A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post about 100 Ways To Live A Better Life. The post got featured almost instantly on Delicious, Reddit and StumbleUpon. Since then, it gets a few hundreds hits every day and a new comment every once in while (although it’s more than 2 months old now). But re-reading it the other day I spotted a slight imbalance. Couldn’t tell at first what it was, but it was an imbalance. Like a picture with too much pink.
Then it hit me: life is not pink. It’s rough and challenging and filled with tests and temptations. And this is what makes it beautiful, after all. Living a better life stems most of the time from making a lot of mistakes and learning from them, rather than from avoiding challenges. Better try and fail than isolate yourself in a sea of delusion and non-action. As pink as that sea might be.
So, I realized I know at least 100 ways to screw up your life too. And I also realized that this list would make an honest companion to the first blog post. Like a mirror or something. Oh, and if you wonder, the following 100 ways to screw up your life were personally verified at some point in my life by yours truly. And now I’m pretty happy about that :-).
[Update: The ebook based on this is out and hot (already translated into Korean and Farsi). Scroll down for more info.]
Without further ado, let’s start:
1. Regret Stuff
Feel sorry about what happened to you. Spend time and energy on things that aren’t even there, but you feel are “unsolved yet”. Keep your focus on the past and ignore the present. This is what regrets do: they tie you down to things in the past that doesn’t matter anymore. Well, you can’t do anything about them anyway: accept and move on.
2. Accept to Be Lied To
Even if you know you’re lied. Accept to be told lies in the name of something “bigger” than you: a family, a career, anything. Eat it up every day while knowing the truth and still accepting that other, twisted reality, hoping at some point things will go better. They won’t. And there is no such thing as something bigger than you.
3. Stay in the Wrong Partnership
Wrong partnerships may be both personal or professional. You may think it’s just temporary or even “it might be good for you” but you’re just deluding yourself. Wrong partnerships are nothing but swamps: they’ll slowly drag you down. If you don’t get out of them the moment you realize they’re wrong for you, you’ll become one with the swamp.
4. Succumb to Addictions
Make them “bigger” than you. Call it alcohol or just an addiction to fight. Call it work, as in workaholic, or eating much more than you need. Call it drugs or just an addiction to a person (co-dependence). Giving in to addictions is a conscious act of surrender. You accept to lose a battle. And then another one. Slowly, you’ll going to lose the war.
5. Dream Without Taking Action
Daydreaming is good. It opens your heart to new universes and goals. But daydreaming without action is useless. Sitting on your fat ass while waiting for all your intentions to manifest, without taking the smallest action for moving things forward, won’t change anything. Oh, sorry, it will change something: you ass will be fatter.
6. Sleep More Than You Need
Because you’re too tired of doing the same stupid things again while you’re awake. Or because you’re avoiding your real life, searching for a shallow refuge under the pillow. And, of course, lose all the opportunities you could embrace while you’re sleeping. Becoming an early riser, on the other hand, is more than often priceless.
7. Play The Guilt Card
If you did something wrong, instead of a) assessing what was really wrong, b) learn the lesson and c) move on, play the guilt card. Feel guilty for all the bad things you did, until you start feeling guilty for all the things you did. Playing the guilt card is closely related to religion, but it can occur outside religion too. Just get over it. Guilt can’t pay your rent.
8. Victimize Yourself
If you lost something, act like you’ve lost everything. Be a victim. Ask for other people’s compassion. Play like every people you meet makes whatever omelet he wants from you. Victimizing yourself in exchange of compassion is far more common than you think. It’s contagious too. Just remember you may lose a battle, but that’s not making you a victim.
9. Avoid Introspection
As difficult as it seems, every once in a while you should step back and interview yourself. Bite the bullet and ask yourself a bunch of tough questions. Better give a wrong answer now to a difficult question, but move on with your life, than ignoring what’s going on with you and remain stuck. Introspection always pays forward.
