Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k // Sarah Knight

I’ve always been an optimist. Glass half full? Absolutely. Do your best and that’s all that matters? Of course. There’s a bunch of books currently on the market that promote this sort of thing, from well-being and mindfulness to the benefits of practicing yoga with your dog or a glass of rosé. Not many boast such straightforward titles, Knight openly possessing the magical skills to enhance your mind and your life.

First and foremost, I was a little taken aback when, after scouring the web reading reviews of Knight’s work, many deemed Knight’s work to be a form of ‘self help’. After reading, I can confirm that yes, it is. However that two-word term can often be a little scary, perhaps unwanted. Did I want to admit I was reading a self help book? Did I need help? No, not necessarily. However Knight’s informal yet firm tone allows the reader to feel in control, aware of their own reasons for picking the book in the first place. Self help? Sure, but it’s good help.

However, despite being an optimist (or at least trying to be) I was admittedly, dubious about Knight’s books – I mean, could I suddenly learn to stop giving a f**k? Is it really a kind of magic that can be learned from a 200 page book? Yeah, I’d say so.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If it’s one thing to learn to stop giving f**k, another is Knight’s straight-talking, witty and sharp attitude towards helping her readers to do so. Packed full of dry humour and Knight’s own experiences – leaving her corporate office job to work for herself and subsequently moving to the Caribbean (what a woman!), her work definitely packs a punch.

The book covers pretty much every area of one’s life and how giving a f**k can either be a good or bad thing in any one of these cases. From working life, family, money, relationships, learning to say no and the ‘The Power Of Negative Thinking’ (don’t knock this until you at least try it!). Knight presents to us a rather simple set of ideas – why should we give a f**k about things that we don’t care about? People we don’t care about? Jobs we don’t like? Family members who irritate us? Relationships that make us feel like crap? Well, Sarah Knight lays it out pretty clearly, we can stop thinking like this if we simply learn to stop giving a f**k about them.

I’m not claiming this book is the be all and end all of learning to how to curb irrational thoughts and f**k giving, however for me, it definitely did help. It put a few things into perspective and it certainly made me see the light on some situations, particularly those surrounding university life, family, friends and money matters.

A worthy read for anyone wishing to do exactly what the title suggests – stop giving a f**k. Will it help? Well, that’s up to you and your own current situation. But if you get anything from it, a dose of rationality, humour and perspective will no doubt instil itself in your brain long after you’ve put it down.

Knight has also published ‘You Do You’ and ‘Get your Shit Together’.

Words by Paige Bradshaw

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