Author's Disclaimer: The following article is, in actuality, a parody based loosely on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
My intention in writing this article is to shed some light on various unconscious tendencies that I have overcome in my own personal and professional life. Perhaps you will resonate with my ideas and have a laugh (at my expense) along the way!
This one is pretty easy. If anything happens, just start complaining about it. If there's no one around, no worries. Complaining to ourselves, in our own mind, is what ineffective people do best.
If I complain loudly enough about my crappy job, maybe my boss will hear me and give me a promotion, even if I'm only talking to myself, in my own head. Similarly, if I complain about my spouse's numerous character flaws, she will quickly realize the truth and promptly change her ways.
Remember: if we invest enough negative energy into our inner monologue of complaining it will eventually create positive energy to change our life circumstances. The same is true if we complain out loud to others.
Is your life going too well? Look more closely; there's bound to be something worth complaining about. If you can't find anything worth complaining about, just complain about that.
I'll write this one later...
Basically, there's always tomorrow. Today is too valuable to take any meaningful action to improve your life. Today is the day of empty dreams, shallow aspirations, and broken promises—to ourselves and others.
Tomorrow is when we'll start doing all the hard work and reaping all the rewards. There's always something worth complaining about right now, and there's always a big, fat, juicy tomorrow where we can fix all the imaginary problems we're creating today with all of our complaining.
5. Make excuses.
I can't finish this article now, I haven't had enough coffee for such an ambitious endeavor...
There's always a good reason as to why I'm not happy, and I'm more than happy to tell you all about it. It was my third wife, I tells ya. (Or was it my second wife?) She's the reason that my life sucks right now. Or was it because of my neglectful parents? Probably a little of both.
Either way, there's a plethora of past issues that make it impossible for me to be happy or succeed today. I always have a good reason at the tip of my tongue for why my life is a musty cesspool of mediocrity. (At best).
4. Play the victim.
Closely related to making excuses, playing the victim has an added element: our very identity. While making excuses is what one can do, we can literally become the victim, in our own hearts and minds.
Really be the victim. Embody it, get comfy with it. Life is all about me, and if circumstances aren't conspiring to make me happy in every moment, it proves unequivocally that my victim identity is real and worthy of my constant mental/emotional investment.
3. Feel entitled.
Once we've mastered playing (becoming) the victim, the next logical step is to work up a healthy appetite of self-entitlement. That kid was mean to me in 3rd grade? I'm entitled to a sincere, heartfelt apology. If he doesn't give it to me when I demand it of him, I can simply use it to reinforce my new-found victim identity.
The world owes me a thing or three. I've been wronged on many levels, and the only logical conclusion is that life must expend every effort to make it up to me. I'll be sitting here waiting impatiently for my entitlements to start rolling in...
2. Seek pleasure and deny pain.
This one is HUGE. I've waited until near the end of the list to hit on this gem. Pleasure is the only aspect of life that feels good. Think about it. Everything else is just pain, which we should practice denying and avoiding at every opportunity.
Ironically, reading and writing this article has been quite a painful experience in itself. I'm not sure how to remedy my own faulty logic, aside from seeking an equal or greater quantity of pleasure, post haste.
Substance (ab)use is a key to success here, along with all other forms of addictive behavior. Our lives only have meaning or purpose when we're experiencing some form of emotional high. Don't ask why, just get high.
1. Judge yourself, unconditionally.
This is the only habit that we have to implement to perfection. It is only through rigorous, relentless, and ruthless self-judgment that we can become the person we loathe to be. The beauty of the number 1 habit is that we can retroactively apply it to the preceding six habits as well.
We can judge ourselves for our complaining, our procrastination, and so on. We can even judge ourselves for judging ourselves. This is the mother lode of the list, and that's why I had to save it for the number 1 spot.
Remember, if you let up on judging yourself for even a moment, the whole charade might fall apart and you may actually realize your true nature as a loving, generous, and innately happy human being. Avoid this realization at all costs.
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