10. Work Harder Than You Can
And ruin your health while pretending you’re sacrificing for the good of the … (fill in the blanks: family, friends, boss, career, planet). You have physical limits and usually that’s a good thing. Breaking up your physical limits in the name of a stupid cause will screw up your life faster than you think. And for a long time. Work smarter, not harder.
11. Don’t Play
Because it’s stupid, it wastes your time and energy and it doesn’t give you any measurable results. Don’t play and lose the only divine thing that you get for free. Don’t play and let your inner child become a gray adult with heavy topics to discuss every minute. Don’t play and watch how your life gets seriously screwed up.
12. Stop Learning
Because you already know too much or because what you will learn will not give you any competitive advantage in the narrow niche you’re playing now. Stop learning because there’s so much to discover that you won’t cover it even in a dozen lifetimes. Stop learning because it gets so difficult and it takes you out of your comfort zone. Yeah, why bother? Screw it!
Talk bad about other people. That’s a 100% sure way to screw up your relationships, your social credibility, your personal values. The way you talk about people often determines the way you act towards them. Gossip is a heavy weapon and, no matter how skilled you get at using it, it always destroys its owner. Do it often. It will accelerate the decay process.
14. Aim To Be Famous
And do all the stupid things other people expect from famous people in the process. Beg for attention, hunt the hype, dress like a douche. Cheat your friends for the sake of some media visibility or discard your personal life. Being famous is not at all a guarantee that you will automatically live a fulfilling life. Most of the time, the opposite is true.
Update: After more than 70.000 100.000 125.000 people have read this post, after it has been shared on all major media outlets and passed on via email or instant messaging countless times, I decided to take it even further: I wrote an ebook based on it. You can get it instantly by completing the form below (it’s free, but you will have to subscribe to my low-volume, no-nonsense newsletter). Thank you!
Or you can order it printed (from Amazon) $6.99
15. Follow The Money
While this could be a very precious advice for an entrepreneur, living your entire life in a continuous chase of money will most likely screw you up. Hunting money is difficult because money is a very volatile concept. A big part of it lives only in your mind. And money can only buy things. See what you can do with a bank check in a morgue. Pretty much nothing.
16. Don’t Make Friends
Stay alone. Don’t connect. Because you’re ashamed of something in your behavior or look. Or because you think you’re too good for them. Whatever the reason, just stay away for people, and, by all means, don’t make new friends. And you will get the most exquisite place at your own drama movie, in which, you guessed, your life eventually gets screwed.
17. Fight Your Enemies
Which comes down to first make and then keep some enemies. Which is all round stupid. Enemies are a mental construct. You can’t have enemies unless you’re ready to give away your power to somebody else. Nobody can really hurt you unless you allow this to happen. Fighting your enemies is in fact feeding your enemies.
18. Be Lazy
Like in not doing any type of work. Totally avoiding responsibilities. Waiting for others to do stuff for you. Staying away from anything that might remotely put you in the position to actually do something helpful for other people. Laziness is a disease in itself. Allowing it to spread into your life is like inviting an illness to take over your body.
19. Don’t Take Risks
Live a cozy life and always keep it into your comfort zone. Don’t get out of there. Taking risks is… well, risky. You can get hurt. You can lose your money. You can fail. But taking risks is also the only way you can grow. There is no real growth without risk. There is no victory without even starting a battle. There is no better life without challenges.
20. Be Selfish
Do things for yourself and for yourself only. Act like you’re the only one in the Universe. Don’t share anything. Aim to be the richest, most powerful and influential person in the world. Selfishness is an incredibly effective limitation factor. You will become the richest person in the world, if you really want to, only your world will become incredibly small: you’ll be its only inhabitant.
Start fighting with randomness. Hope that one lucky hit will end up all your troubles. Gambling is really funny as an entertainment activity, but once you make it the core of your life, you’re sinking into a swamp of despair. You can’t use gambling to solve your problems, you’re simply not designed like this. You’re designed to create and enjoy the process.
