The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

Book Review of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. Review by Charelle Griffith

I remember back in December 2015 buying The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I am a massive hoarder and decided in 2016 I was finally going to change that. So when I came across The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k I was very intrigued. At first, I thought it was by the same author, but then I realised it was actually by Sarah Knight and by no way approved, endorsed or authorised by Marie Kondo.

At the beginning, Sarah shares who the book is for. She states that “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is for all of us who work too much, play too little, and never have enough time to devote to the people and things that truly make us happy”.

The subtitle of the books is “How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like” and that is exactly what Sarah addresses in the book. The fact is that lots of us care too much about what other people think (and I definitely do at times). That would be fine if there weren’t implications, but unfortunately, time and energy are limited and you can’t get back what you spend on pleasing others instead of yourself.


The book is broken down into four chapters:

  1. On giving, and not giving, a f*ck
  2. Deciding not to give a f*ck
  3. Not giving a f*ck
  4. The magic of not giving a f*ck dramatically transforms your life


In Chapter 1 Sarah recommends that you “stop saying yes right away to please others and, instead, take a moment to question not only whether you give a f*ck (i.e., care) about the matter at hand but whether it deserves a f*ck (i.e., your time, energy and/or money) given to it as a line on your F*ck Budget.”

 Stop saying yes straight away is sound advice. In the moment we can feel pressurised to say yes to something we don’t want to do. Therefore, putting some time, and possibly distance, will help you to go with how you honestly feel rather than feeling you are under pressure.


Sarah then defines what not giving a f*ck actually means:

Not giving a f*ck means taking care of yourself first”

“Not giving af*ck means allowing yourself to say no”

“Not giving a f*ck – crucially – means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no”

“Not giving a f*ck means reducing mental clutter”.


Now that everyone is clear on what giving a f*ck actually means it is time to dig deeper and in Chapter 2 four categories are outlined:

  • Things
  • Work
  • Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers
  • Family

For each category, you are giving a number of examples and then a space to write your list of things. Now Sarah doesn’t shy away from the fact that just because you decide on what you don’t care about it means you will easily be able to say no in the future. Her recommendation is that you create a personal policy. She believes that  “Personal policies are an excellent way to conserve your f*cks swiftly, efficiently, and with an extremely low risk of hurt feelings”. 

Chapter 3 and 4 look what you gain by not giving a f*ck. The purpose of not giving a f*ck is not to be mean to other people, but so you are able to concentrate on what is important to you. By saying no to others you gain and Sarah says that “Time, energy, and money are the things you gain by ceasing to give a f*ck”.


The purpose is about having time to do what you want to do. Sarah writes about the idea of fitting and that she wrote the book for people who where tired of fitting in. Her actual words were that the book was “for people who are exhausted by presenting a façade of interest, enthusiasm, and conformity to the rest of the world. It is about empowering them (you) to feel free to be themselves (yourselves) and live their (your) best lives.


I love that point. Now the book might swear a bit more than I would like, but I love the ethos of what Sarah is trying to do. It is about you forgetting about conforming for your family, friends or society. It is about doing what you want to do, rather than what you feel you should do. This is exactly what I teach through PropelHer. Life is too short to live it for someone else, but that can be easier said than done. Through “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k Sarah provides some techniques to help you spend your time how you please.


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Want to know more? Buy a copy The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k  for yourself.

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