How to Fail

Motivated people talk a lot about how to succeed, how to meet goals, and make things happen. But sometimes it is interesting, even enlightening, to look at it backward—how not to succeed, how to miss the mark, and how to make sure good things don’t happen.

Ready to set yourself up for complete failure? Here are a few surefire ways to make sure you blow it.

Be vague. When you make your goals or plans, be sure you are as unclear and imprecise as possible. Do not include numbers at all. This includes kilos, pace, PBs,  dates, or deadlines. Not being able to measure your progress will ensure that you won’t get anywhere close to your desired result. And whatever you do, do not tell anyone your goals and be absolutely sure that you never write anything down.

Focus on the past. Try to think about all the times where you failed, felt unworthy, or ill equipped. Replay these memories in your mind as often as possible until this negative thinking becomes second nature.

Bad company. Find the laziest, most negative, most bitter people you can, and spend as much time in their company as possible. Let their energy seep through your pores and get deep into your bones. Join them in gossip, venting as many ugly thoughts and feelings as you can.

Blame everyone. Be sure you never take responsibility for yourself or your circumstances. If you think hard enough for long enough, you can always find someone to blame and start pointing fingers. Avoid therapists and honest friends, because they will only blur your ability to see unclearly. Remember, you are always right.

Take your health for granted. Eat, drink, and smoke whatever you want, whenever you want. Your body is basically a temporary vehicle carrying you toward your eventual, unavoidable death, so live it up! Skimp on sleep as you can always catch up when you’re older. Avoid all doctors; they are the bearers of bad news. Also avoid yoga and meditation, because too much centering and mindfulness can be a dangerous thing.

Focus on yourself. Do not help anyone else achieve their goals or dreams, because this will only mean less for you in the long run. There are only finite amounts of love, happiness, success, health, time, energy, and prosperity, so you want to make sure you grab everything you can and hoard it.

Stress out. Worry about everything—from your health, to your relationships, to your finances, to your parenting, to your future. Don’t relax or be grateful if things seem to be going okay right now, because they are apt to change for the worse soon. Watch the news and look at your phone for at least an hour right before bedtime. Save all your vacation days and go to the office instead, so you don’t get behind.  Never arrange for a babysitter because you might miss something as your children grow. Be sure to answer every text and email as soon as it pings on your phone. Provide ongoing updates to multiple social media outlets with all your happenings, and always comment on everyone else’s.

Put your lame foot forward. Every day when you wake up, commit to putting forth the least effort. Whether at work, at school, in your marriage, in your parenting, or in your running, do the very least you can do to simply get by.

Never ask for feedback. It’s better to be surprised by your boss, your children, or your spouse. Remember, your ideas area always best.

Be impatient. Just like a seed or a bud needs to be dug up often or ripped open to check for growth, if things don’t happen quickly enough for you, take an impulsive shortcut or quit entirely.

Find your fear. If you put your heart, or your running shoes, on the line there are always risks involved. Focus on the fear until it becomes suffocating and overwhelming. Fear is the ultimate dream crusher and goal annihilator, so use it powerfully.

Aim for perfection. Good enough, great, or even excellent are not sufficient for you. As a special person, ordinary standards do not apply. Accept nothing less from yourself. If you find you cannot meet your high standards, quit immediately.

Forget who you are. Be versatile! Adapt to your environment and the people around you by changing your values, dreams, preferences, personality, and goals to reflect whatever they prefer. If you can do this for long enough, you will not remember what you love, whom you love, what you want, what you stand for, or what your goals were to begin with. If truth is relative, then rationalisation and resignation can reign.

Got all that? Now you know exactly what to do.

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