22. Be Stuck in a Job You Hate
Because it pays well. Or because you’re too scared to look for another one. Or because somebody told you when you were a kid that you have to have a job. You spend more than half of your lifetime at your job so if you chose to stay in a job you hate, you’ll surely end up hating your entire life. In my experience, it happens rather sooner than later.
23. Don’t Listen
Pretend you know everything. Or act like you don’t need any advice, suggestion or feed-back. Don’t listen to your partner, to your friends, to your intuition. And lose all the new perspectives you can get, all the fresh answers you never thought of and all the opportunities that could arise. Don’t listen and be prepared to face failure really fast.
24. Lie To People
Because you want to get something from them. Because you find pleasure in deceiving them. Because you think it’s just an innocent play. Or because you can’t stand telling the truth. Lying to other people is an addiction because it gives you a temporary feeling of relief: you passed this challenge, now you can move on. Only you can’t, really.
25. Lie To Yourself
Don’t believe what you’re feeling or experiencing. Avoid facing the truth and delude yourself. Live in a land of fantasies and hope everything will be great (or worse, if you’re a pessimistic by nature). Just don’t listen to your inner voice and succumb to social pressure, bad habits or negative emotions. Lying to yourself is a suicidal activity.
26. Don’t Ask For Help
And live like on a desert island, isolated and alone. It’s ok to ask for help every once in a while. It’s ok to be taken care of every once in a while. Just don’t make a habit out of it and you’ll be fine. But remember: you won’t be able to cope with everything in your life just by yourself. You’ll get by with a little help from your friends.
27. Don’t Exercise
No need to become an athlete but if you’re not taking care of your physical body, it won’t take care of you either. Avoiding physical activities, as small or insignificant they may seem, it will slowly degrade your physical performance and make you prone to illness. And if you just think how easy it is to take a walk in the park…
28. Eat Junk
From the same category as the one above: feed yourself crap and you’ll produce crap. And I’m not talking about the residual crap we’re all producing in the process, I’m talking about the direct result of the process. We’re very much influenced by what we eat and any imbalance in this area will be visible instantly. Junk food creates junk life.
29. Don’t Spend Time in Nature
We’re pretty far from creating a perfectly balanced artificial living environment. Our cities are sucking up our power instead of feeding us energy. We’re still children of the nature. Avoiding nature in the name of a super-civilized lifestyle will subtly deprive us from one of the most forceful sources of energy, slowly weakening our strengths.
30. Don’t Clean Up Your House
How not cleaning up your house can screw up your life? Well, it will not screw you directly, unless you chose to have a date with the love of your life in your messy house, in which case your chances will dramatically decrease. But, generally speaking, it will set up the field for other bad things to happen, like procrastination or just plain, old laziness.
Postpone tasks. Avoid doing stuff. Daydream. Procrastinate and delay everything you have to do. That will surely help screw up your professional relationships, your personal life and your self esteem. If you want to became a master in procrastination, here’s a small tutorial which will even help you procrastinate in a more productive way.
32. Spend More Than You Can Afford
Because you don’t have any idea what money is or just because you want to keep up with the Joneses. Spending more than you can afford will not only sink you in debt, but it will make it really difficult to get out of there. It’s not how much you have but how much you are. Not to mention that spending more than you have will never make you rich.
33. Limit Your Social Life
Stop going out. Isolate yourself in the safety of a job, a limited family life or a perpetual and meaningless daydreaming. We’re social animals, even though sometimes we’re not that good at it. If you stop going out you’re cutting up your feed-back loop, slowly going down in a spiral of self-sufficiency and mediocrity. Get out, see people!
34. Chose a Career Instead of a Lifestyle
Too often we’re planning our life career-centric. We’re making all the necessary steps for acquiring skills, titles and diplomas. We try to fit in a more or less guaranteed career. What we forget in the process is that a career is not identical with our life. At the end of the day we often ask ourselves who was the person who talked with our mouth…
35. Treat People Like Assets
Instead of treating them like human beings, with their own lives and expectations. This is especially true if you live by the one above, judging your own life expectations in business terms. People are not assets, like a computer. They have lives and hopes and ups and downs. Assets are dead, people are alive, with all the good or bad that comes with being alive.
