The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove

The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove


Translator: Ellen Maloney
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven We’re living in a post-tidying society. Everyone, including me, has a story
about de-cluttering their home. Gathering all of their possessions
into the middle of the floor, deciding what brings joy, and then bidding farewell
to a set of spatulas in pursuit of a calmer, happier life. But what if we could gather up
all of the other stuff – tasks, events, obligations relationships – and drop it at the kerb
without a single regret? And by doing so, be free to focus our time,
energy, and money on the stuff that really makes us happy? Well, I figured out how to do it. It is great, and I call it, “The life-changing magic
of not giving a fuck.” (Cheers) (Applause) I hope you’ll excuse my language because
there is more where that came from. Before I can teach you
how to stop giving a fuck, we have to talk about what it means
to give one in the first place. ‘Giving a fuck’ means you care, right? So when I say, “I don’t give a fuck
about ‘Game of Thrones,'” I mean, “I don’t care
about ‘Game of Thrones.'” (Laughter) Now, let’s take the concept
a step further. Let’s define your ‘fucks’
as your time, energy, and money. (Laughter) If you don’t care about something,
you should stop giving your fucks to it. I don’t care about ‘Game of Thrones’
so I don’t spend time watching it; I don’t spend energy wondering
where the next season is going; and I don’t spend my money on the books,
merchandise, or anything Westeros related. ‘Game of Thrones’
does not get any of my fucks. (Laughter) Make sense? By making these calculated decisions, you wind up with more time,
energy, and money to spend on the things
you really do care about. And I call that “making a fuck budget.” (Laughter) I’ll get back to fuck budgets in a minute,
but first, I want to tell you a little bit about how the life-changing magic
of not giving a fuck happened to me. Two and a half years ago, I was a senior editor
at a major New York publishing house. I had spent 15 years
clawing my way up the corporate ladder, I had a roster of best-selling authors, and everything I always thought I wanted
from my career was coming to pass. But I was really, really unhappy. The kind of unhappy that makes it hard
to get out of bed in the morning; the kind of unhappy that makes it hard
to commute 45 minutes on the NYC subway; and hard to spend eight – ten hours
at your desk before turning around, going home, and doing it all over again. So, I quit. And making that decision
was also really hard. A lot of red wine, a lot of tears. But what came after I quit
was nothing short of life-changing. Once I removed myself
from the culture and lifestyle of a job that had been
making me so unhappy, I was free to focus my time and energy
on what would make me happy – including working,
but just in a different way – and eventually, on moving
from Brooklyn to a tropical island. I stopped giving my fucks to working
for a corporation, wearing pants, and taking those long subway commutes. And I started giving my fucks
to working for myself, wearing bikinis, and taking long walks on the beach. I’m telling you, life changing. (Laughter) But none of that change happened
because I had tidied up my apartment. It happened because I cleared out my mind. Let me try and explain. Imagine your mind is a barn, and inside it is are all of the things
that bring you joy, but also, all of the stuff
that annoys you. The potential for a happy life is there, but you have to clear out the annoy
to make room for the joy. This is mental de-cluttering,
and it is magical. I did it by accident when I quit my job,
but it was so amazing that I developed a way for you
to do it on purpose. I call it “the not sorry method.” It has two steps. Step one: Decide what
you don’t give a fuck about. Step two: Don’t give a fuck
about those things. (Laughter) Simple, right? But I know what you’re thinking: This sounds like a recipe
for turning into an asshole. (Laughter) It’s okay, I get that a lot. But that’s where
the “not sorry” part comes in. My method is all about not giving a fuck
using honesty and politeness. So in the end,
you don’t have to feel guilty. You are on your best behavior,
and you have nothing to apologize for. You are quite literally not sorry. You’re also not an asshole. So how might the not sorry
method work for you? Well, let’s say, you love
‘Game of Thrones’ and you’ve been invited
to a Sunday night dinner party that interferes with watching
your favorite show. You feel bad about
turning down the invite, but you really love ‘Game of Thrones,’ and you don’t want to record it
to watch later because… spoilers. Well, you only have so much time, energy,
and money to spend on Sunday night. So, you need to consult your fuck budget. (Laughter) Decide which activity brings more joy and allocate your fuck bucks accordingly. (Laughter) I’m telling you, if you respond in a timely fashion, “No thanks, can’t make it
to that dinner party,” you’ve done nothing wrong. You were honest, you were polite,
and you don’t have to be sorry about it. And that’s just the tip of the fuck-berg. (Laughter) You can apply the “not sorry”
method to anything: tasks, events, obligations, even people. You start by making a list of everything
that’s cluttering up your mental barn; all of the impositions on your time,
energy, and money; the fucks you’re being asked to give. To keep it manageable, I go by category. So for example, work is one category, and five fucks on your list might be
mandatory meetings, conference calls, your coworkers charity half-marathon, a going away party for a coworker
you don’t even like, and doing your actual job. (Laughter) Once you’ve listed them all out,
you perform the “not sorry” method. Step one: Decide what annoys you. Non-essential stuff you don’t care about. Step two: Stop giving your fucks
in the form of time, energy, and money to those things. Then cross them off your list
with a big black marker. It feels good, just go with it. (Laughter) What I’m saying is, yes, you may have to
get up and go to work every day, and you may have to attend
some mandatory meetings. But you do not have to attend
a going away party for a colleague you don’t even like. But if you are still having trouble
not giving that fuck? I recommend a visualization exercise. Picture how you’re going to feel
when you walk into that party: annoyed or full of joy? (Laughter) It’s been a long day, your feet hurt, you don’t love socializing
with your colleagues at the office, let alone at a shitty bar. (Laughter) You really don’t love pitchers
of warm Coors Light. So, what should you do? RSVP ‘No’ of course. Why would you spend your fuck bucks
or your actual bucks on this party? I’ll tell you why. You do it because you feel
obligated and guilty. You are psyching yourself out
of a perfectly fine response, “No,” before you even try it. Most people just don’t think
this stuff through. They say “Yes” to things
like this right away, then wind up wasting time,
energy, and money on an annoying, unenjoyable night out. You waste even more time and energy
just dreading the party a week beforehand. And even more, trying to come up with ways
to weasel out of your commitment, then worrying you’ll be seen as an asshole
for bailing at the last minute. And honestly? If you do bail at the last minute, having never intended
to go in the first place, then you are an asshole. And you should feel bad about it. (Laughter) Instead, pause; visualize; and say a timely, polite,
“No, thanks. Can’t make it.” This is how you stop
spending time you don’t have, with people you don’t like, doing things you don’t want to do. You’ll be less busy,
less burdened, less annoyed. You’ll have so much more time,
energy, and money, and you will wonder why you didn’t stop
going to baby showers ten years ago. (Laughter) But look. You don’t have to quit your job and escape
to a tropical island like I did. You can make massive,
liberating, meaningful change just by clearing out your mental barn,
making a fuck budget, and sticking to it. You don’t have to organize a yard sale. You just have to say
the words “No, thank you.” “I don’t have time.” “I can’t afford it.” You can even say, “I don’t want to.” The world will not end. This is you being honest and polite. No fucks given, not sorry. The life-changing magic
is right there for the taking. To be honest, de-cluttering your house
only takes about a week. Then it lasts one or two. But mental de-cluttering? Learning how to say “No,” set boundaries,
and give fewer, better fucks? That lasts forever. Thank you. (Cheers) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove

