You Do You Book Summary - You Do You Book explained in key points
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You Do You summary

Sarah Knight

How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want

4 (282 ratings)
20 mins
Table of Contents

    You Do You
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    The world is full of arbitrary rules that you don’t need to follow.

    Life is full of rules. With the exception of laws and formal codes of conduct, most of these are unwritten and enforced by social pressure. Some make a lot of sense. “Don’t tag your friends in unflattering photos” and “Don’t answer the door nude” are pretty good rules, for example. 

    Others, however, don’t make a lot of sense. And because the world is full of sticklers hellbent on enforcing these arbitrary rules, there are always going to be folks telling you when you should go to college or have kids, or what you should wear to a party. Breaking these rules might not land you in prison, but it may lead to social ostracism. 

    But here’s the thing: deep down, no one knows more about who you are and what makes you happy than you do. Living by other people’s rules risks leading you away from this intuitive understanding of what you need to do. Instead of living in ways that fulfill you, you may get pressured into Lowest Common Denominator Living. You’ll stifle traits and tics that don’t fit other people’s definition of normality, and consequently end up miserable. 

    In these blinks, we’ll help you break out of this trap. The name of the game is to learn to see social expectations for what they are and take some of the pressure off yourself by refusing to follow senseless rules.

    The best place to start doing this is to embrace a model called Mental Redecorating, an approach to reappraising your supposed “flaws.” 

    This is about recoding qualities that society regards as negative. “Nerdy,” for instance, is often used to put people down. Mental redecorating, by contrast, would redescribe this character trait in positive terms like “smart” or “knowledgable.” The same goes for a word like “weird,” which is just another way of saying “unique.”  

    The point to bear in mind here is that there’s nothing wrong with who you are – the social rules that make you think you’re the problem are to blame. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can start breaking away from social expectations. 

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    What is You Do You about?

    You Do You (2017) is part broadside against the enforcers of silly norms and part invitation to rethink our relationships with ourselves. Packed with no-nonsense truth-telling, these blinks suggest that whatever you’ve been told to the contrary, there’s nothing wrong with being you – warts and all. In fact, Sarah Knight argues, embracing your true self is the surest path to getting what you want out of life. 

    Who should read You Do You?

    • Individualists and contrarians 
    • Conformists tired of living by the rules
    • Freedom fighters in search of happiness

    About the Author

    Sarah Knight is a freelance writer and anti-guru known for her best-selling, tell-it-like-it-is takes on the self-help genre. She is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, a guide to using your time more wisely based on a TEDx talk that racked  up 6 million views, and Get Your Sh*t Together.

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