36. Chose (And Stay In) The Wrong Friendships
You know they’re the wrong ones when you have to do things you don’t really want, just to be accepted in their circle. You know, drinking your life every night or just dressing up in a certain way. A real friend will never put any condition on your relationship. If you don’t have the courage to step out of this bad circle, expect the circle to eat you.
37. Reject Criticism
You don’t know everything in the world. So, instead of rejecting criticism, you should accept it. Maybe they won’t be always right about you, but at least you’ll have a feed-back loop. Many people fear criticism but in my experience this fear is not justified. Be thankful for your critics, it means you’re still worth something. And it also means you’re improvable.
38. Buy Your Relationships
Substitute the warmness of a normal relationship with the practical coldness of money. While this will certainly ease your day to day living, it will deeply affect your emotional level. Many marriages are putting so much strain on this aspect that they succeed in destroying any trace of true emotional bond between the partners. Just live and let live.
39. Follow The Rules
Eat everything they feed you, talk like they teach you and, by all means, don’t swear when you feel like. Just don’t exercise your own choosing abilities and you’ll soon become a perfect social puppet, ready to be manipulated with invisible strings by the first puppeteer who finds you. Following rules should always be backed up with your own judgment.
40. Don’t Manage Your Money
We still live in a world where money plays an important role. Several generations from now maybe money won’t be necessary, but, until then, you should be able to manage it now. That means making day to day living up to investing or building a lifestyle. Just pay attention to it and manage it, that enough will save you from some nasty troubles.
41. Promise More Than You Can Do
Because you’re ashamed to admit you can’t do more, or because you hope things will magically get better. Promising more than you can cope with is often perceived as a way to push the destiny to obey your wishes. I think it’s the other way around. The more your promise without cover, the more you piss off your fate.
42. Don’t Keep Your Promises
Not keeping promises is another way to say to the world: “I’m not a reliable person, please go away from me. I may be very good at promises and make you believe I can offer a lot, but instead, I’m just lying to you.” Better not promise at all than not keeping your promises.
Improve where there’s no improvement needed. Strive to do things nobody really wants. Do more than you have to just to show off. Many people think that going way over what they are expecting to, in order to impress or just hunt for a promotion, will make their life easier. Too bad that when you get that promotion you’ll be too dried out to enjoy.
Quit doing what you’re doing best. Quit your friends when they need you. Quit your partner because you got bored. Just quit. Instead of staying there and do what you have to do, just run away, cover your eyes and pretend it never happened. Being a quitter is one of the most relaxing ways of living. It’s also the safest way to screw up your life too.
45. Say Only Yes
Be submissive even if you don’t agree. Accept others around just because you’re too scared to tell them they are annoying.. And, by all means, don’t you upset anyone. Saying only “yes” it’s incredibly disempowering. You can’t say “yes” to anything in your life. At some point you’ll have to disagree. Be happy about it: it’s a healthy thing.
46. Say Only No
Be a naysayer. Disagree no matter what. Tell them you know better. Or just don’t accept anything around you because you have such “high” standards. Playing the “No” card every time will create higher and higher walls around you. Being a naysayer will be as bad as being a yes-man. Balance your “No”‘s and “Yes”‘s with your own judgment.
47. Be A Control Freak
Try to control everything in your life. Your happiness. Other people happiness. Your colleagues or employees. Your emotions. The weather. Being a control freak will eliminate any trace of authenticity in your life. It could drastically improve your discipline and self-awareness, but without authenticity you’re as screwed as a robot.
48. Walk Your Life In Somebody Else’s Shoes
Be somebody else. Chose a role model and stick with it until the boundaries of your own personality are melting and you don’t know who you really are. When you answer you will speak his answer. When you chose, you will make his choices. Chose to be somebody else and leave your true life behind. While totally screwing it, of course.
