What is the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” about?
A lot of people are concerned about not only useless but even harmful things. However, due to deeply rooted social stereotypes, we rarely think about the reasons why these things are so important to us, taking everything for granted. One of these things is the concern about other people’s opinions. We live in constant fear of being judged, and therefore we do our best to make a good impression on ourselves, even if it acts against our interests. Being pushed by stress, anxiety, and guilt, we are unwillingly acting by some unspoken set of rules. But who said it’s supposed to be this way?
Sarah Knight says she used the «Konmari» method invented by Japanese writer Marie Kondo as the main source of inspiration for this book. This method helps people clean up their homes and get rid of the trash along with the negative energy it contains. To do this, you have to separate things that create a «spark of joy» inside of you from useless stuff. When it’s done, the domestic space will become harmonious and joyful, which will affect our lives in general. So Sarah Knight decided to do the same thing with her whole life. She got rid of all additional responsibilities, social boundaries, and her fear of public opinion. She calls these things «mental rubbish».
Sudden dismissal allowed her to get rid of many things she couldn’t help but care about before, such as the bosses’ opinion, the fear of being late for work, the dress code, counting days left to the vacation, corporative meetings and so on. Many of these things are a complete waste of time. But after quit, she regained control over her own time. Cleaning up her home helped her to clean up the mental rubbish.
According to Sarah Knight, she has always been a hyperactive perfectionist concerned about other people’s opinion. From a very young age, she wanted to prove to everyone that she was the best. She always went out of her way to impress her family, friends and even random strangers. To demonstrate her friendliness, she was polite even to the most toxic people, and she tried to be kind and forgiving even when she was fed up with it. At the of the day, it didn’t turn out well for her.
That’s why she came up with a method of cleaning up mental rubbish. This technique is called NotSorry and consists of two stages. During the first step, you have to determine the things in your life that you can leave behind. At the second stage, you’ve got to get rid of them without remorse.
As Sarah Knight suggests, ask yourself if you enjoy your life. Most likely the answer is going to be negative. It’s because of your concern about other people’s opinion, which makes you spend a lot of time, energy and money on useless things and unnecessary people.
Summary and 10 Ideas of “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck”
Idea #1: Ask yourself «Why should I care?» as often as possible.
Idea #2: Stop caring about what other people think.
Idea #3: You can’t meet everyone’s expectations and be happy at the same time.
Idea #4: Before making advances to meet someone’s expectations, don’t forget to check how your politeness will affect your own life.
Idea #5: Your mind is a crammed attic. Clean it up.
Idea #6: Your job is a constant source of stress, so it’s a good idea to apply some NotSorry attitude to it as well.
Idea #7: If you politely refuse your colleagues’ offer, it’s not going to cause the end of the world.
Idea #8: Sometimes it’s better to specify things that you disagree with instead of politely and honestly refusing someone.
Idea #9: Don’t forget to show some healthy NotSorry attitude when it comes to donating and borrowing money.
Idea #10: When you are showing your NotSorry attitude, just tell people that it’s your moral code.
Review “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck”
The book is fun and easy to read, albeit somewhat controversial. From one side, it’s reasonable to show healthy selfishness when someone wants to take advantage of you. However, you can’t view everything from this perspective since we are already not doing many things that we don’t like in daily life. Although, this book can be useful for overly polite and responsible people who can’t say «No». Such people should adopt a couple of principles of the NotSorry attitude – this will change their lives for the better, and they will have more free time to spend on themselves.
Pros and Cons:
- Humor; clear narrative; practical advice on how to stop caring about unnecessary things.
- Some readers may not stomach Sarah Knight’s writing style.
About Author Sarah Knight
Sarah Knight is a confirmed downshifter. She used to have a long and successful career in the publishing world of New York, she worked as editor of several favorite magazines, collaborated with many celebrities. For her colleagues, friends, and relatives it came out of the blue when she and her husband moved to the D minican Republic, thereby trading their high position and competitive salary for a freelance job. As she eventually stated, her brand new «I–couldn’t–care–less» attitude helped her make this choice and focus on the fundamental things, while discarding all the petty things she cared about in her previous life.