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 Replies to “The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove”

  1. This is like a jump a few centuries backwards. It's disgraceful for TED to let her speak with profanity in her speach. She's iust angry, aggressive, unhappy person full of insecurities.

  2. This should be called, "how to stop feeling guilty about being an introverted, millenial, hermit," and the next one will be called, "oh no, I've wasted my whole life, avoiding human interaction in order to watch more TV."

  3. Seems to me like her favorite game of thrones character was killed off, otherwise she wouldn't be so passive aggressive about the series.

  4. i know this was meant to be inspiring and all but i couldn’t concentrate on anything but the amount of times she said f**k hahaha

  5. Live your positive passions = dreams = you'll "Never work a day in your life" part 2, it doesnt mean just 1 thing.🤸‍♂️✨…yeah?

  6. BS.
    if everyone could work for themselves and survive , that would be great , but nope that can't happen. You could end up starving to death instead. I mean it's absolutely great if you keep in mind you need money , so you need a job

  7. Devote your time to what makes you happy. Don't do what makes you unhappy.
    I don't know what could be more obvious. Perhaps, if stabbing yourself with a knife hurts, stop stabbing yourself with a knife.

  8. Wow, lifechanging…stop doing things you dont want to. Lets all move to tropical islands and only do things we like!

  9. That's how you become socially ostracized and die alone. The general message is true, but we are social animals and we need to force ourselves to attend social events so our brain doesn't flip out. Being honest about not wanting to go to a birthday party can be really hurtful to the person. You should feel sorry when you hurt someone, even if you are being honest.

  10. Taking care of self is important. Boundaries in life are critical. Ultimately however, we are here in this world to serve. Service is selfless.

  11. To save your 12.5 minutes instead of listening to a ""liberal millennial with low self-esteem"" In smart people terms she means authenticity let go of your mental blocks and don't suffer living a life which will keep you depressed. Although getting on audible and start listening to books, getting cultured and living with humility/ transparency and selflessness. You can't be modernly cool – sarcastic and then expect people to respect you.

  12. Maybe she’s in denial. Just wondering. Of course, there’s also psychopathy although she doesn’t seem that confident. She loves that F word. … how freeing is that. On the other hand, I agree with everything she says and wish her the best.

  13. Best fiction editor. If anyone can uncluttered and reinvent their life, it’s Ms. Knight. Underlying kernel dispensed: be authentic.

  14. I quit facebook and instagram, now i have way more fucks to give towards eating healthier, connecting with nature, cutting down on weed, meditating

  15. I've had many good experiences from many times I've been unwillingly taken to places i thought I wasn't going to enjoy at first. I end up appreciating the people for taking me out of my comfort zone.

  16. Loved it. Reminds of the writer Florence King whose response to social invitations was " I'd love to but I just don't want to."

  17. You can't NOT give a f*ck when it comes to paying child support to someone u hate just so u can see people u love as little as possible. Modern day slavery.

  18. Wait wait wait… You DON'T like Game of Thrones? But… It's got swords.. Dragons (spoilers, sorry).. 👸🏻🤴🏻⚔️🐲🐲🐲 (I'm kidding. Great video.) 😁👍🏻

  19. I have noticed she really likes to focus on the game of thrones.. We all have to work and do things we dont want too. Cuz we live in a capitalistic society.. Well now she is getting into the stuff that makes sense.. Do what you want. Too many people care about social status

  20. Oh wow! It would be great if someone wrote a book about this . . . Oh wait, someone has! Mark Manson has written two books on this topic. He also has a website full of orginal content, unlike some other people we might have recently watched.

  21. No thank you!
    I don’t have time!
    I can’t afford it!
    I don’t want to!
    NOT TODAY !
    Not ever!
    I said no!
    You’re so funny! Thank you for talking about mental decluttering.

  22. The good thing is I don't have enough friends or associates to even have to worry about activities. Most of the things I do are by myself and I'm happy with that.

  23. I'm pretty sure Mark Manson already covered this. Why make a TedTalk on it? Because people don't know how to read a book? If you have time to spend multiple hours on your phone looking at memes, you have time to install a book app and then read "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck."

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