49. Be Cheap
Try to bargain everything in your life. Negotiate while shopping up to the point every salesman will be pissed off and give you stuff for free. Do this for your relationships too. And, in the end, without even noticing, you’ll become cheap too. Things of value requires value. Looking only for cheap relationships will lower your market value too.
50. Abuse Others
Overuse. Dry out. Obtain things by twisting people arms. If possible, make it in the name of a higher cause. Take other people resources. Doesn’t make any difference if the resources are emotional or material, just take them without asking. Only because you can. And before you’ll know it you’ll become the first target of your own abusive behavior.
51. Accept To Be Abused
Be somebody else’s toy. Because you “can’t do better”. Or because “you deserve it”. Or because “this is how it is and it can’t be changed”. I know you won’t agree but accepting abuse is on the same vibration with abusing. Although in certain contexts it seems you can’t escape being abused, you always have a choice. Always.
52. Try To Please Everybody
And lose every single trace of authenticity and originality you have. There are billions of people on this Earth and during your lifetime you will meet several dozens of thousands. How can you possibly imagine you will be able to please each and every one of them? Unless all you need from this life is a perfectly numb mediocrity.
53. Feed The Trolls
At some point in your life you will meet the trolls. People who live to disagree no matter what. People who make a living by talking bad about other people. If you’re up to something in your life, they will spot you. The biggest mistake you can do is to feed them, to talk to them and make them believe they’re important. Don’t. Let them talk and starve.
54. Don’t Look People In The Eyes
Eye contact is fundamental for relationships. How do you feel about people who are talking to you while looking in a completely different direction? Well, this is exactly how they feel too about you, without eye contact. Without looking in the eyes of your conversation partner, you’re talking to the ghosts in your head. Sooner than you think, you’ll talk only to them.
55. Don’t Believe In Signs
The universe is giving you hints. All the time. With patience and trust you can learn how to read them. It’s nothing supernatural, just a way of living in the flow, instead of feeling disconnected and powerless. Ignoring the “signs” it’s like going to a live concert with your ears clogged. You may not get a cold, but you’re also going to miss all the fun.
56. Don’t Travel
Stay at home. Don’t leave your city, your country, your continent. Don’t expose yourself to new situations, to new cultures, to new people. Don’t experience the thrills of discovery, don’t risk your life among perfect strangers. Without traveling, you’re limiting your possibilities and completely screw your life by total and undeniable boredom.
57. Don’t Read Books
No. They’re evil. They can open your mind, challenge your creativity and feed your curiosity. Don’t touch them. Reading books can be extremely dangerous for anyone settling for a boring, limited and tasteless life. So, if you plan to totally screw up your life, stay away from books. In some occasions, they alone can change your life completely.
58. Live by Assumptions
Don’t verify what they tell you or what you think it’s true. Just assume it’s right. Living by assumptions is a sign of weakness and lack of courage. Have the courage to face the things and find out the truth. If you don’t do that, your reality will be affected the same way a house is affected by a faulty row of bricks. At the next earthquake, it will crumble.
59. Be Shy
Don’t express yourself because you fear other people reactions. Shyness is a social disease. And, as any other disease, it may be cured. If you think this is how you are and you can’t be changed, you’re letting your shyness to control your life, your opportunities, your relationships. It takes courage to use courage, so all you have to do is the first step.
60. Live By Habit
Spend your life on autopilot. Don’t get out of routine. Create a new habit for everything in your life, from eating to making love. And then give your consciousness away to those habits. Live outside new challenges. Sleepwalk from the second you wake up to the moment you go to bed. And you won’t even recognize how screwed you are.
61. Avoid Mistakes
Chose the fool proof way. Don’t try something that could potentially lead to a mistake. Because, you know, your position may be compromised, or your career could suffer from it. Mistakes are in fact disguised opportunities. It feels bad when you’re wrong, I know, but it feels even worse to realize that you didn’t learn anything from it.
