The Magic Of Not Giving A F***


As you may be able to tell from my recent posts, lately I have been reading and watching a wide variety of inspirational content that has been helping me a great deal in my transition to a new, married, adult life. Thus far, I have come across many challenges that I have been able to overcome, as well as my fair share of mistakes which I see as lessons learned. And now, finally, things are falling more and more into place each day…except for one thing. This one thing I’m talking about, and excuse my language, is the amount of fucks I choose to give- the same one thing that almost kept me from sharing this post publicly today. I am referring to what quite possibly may be the most humorous life-changing Ted(x) Talks of all time: The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck, by Sarah Knight. 

In her talk, she begins by mentioning something I am already passionate about: the idea of minimalism as it is seen commercially, via decluttering the items in your possession to make room for only the items that bring meaning into your life. However, she takes this concept a step further and suggests the same idea, except in reference to your life. “What if“, Knight ponders, “we could declutter tasks, events, relationships and even obligations, all without a single regret, and focus our time, energy, and money in the (pursuit of what brings true joy)?” The good news is that she has developed a simple yet clear method to do exactly that, and you can even have a good laugh as you learn how to apply it for yourself.

But first, to be totally clear, what Knight means by “giving a fuck” is “to care” about something. These fucks consist of your time, energy, and resources, including your money and your thoughts. The concept is basic: if you don’t care about something or cannot control it, you should stop giving your fucks- your time, energy, and resources- to it. By deciding which areas of your life you choose to give your fucks to, you have more resources to devote to the few and meaningful things you do actually care about. And in the end, you don’t even feel guilty about any of it. How can you do this? By applying her two-step method, called, the “Not-Sorry Method”:

Step 1: Decide what you don’t give a fuck about
Step 2: Don’t give a fuck about those things

But there’s a twist, a necessary addition to the method to prevent turning into a careless jerk. That is, the “Not-Sorry” part, which is the use of honesty and politeness so that you don’t feel guilty. Basically, as long as you are doing your best and making sure to not hurt anyone else in the process, there is no reason to regret or apologize for where you distribute your fucks. The example she uses is that of someone who has a mandatory work meeting and a going-away party for a co-worker you don’t even like. To keep it realistic, you may choose to give your fuck to the work meeting in order to avoid financial distress, but you choose to let your co-worker know, in a polite and timely manner, that you will not be able to attend the party. After this, you have allotted yourself the freedom to give your additional fucks to something you care about more than your co-worker’s party, and you have done it in an honest and polite manner that leaves you unapologetic and guilt-free.

The reason this video struck me was because I have always considered myself a free-spirit: one who is confident enough in their self image and their life choices that, as long as they are not causing harm to anyone else, they are able to live totally freely without caring about the opinions of others. But lately, because I am in an entirely new life situation filled with many unknowns, I have been constantly questioning myself and feeling anxious about what others think of me. Knight’s humorous method has served as a serious reminder to myself that I need to be more cautious of where I give my own fucks. To me, it is important to take care of myself, inside and out, to spend time building old and new relationships and helping others, and to balance a life of learning new responsibilities with my own interests as well. As long as I am doing my best, focusing on the positive whilst accepting the negative, and staying true to my faith, then I can give my fucks where I want and not feel bad about what other people say. 

If you’d like to read more about Sarah Knight and her magical “Not-Sorry” method, check out her book, a self-proclaimed “practical parody” of, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, here on Audible, and be sure to take some time today to re-evaluate your own fuck budget to find freedom and maximize your joy!

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