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  • 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.