62. Pay Yourself Last
Sacrifice your time, money and energy in a totally screwed altruism. Ignore your own needs and try to fulfill others needs just to receive some appreciation. You can’t really give something unless you have it first. Becoming an altruist when you don’t even have your own house or income is a sign of delusion. Pay yourself first.
Use all your energy to hate others. Because they have a different skin color, a different religion or just more resources than you. Hating uses the same process as love: it connects you with somebody else. But at the end of the connection hates puts destruction, while love puts union. Whenever you’re hating, you’re using your own power against you.
64. Be A Perfectionist
Try to reach perfection instead of just being better. In the process, screw up everybody around, including yourself. Perfection is a mind concept, it doesn’t exist in real life. Perfection has everything you have, minus real life. All perfect things are dead things. So, aiming to be perfect in what you do or want to become is a dead end too.
65. Sabotage Yourself
Self-sabotage is more powerful than you think. It works in such a subtle way that you may even take it as a normal act of thinking. Whenever you’re close to a big achievement, watch your self-sabotaging reactions: are you ashamed of success? Afraid of it? Do you think successful people are bad? Congratulations, you’re sabotaging yourself.
66. Waste Your Power On Useless Stuff
Ok, you gathered enough power to do something great, but instead, you waste it on meaningless stuff. Welcome to the world of shallowness. Having power is not enough, you got to double it with consciousness and vision. Without these ingredients, your power will most likely diverge and decay, aimlessly pointed at things with no meaning.
67. Be Ungrateful
Like in just avoiding saying “thank you”, or “I’m glad we did this”. Gratitude is a magnet, it attracts a lot of what you’re associating it with. When you don’t use gratitude, you let things floating away in a Brownian motion, totally random and out of your control. On the contrary, when you experiment gratitude, you let things you’re grateful for flow your way. Is that simple.
68. Think Bad About Yourself
Instead of repeating to yourself that you are unable to do this or that, you may as well shoot yourself in the foot. Just by thinking you’re no good, you’ll actually become a person who is not good. You literally are what you think about you. The good news is you can dissolve those negative opinions. All you have to do is to first admit you have them.
69. Fake It Till You Make It
There is this advice of “being in sync” with what you want, largely based on the Law of Attraction. While this is certainly a valuable approach, faking your desired goal will not bring it closer, on the contrary. What you should do is to try to feel comfortable in the skin of you new “you”, not to pretend you’re the new “you”. The Universe always knows when you’re lying.
70. Don’t Manage Your Time
Time is the only non-renewable resource you have. Not managing your time is almost as bad as not managing your money. Only worse :-). You can make more money later, but you can’t create more time. Each and every second you have is a new chance. But if you don’t stay on top of your schedule, somebody else will use your chances.
71. Solve The Wrong Problems
Keep your focus on the wrong side of the problem. Like in how much you can save, instead of how much you can really gain. Inverse evaluation is one of the trickiest things in our life. We tend to evaluate a thing by its opposite. Like being happy when we eliminate 2 kilos of trash from our house, instead of just keeping it clean day by day.
72. Be Judgmental
Criticize constantly. Focus on the bad stuff. Don’t even think to bring in the bright side of the things. Disapprove, be negative, hypercritical and deprecating. Reject any trace of appreciation or balance. In just a few weeks, your life will be totally screwed. Who wants around a guy who is never, ever able to see the full half of the glass? Nobody.
About everything, everywhere, every time you get a chance. Complaining is another powerful magnet, just like gratitude. But instead of attracting the good stuff, it attracts its subject. Basically, the more you complain about something, the more of that something you are getting. If you want to fail at something, start by complaining about it.
74. Accept Crap
Instead of just rejecting the thing you don’t want, take it up. Instead of making your point, expressing your desires and throwing away everything you don’t really want, accept crap. And you’ll get it. Most of the time the only reason we get crap in our lives is our express authorization: please, give me more. Sometimes, all you have to do is to say “stop it”.