  1. Are people just unable to see that she’s teaching absolutely nothing? It feels like a failed one man show to me

  2. This actually comes totally naturally to me. But I know people who need this help. It is so funny (to me) to see people struggling with this. Haha just do what you want! Value your time!

  3. When you sit and think about it it makes perfect sense. I really wish I could do that as well. But I am keeping it in mind for when I'm mentality and physically able to do a "not giving a f*ck" declutter.

  4. Fucks defined by this lady Giving time energy and money.

    Well when they give me there time and energy and I give them money. See it’s okay officer.

  5. Its actually comical.. Im super nice no fucks given n have tried to explain many times but every body always fuckn cares n r miserable from my no fucks given.. Sendn this video to many

  6. This was a great talk, but then it seems sad that we have to have a TED Talk to get people to realize they can politely decline other people’s requests of us. That use to be common knowledge.

  7. Then you shouldn't feel bad when people don't come to your parties or they don't help you out either. I know a few people who act like this, they don't ever come show up when invited but then they expect other people to act in a different way.

    Sure, it can feel like a burden to do things you don't care about but if it makes other people happy, it should be a reason good enough. It's called not being a selfish asshat.

  8. So some random slob curses on stage and we're supposed to think she is some sort of oracle? Hilarious!

  9. I kind of liked this, but there is one flaw on this: she has no kids. When you have children you can't do what she says, you have to provide

  10. I wish my mom knew and understood the concept of not giving f*cks, cos the amount of f*ckbucks she has given to every other a**hole in her life has bankrupted her f*ckbudget completely..

  11. She has enough money not to give a f***.
    Because you people are there giving a f*** about what she's saying.
    This stuff is what men know anyway.
    This is a woman who has listened to a man's point of view

  12. besides that she says nothing new, she basically excluded 80% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and can't follow her ' simple' advice from her life experience to leave their unsatisfying jobs and do something " they give a f*** ", while musing in between jobs over countless glasses of wine in their New York apartments.

  13. I have been using this technique since KINDER GARDEN!! Really works! And the walks in the beach are soooo healing and work for own health, inner and out beauty.

  14. Somehow ..I care not for your mentality, so I shall scroll along. Intelligence has empathy, learn to make proper choices.

  15. Listen … I just stopped giving my f🖕🏾. And I feel amazing that I don’t have to explain anymore about why my emotional f 🖕🏾are more important than anybody else’s.

  16. naturally im a very caring person but since i try to not care anymore life is way more peaceful although the loneliness of not caring enough to be around people is killer

  17. This is really nice. I do feel , It’s important to distinguish among people you care vs general public when applying this method. I strongly feel there is nothing wrong in doing things with family even siblings that you may not thoroughly enjoy. Doing so you will understand them better as well as stay connect.

  18. Don't you think by doing that, you start to stay in your comfort zone if you feel like you don't wanna do it…what about adjusting to your community as part of building relationships. Sort of activities that can teach you to extend yourself and get to know yourself better in the process

  19. I watched this twice just because I like her delivery. I don't socialize that much for various reasons. I give an eff, but not many give an eff about me. lol

  20. This was awesome – and she speaks & explains it all so well & in a great way. Great talk 👍 I learned a lot from this. I say way too often, “I wished I didn’t care so much…” of course not about anything but there are so many unimportant things in life that we all give too much of a f*ck about- & it really drags you down.

  21. If you want to get a message across, you should know better than to resort to cheap vulgar sarcasm, madam. You seem bright enough for that.

  22. It's an interesting speech. However, I think there's something missing that I find really important. She didn't tell us how to decide what's important for us. Every now and then we have to push ourselves into doing things that annoy us in order to achieve our goals.
    For example, it is sometime necessary that we attend an annoying business party while we rather stay home and have a nice meal with our family , because we need to maintain good relationships with our coworkers or there's someone in the party who we need to connect with.
    We have to see the bigger picture and not be distracted by the emotions we feel at present.

  23. And God never commanded "thou shalt please thy neighbor in everything he likes and you shalt enslave yourselves to their expectations"

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