptive and true comments. Knight makes you laugh with her style, nod in collusion with her admission and feel supported by her honesty, all in a bright and breezy fashion that does not belie the importance of her message.
Some things completely are worth caring about, and so Knight advocates a ‘fuck budget.’ Like money, spend them only on things which bring you greater happiness or wellbeing – and ditch the rest. Not giving a fuck about one thing only frees you up to spend it on something else. BY envisioning these potential gains you become NotSorry (her simple name for the method) for taking a stand and investing in yourself – and probably become more honest and focused as a result. That’s the key she says ‘giving your fucks to things that make you happy.’
Because as coated in blue language as it is, what she has to say is very important. What other people think does not matter. Authenticity and being true to one’s self is the key to fulfilment. Recognising this frees you from mental clutter and the curse of perfectionism. So when will you stop giving a fuck and start living your life?