75. Take It Personally
Like you are the center of the Universe and everybody has something against you. Take it personally at the weather, at the politics, at the economical crisis, at everything. Just move forward with this mindset and everything around you will actually start to have something against you. Don’t take more pun than you’re expected to.
76. Don’t Laugh
Be serious. Grave and sober. Don’t smile and, by all means, don’t allow yourself to laugh. Because laughing will bring down your walls, it will crush your entire black edifice of a stony-faced, serious person, preoccupied with important issues. Not laughing is the stupidest thing you can do to yourself. Laugh is for free, everything else in life is not.
Look up to everything other people have and feel bad you don’t have it too. Envy their lifestyle, their richness, their freedom. If possible let them know that as often as you can. Envy is a form of worship: only instead of praising its object it’s diminishing its performer. Every time you envy somebody you’re in fact lowering yourself.
78. Leave The Passion Out
Don’t put your heart in your life. Leave it away and try to get on with cold calculus or with bare logic. Leave the passion out of your life and become an empty carcass, walking only by the law of physics. Passion is the only thing that can completely shift your life. Leaving passion out of your life is living a life of a walking dead man.
79. Be A Follower
Don’t start anything by yourself. Don’t do anything without asking permission. Be a follower and always look for somebody ready to carry your responsibility too. That’s a perfect way to live a dull, gray and futureless life. Being a follower will amputate your bravery and guts, leaving you at the mercy of some mediocre role model.
80. React Instead Of Act On Things
Be always a second late. Don’t initiate. Don’t start. React instead of acting. This attitude, although providing a little bit of safety, will put you at the mercy of events. Too often, people who are acting instead of reacting are successful people. And those who are barely responding to stimulus, instead of jumping ahead, are the self-proclaimed victims.
81. Live Outside The Present Moment
In the past or in the future, doesn’t really matter. Just stay away from the present moment. That will be enough to live a life of no meaning, always in search of something that doesn’t really exists. The present is the only time we got. The past is just a mark in the sand and the future an uncertain promise. All you have is now. Don’t waste it.
82. Be Averagish
Not too much, not too little. Not too talkative, not too silent. Be in the middle. Talk in the middle. Live in the middle. An averagish life is a wasted life. You don’t really live, you’re barely acknowledging a statistical model of the reality. There’s not such thing like the average in real life. You’re either up to something, either not. Chose to be exceptional.
83. Be Revengeful
Wait for the “right” moment and pay back that insult. Carefully plan and implement your revenge. And you’ll soon become a predictable and much too easy to manipulate machine, ready to be used by anyone smart enough to push the right buttons. Revenge will never make things even. It will make things worse. Forgive and forget.
84. Be Resentful
Even if you don’t use revenge, keep some bad vibe about that person who insulted you. Resentment is like drinking poison while waiting for your enemies to die, Nelson Mandela said. And I totally agree with it. No matter at whom your negative emotion is directed, holding it long enough inside yourself will eventually screw up your life.
85. Don’t Create Value
Do something that is either repeating somebody else’s work, either of no use for anyone. Do things that are not valuable. Be a copy cat or a useless clerk. Creating genuine value is at the core of our life purpose. If you chose to create value for others, as small as that value might be, you managed to be in for something. You’re not screwed yet.
86. Avoid Confrontation
Don’t you ever confront your fears, your opponents or your critics. Leave, run, hide and don’t face your phobias. Avoid your rivals. That’s one way to lose the most valuable feed-back you can get. Confrontation requires courage, that’s right, but without it, you’ll never really know what are you up to. Living only in “potential” means not living at all.
87. When Going Through Hell, Stop Walking
And you’ll get stuck forever. Every time you bump into some hard times, just keep going, as Winston Churchill said. If you stop, you’ll get sucked. Every hard time you encounter is a test, as undeserved at it might seem. The only way to get out from it is to keep going, otherwise you’ll get burned. Even hell can be passed, if only you keep going and don’t stop.
