How to screw up your life in 8 easy steps

Listen to other people and obey

Other people always have opinions. They have opinions on what you should think, what you should do, what is best for your life. There’s nothing wrong with just listening to their opinions. If you didn’t listen to others than your life would be very small and empty, but the problem comes when you obey. It comes when you don’t think about what they tell you, weigh it against what you want and think. It comes when you give other people’s opinions more weight than you give your own. There has to be a balance here, between looking and asking for advice, and following your own sense of what’s right and wrong for your life.

Let your fear make decisions for you

Fear is a bitch. There’s really no other way to say it. Too often, we make decisions based on our fears. Fear of being alone, of being rejected, of failing, of being humiliated. We all have so many fears, and they’re so often buried too deep for us to even know they’re there. And because we don’t really know they’re there, our decisions are determined by them. They influence the choices we make and it’s only afterwards, when we recognise what we’ve let go of, that we see how our choices were limited by those fears we kept hidden.

Wait to be happy

We’re always waiting for something. The right relationship, the right job, the next holiday, the completion of a degree. We work towards it and dream about it and that’s fine. What’s not fine is when we delay being happy until that future time. Life is short and often gets in the way of the things we work towards. If we delay being happy until a certain event, there’s probably a good chance that life will get in the way of that event. Not to mention, happy is often a habit. If you’re not in the habit of being happy, you probably won’t be as happy as you thought you would be when you finally achieve that much anticipated goal.

Dream and never do

This is a big one. Dreams are good. They’re an escape and a treat and a way to pass some boring and hard times. But sometimes you can get caught up in the dream and forget about the work you need to do to reach them. This is when dreams become just one more thing that takes up time you could be using to make your life what you want it to be. They can be chains that keep you in one place, making an unwanted situation seem bearable.

 Judge the people around you

Whether it’s for their jobs, their appearances, their choices, we like to judge others. We watch their mistakes and tell ourselves we would never do the same thing, we spend our time focussed on what they’re doing instead of what we’re doing. We narrow our lives and our minds when we believe that we have the right to pass judgement on other people’s choices, lifestyles or preferences. There are better uses for your time.

Kill your curiosity

As we grow, we let our curiosity fall away. As children, we’re into everything. We poke our noses and our fingers into every crack and cranny of the world, endlessly curious about how it works, looks and feels. And then we grow up and the world becomes ordinary around us because our minds and our lives become ordinary. We forget that the world is an endlessly fascinating place that we can never fully understand, packed with mysteries and secrets and beauties. We forget and focus on whether we remembered to put the rubbish out and which celebrity is doing what.

Multi-task your way through life

Multi-tasking had its time in the sun for a while. It was the perfect way to be more productive, to get everything done at the same time. And it was tiring and meant that nothing was done really well. Leave multi-tasking behind. Focus on what you’re doing, what you want to complete and achieve until it’s done, and then move on to the next thing on your list.

Ignore the beauty

Life can be hard and ugly and cruel. It can kick you down and then go around kicking everyone you care about. And even when it’s not cruel and indifferent, it can be dull and boring. The everyday activities can sap you of strength, wrapping you in a blanket of mediocrity and chores that make you forget the beauty that lives in the world as well. The beauty of a sunset over the water, of a child smiling at you for the first time, of touching down in a foreign land full of exotic smells and sights, or of curling on the couch with a book during a storm. Love. Beauty. Excitement. Anticipation. Comfort. Joy. Laughter. Curiosity. Understanding. Knowledge. Don’t ignore these things.



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