There are thousands of books and articles on how to create a more prosperous life and more profitable business, and I’m sure you’ve read more than a few of them. But what if you want to take a different path? Sure, sometimes we make a mistake or commit a faux pas, but these random blunders aren’t enough to send us into a tailspin. Finally, here’s a reliable, systematic way to make a complete mess of your personal and professional affairs. It’s not an exhaustive list, to be sure, but it’s a great starting point. Follow these 5 steps every day, and let the misery follow!
- Pretend to be something you’re not. Stop trying to find your authentic self. Don’t worry about operating from a place of integrity. Instead, act like someone else, or everyone else. This requires a lot of acting and plenty of lying, and the great part is that it works even if you act like someone who is very charming, attractive, or popular. The key is to avoid being yourself and focus on being someone else. You’ll need to take clients you know you can’t serve, hang out with people you can’t stand, commit to do things you can’t or don’t want to do, make promises you know you’ll break, and spend money on activities and things you don’t value. This sounds like a lot of work, but if you’re serious about screwing up your life, committing to a lack of authenticity is a surefire way to do it.
- Blame others for your problems. These days, avoiding personal accountability is a MUST.
- Refuse all offers of help. If you truly want to set yourself up for failure, you must control every aspect of your life and business. Never, ever cooperate or partner with anyone. You’ll be stretched thin, saddled with too many commitments and not enough time or energy to deal with them, and sooner or later, everything will fall apart.. You’ll alienate people who want to help, but don’t worry—eventually they’ll stop offering. Refusing help should come easily to you: just tap into your natural embarrassment, pride, or controlling nature. The important part is not HOW you refuse help, just that you DO refuse help. Successful professionals build relationships, churches and communities thrive on mutual kindnesses, lifetime friendships and strong families operate on cooperation, reciprocity, and genuine giving. Eliminate your chance of accidental success and happiness by going it solo. You came into this world alone, you’ll die alone, and you’ll totally screw up your life if you move through it ALONE.
- Complain. A lot. And to anyone who will listen.
- Dream small, or better yet, don’t dream at all. You know that nagging voice inside you that says you’re destined for great things? IGNORE IT. Instead, focus on other inner voices, like the ones that tell you risk is scary, you’re selfish to want more, you’ll never succeed anyway, love is for other people, and you’re not good enough. Take comfort in listening to these familiar voices that have probably been saying the same things to you since childhood—they’ll keep you living small. So what if you watch others around you go after their dreams and reach them? They’re not serious about screwing up their lives, and if you ARE, then you need to focus on the negative. Surround yourself with lots of lazy, complacent, critical people, and this will be much easier. Misery loves company, and you’ll have no problem finding lots of people to join you in self-sabotage.
Maybe you’ve been doing some of these things without noticing. If so, the good news is you know exactly what the outcome will be and you’re well on your way! Can you add to this list? What else can we do to ensure we live small, unsatisfying lives?