88. Don’t Clean Up Your Lenses
Your life could be blurred at times. Happens. Your life lenses got stuck or you have some dirt on them. If you keep them dirty, you won’t change your perspective and will keep stumble until you fall. Cleaning up your lenses should be a habit for anyone who really wants to adapt to change. Because the only real thing we have in this life is change.
89. Fall For “Free Stuff”
There is no such thing as a free lunch, they say, and they say that for a reason. Nothing really worth having is free in this world. We tend to value things based on how much we “spend” for them. Hence, a freebie will be worthless. Anything presented as “free” is in fact a trap, a trap which will require more from you than you are willing to pay.
90. Race Against Others
The only real competition is with you. The others may serve as a comparison at times, but you can only win against yourself. Chasing your goals the same way dogs are chasing mechanical rabbits at a dog race is just stupid. Once the race is over, what would you chase next? Do you really want to live a life of a racing dog?
91. Be An Information Junkie
Live by the news, sleep by the news, wake up by the news. Information is supposed to be useful. How much are you really going to use out of what you’re exposing yourself to? Being an information junkie will give you the illusion of control. You’ll be much better if you master the art of ignoring, instead of practicing information overload.
92. Talk More Than You Have To
And piss off everyone else in the process. Talking should be a way to connect, to express your feelings and creativity. Talking too much, as harmless as it can seem, could really cut off from your social circle, not to mention that it will shift your focus from what you’re doing to what you’re … talking about, of course. Do more, talk less.
93. Be Late
At your job. At your social gatherings. At informal meetings. Show up later and you’ll slowly get out of touch with everything else around you. Being punctual is an art. It’s not too much about reliability and respect, as it is for spotting and grabbing opportunities. A belated person will never catch an opportunity: he’ll be there too late, of course.
94. Accept Frustration
Yes, life can be a bitch. Yes, it can make you want to cry out loud. But there’s no need to give in to frustration. If something went bad, acknowledge and move on. Frustration is from the same family with regret and share one very nasty family trait: it will dry you up and puts you in a no man’s land territory. Don’t be frustrated it went wrong, be happy it happened.
95. Reject Joy
Don’t enjoy because joy is a silly way to behave. There are people who are making a living out of rejecting joy. Because it’s a useless emotion. Because it could make you vulnerable. Yes, it will make you vulnerable. But being vulnerable is the only way to really experiment life in all its dimensions. Life is not safe. But it’s full of joy.
96. Give In To Pain
At some point in your life, you’re going to be hit hard. We all do. Pain is unavoidable. But suffering is optional. If you give in to pain, you’re creating an attachment and from this attachment suffering will grow. I know it’s way more difficult to do this than it is to write about it. I’ve been there too. And I really know that suffering is just another choice.
97. Be Jealous
Do like many other people and think jealousy is a form of love. And totally screw up your life in the process. Jealousy is a variation of the “control freak” syndrome, with a little bit of panic disorder. Controlling the one you love or limiting his or her choices by constantly nagging him or her, will have only one possible end: you’ll get dumped.
98. Think Happiness Is A Goal
Happiness is never a goal. It can’t be your new car, your new house, your new career. It can’t be your family, your kids, your friends. Happiness is a process. It’s a continuous state of mind. Whenever you step out of this state of mind, you transform happiness into an object. And objects are inconsistent, fluctuant and unstable. Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
Give your power to circumstances. Whenever something is out of your normal routine, just panic. Lose your head, follow the crowd and think the world will collapse. Panic is the ultimate form of submission. You let some unexpected events to control your response. Yes, unexpected stuff can happen. Be happy: every unpredicted event in your life it’s an opportunity.
100. Don’t Love
Turn your soul into a stone. Frost your heart. Don’t allow any feeling of love to reach to you. You won’t need months to screw up your life when you do this. You won’t need weeks, or even days. The moment you forbid love to reach to you, your life will be useless.