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Have you ever wondered what it takes to have a profoundly miserable and pathetic life? I’m not talking about if one is being or has been abused by someone else. I’m talking about what you yourself can specifically do to bring about the most miserable and pathetic life experience possible. Well… Here are the 10 components that enable one to accomplish this goal:

1. Neglect your physical health

It’s hard to feel amazing when your body feels weary, weak and sick. In order to facilitate this: Make sure you don’t get enough sleep – don’t exercise – avoid wholesome, healthy foods… and rather, focus on making sure your diet is sugar rich, junky and that you skip breakfast.

2. Take everything you have for granted 

Even appreciating the smallest things like a warm coat on a cold wintry day can make you feel fortunate and blessed (let alone appreciating your HUGE blessings, like your eyesight!). You must be very careful, therefore, not to lapse into the state of mind where you appreciate, even for a moment, any of the different blessings in your life, be they possessions, physical capabilities, friends and family or any of the opportunities available to you. Take everything you have for granted!

3. Look for the negative in every scenario that you find yourself in

Being able to see something wrong in each and every situation that you find yourself in is a fundamental for enabling you to feel angry, bitter and miserable. An important key is to remember that it’s not the situation that makes you feel happy or miserable, it’s how you relate to the situation. Therefore, with a bit of effort, it should be possible to ruin even the most glorious of scenarios if you can just get good at finding something (anything) to complain about.

4. Be out of touch with who you are

Being in touch with your true essence makes you feel authentic, makes you feel… ‘you’, which is incredibly empowering. To avoid this happening try to create for yourself a mask, some kind of ‘image’ based around, for example, looking cool, funny or some other facade that helps you gain validation from others. Keep focused on maintaining the image that you have selected. That will distract you from tuning into your authentic self. Best of all is if you can get so caught up with your mask that you actually end up believing that that’s who you really are.

5. Don’t get spiritual

There are certain thoughts and certain extraordinary people, places, times and experiences that lift a person into another realm, connecting that person to Something higher… greater. If you do find yourself connecting to Something higher and greater, disconnect immediately! How? Well, disengage! If you are able, try whipping out your phone and checking Facebook or your messages… Anything that brings you back down into the mundane will do. 

By the way, a knock on effect to staying down in the mundane is that you’ll worry more and you’ll also get angry more often. This is because you will be out of touch with the more enlightened state of being that enables you view your challenges from a higher perspective. 

6. Live without integrity

This is very powerful! After all, how can a person who is dishonest, who doesn’t live up to their own values and who doesn’t keep their word feel good about who they are?!

7. Neglect special relationships

Every special relationship transforms our life, bringing those magical feelings of love, understanding, connection and support. The best way to avoid this happening is through not putting quality time into these relationships. Therefore, avoid engaging in special, quality face to face time (eating together, going out together etc…). If one really can’t avoid this happening then try to be there without being ‘present’. A great way to do this is again by whipping out your phone and checking Facebook or playing Candy Crush or whatever. If you really can’t get away with that and have to keep your phone in your pocket then at least make sure that you don’t focus on what’s beautiful about the person that you’re with, that you talk without listening or thinking and obviously that you don’t enter into any DMC’s! 

By the way, if you can also get good at finding problems in your life to BLAME the people you are with for, that will really help you to sabotage your relationships, especially if you are able to genuinely bear a grudge and harbour resentment over a sustained period of time. 

8. Be a taker

Being a taker as opposed to a giver, looking to see what you can get as opposed to what you can give, really helps a person to maximise their misery. Be very careful! Even offering something small like a sincere smile or a compliment or doing a small favour for someone else can make you feel great and draw you into the exquisite pleasure of giving. The more consistent you can be at focusing on what others can do for you and what you can get them to give you and not on what you can do for others the more miserable and pathetic you will feel! 

9. Engage in meaningless pursuits

Some activities are intrinsically meaningful. A few examples are: helping others, learning wisdom for living, doing any mitzvah. One can avoid as many of these things as possible by putting one’s time into non meaningful pursuits like trying to complete or get a high score on a computer game (be it your play station or phone) or watching sports, Youtube videos or various T.V. programmes. These activities are incredibly engaging and so they are great at stealing away time from intrinsically meaningful pursuits. Most important of all, be very careful to avoid finding your unique contribution to the world which generally involves you directing your unique passions and abilities towards helping those in need in some way or towards fixing a problem that you feel needs addressing. This can be incredibly engaging and exhilarating and it will be really hard to feel miserable and pathetic whilst you are engaged with this. (If you want more details on what to avoid I have a blog post: “How to figure out your personal contribution to the world”)

10. Stagnate!

If we aren’t growing daily as a person in at least one area (be it learning wisdom for living to become wiser, fixing a personal flaw, taking on a new mitzvah etc…) we will achieve a state of stagnation. Now one doesn’t have to work hard to achieve stagnation. In fact not working hard is exactly what one needs to do to achieve stagnation. Simply make sure you never get motivated enough to select one area of your life to work on through scheduling well chosen readings to peruse and ponder and specific exercises that will help you grow step by step. Stay in the centre of your comfort zone and that way you’ll avoid the satisfying and triumphant feelings that come with daily personal growth.

NOTE: Regarding money

I didn’t mention the pursuit money in this list, but I do think that the pursuit of money really should be mentioned. Money can buy a lot of cool, exciting stuff but it can’t buy any of the things that truly give us happiness and fulfilment, like meaningful relationships and goals, being appreciative and positive, knowing one’s inner beauty and worth, living with integrity etc. Money is at best a means to an ends to help us stay sheltered and fed (etc) so we can pursue more meaningful pursuits. So… try relating to money as a goal instead of a means. This will help to completely distract you from what’s really important and enable you to channel your energies and desires into something that has no intrinsic meaning. 

Well, this is my list of components for a profoundly miserable and pathetic life. I hope you enjoyed. I’d love to hear what you thought of the list or what you might add if you would add anything. There is a place to leave comments below.

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