The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving a ****: A Review

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Ah, Facebook.  Something I truly don’t give a flying … about.

(I swear that WordPress’ editor is trolling me right now.  The next post I’ll publish will be a rant on my phone regarding this stupid bloody editor!) 

Hey!  Yes you, reading this post right now.

Do you cuss like a sailor?  Do you like narrators that break the fourth wall to talk to you while they cuss like sailors?  Do you like self-help books with narrators that break the fourth wall to talk to you while they cuss like sailors?  No?  Well, this book isn’t for you.

The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving a ****
by Sarah Knight (I’ll shorten to TLM) is a self-help book that does exactly what it says on the tin (or rather, the cover).  This book intended to be a parody of Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, but Knight’s version aims to teach us to tidy up our minds, by giving less f%$#s about things that aren’t that important to us.

Sometimes, we worry and fret about things that others have imposed on us i.e. being invited to a party you don’t really want to go to, but you don’t want to offend the host by saying no; or, a co-worker guilt tripping you to donate to a charity which will make you feel bad and look evil for not donating, because proceeds are going to lesser-fortunate children in an under-developed country.  It’s all true!  More than often, we sacrifice our own needs and wants just to appease to others and to not seem like a prick… but lo and behold The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving a ****, which will teach us how to not give a cattle truck about things that others are making us over-think and stress out over.  The main basic philosophy of TLM is to:
 
  • Put our own needs first
  • Categorise our thoughts from things we care less about to not at all, descending
  • To start what Knight calls a F&*^ budget, in which we treat the flying hoots we give like money; what do we want to spend it on?  Is it worth the firetruck to giveth?
  • To be civil yet honest towards others who are imposing these ****s onto us
  • In essence, decluttering our minds

Overall, the premise sounds good, and I’ve sort of started to adapt to some of the techniques that the book outlines aka the NotSorry method.  So yeah, this book has helped me be a little more mindful by not thinking about events, people, or other simultaneously (and this isn’t something anyone can do overnight).  Knight goes through situations involving work, friends, family, weddings, donations, and social activities, and how we can use the NotSorry method in each circumstance.  By giving fewer flip-flops about the nonsensical business that doesn’t really pertain to us, we can channel this energy to ourselves; doing things we really want to do without any guilt.

While has been noted that TLM is a parody of Kondo’s bestseller, I no longer felt the novelty within this text.  In my opinion, comedy only ever works in moderation.  For instance, if a sitcom’s scenes were punchline after punchline (accompanied by canned laughter), it would be labelled as lame and be panned by viewers.  Yes, the cluster f-bombs littered throughout every page was funny the first two pages, but the more I read through TLM, the more I got sick of seeing the word.  I grew jaded and was starting to think it was becoming try-hard edgy.  I know that’s the whole purpose of the parody, but the joke was trite and the charm faded away very quickly.  If I wanted to witness the F word in excess, I’d go down to my local pub at five, when the tradies gather around after work for a pint or three.  Additionally, I find that publications that keep swearing to a minimum are easier to stomach and like.  Otherwise, Knight’s writing (when she wasn’t swearing) is witty, clever, and engaging.

To go slightly off-topic, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way and want to share with you, reader to reader, regarding giving a hoot in life:
 
  • Don’t be taken aback if someone accuses you of being selfish.  As humans, we’re all somewhat selfish by nature and we all have our centric desires and wants.  It can become harmful is when our wants are frequently at the expense of others.
  • For some of us, it’s difficult to say the simple word “no”.  We don’t want to offend others for saying no or saying you can’t come to a party, but it’s better to be honest and transparent by saying no rather than making up excuses or being ambiguous to the other person.  The latter actions are kind of toxic to do and it may hurt the other person more than saying a flat-out nope.
  • We can’t always think ‘IDGAF’ all the time.  There are times when someone else requires your empathy, your ears, and your trustworthiness.  While Knight does delve into this a bit, I don’t think she discussed it enough (TLM is a guide on how to put yourself first without coming off as an ass).
So, on GoodReads, I gave the book 3 stars; could’ve been 4 because there were many very valid points, but I stopped giving a French Connection United Kingdom (see what I did there?  You can tell me to get out now).  Now, here’s a few Qs for you: have you read The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving a ****? What did you think?  Nice advice, or did you simply not give a duck?  Let me know down in the comments below, and I’ll see you in the next post!  Stay mindful, folks!
 
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