Right now the hottest book in the bloggersphere is undoubtedly The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k. You’ve probably seen it all over your Insta-feed and your favourite bloggers have probably been professing to it being the most life-changing thing they’ve ever read – but with good reason. I devoured this little treat of a book over a few dreary January evenings, when I really needed a kick up the posteria and a way to start my new year off with a new outlook; devoured is probably the best adjective to describe how most people will consume the words that are on the page, as it’s hard to put down once you get going. Our digital world has led us to be ever more concerned with the way we’re perceived and how we document our lives online; whereas before our dodgy hairstyles and badly curated outfits were lost for all time, now you only have to scroll back through a Facebook feed to see the horrors in all their glory. With the opening of our lives and their every detail, comes the inevitable scrutiny and comparison – and that in turn can leave us feeling dejected, somewhat of a failure (be it career wise, handbag wise or simply achieving those life milestones that you’re ‘supposed’ to tick off by a certain age) and giving too many f*cks about what everyone else thinks.
Pair that with FOMO (fear of missing out,) because every event and after-work drink is documented across every social media outlet going, and we’re left feeling like a bit of douche. Not only do we collectively waste too much time on comparison and attempting to please others, but as a result have far less time to spend giving a f*ck about what’s actually important to us. That’s where Sarah Knight and all her ingeniousness comes in. ‘The Life-Changing Magic’ and her ‘Not Sorry’ method provide a simple, yet incredibly effective, way to look at your life and reflect upon what’s important to you personally. She sets out her reasoning behind the method by comparing it to those tidying books that have been so incredibly popular, suggesting that the easiest way to ensure maximum life satisfaction is to clear away the clutter and find those gems that really do make you happy.
Split into four sections (things, work, friends and family,) the book encourages you to digest each area in turn and work out what actually you don’t (or shouldn’t) give a toss about and what you want to care more about moving forward. Whether it’s annoying family gatherings that leave you feeling sh*tty, charity collections that guilt you into parting with your hard-earned cash, or friends that drain your time with baby showers and hen do’s that you’d really rather skip, this book not only facilitates change but provides you with ways of backing out that don’t leave you looking like the bad guy.
In the interests of transparency, I went into this experience thinking I didn’t give much of a f*ck anyway; maybe it’s age, maybe it’s just the fact that I’m confident in my own skin and outlook, but on the whole I haven’t cared about what people think for some time. Although my 20’s were filled with paranoia and an inability to love myself for who I was, my 30’s have proven the complete opposite: I know who I am, what I have to offer and revel in my own uniqueness. I’m not afraid to have an opinion, share an opinion or to decline an offer of something I don’t want to do, but that doesn’t mean that this little pink book couldn’t reaffirm my viewpoints and leave me feeling invigorated. There were still lots of things that I realised I was spending too much energy on, rather than focusing on more important elements that will actually make me happier in the long term.
As I turned the pages I found myself nodding profusely; the book isn’t rocket science (in fact it’s just common sense,) but it takes someone to write it down and tell you when you’re good and ready for it to make a difference. Living online it’s easy to get caught in a little bubble where numbers, designer handbags and perfectly applied eyeshadow are the most important things in the world – this book allows you the headspace to realise they’re really not, and to identify other things your energy would be far better directed to. In case you need a little inspo, here are some of my key areas of ‘less f*cks given’ versus where I want to re-direct my energy. Writing them down is incredibly cathartic in itself.
Giving Less F*cks
1. What people online think about the way I look. (Yes I know I have a fat arse.)
2. Spending my time in pointless meetings and wasting away afternoons ‘networking’.
3. Worrying that I eat too much chocolate and drinking too much wine.
4. Number and stat checking constantly, for fear that I’m not ‘big’ enough.
5. Comparing myself to others: “I haven’t got married/bought a house/had a kid yet, sob.”
Giving More F*cks
1. Championing women over thirty and showing diversity online.
2. Using my time efficiently and meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in an age.
3. Being healthier in general and spending quality time getting fit. (Hello new gym membership.)
4. Generating an engaged audience that really appreciate the stuff I write about.
5. Focusing on being happy and grateful for what I do have/what I’ve actually achieved.
So why do we all need a ‘F*ck Budget’? Because, quite frankly, we’re all wasting our time giving too many f*cks about stuff that really isn’t that important – when we could be focusing on other stuff that makes us happy. It doesn’t make a difference if you want to swap up christenings or karaoke for saving the planet or catching up on Netflix, but it’s about using your precious time and energy in the ways that you want to. If you need some perspective and to stop worrying about everyone that disagrees with you online, or just a boost of confidence for when you’re sharing that next selfie, you need this book. It’s so easy to feel guilted into something, but The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k provides clarity and an actionable way of channeling your energy into more worthy causes. I am 100% down with this and recommend you jump aboard too.
If you had to give less f*cks about one thing, what would it be and why?
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is available from Amazon, priced from £1.99. It will be the best couple of quid you’ve ever spent. Promise.
PS: the reason there’s not a picture of the book? I totally gave it to a friend the moment I finished it so she could benefit from Sarah’s words of wisdom too; I forgot to actually take a photo first, so was the feeling of urgency to share! Gutted.