Generally speaking, people live their life in one of two ways – happily and successfully, or miserably and with loads of regrets about what ‘could have been’.
Those who are happy and successful don’t necessarily have a more blessed or ‘lucky’ life than the other mob.
They might even have exactly the same job, the same type of family situation and the same home and other assets.
So what sets these two polar opposite ways of living life apart?
Personally I think a lot of how we choose to live our life comes down to how we perceive the things that happen in it.
Take mistakes and failures
While perceived ‘mistakes’ and ‘failures’ knock some people down for a long time, others learn from them, get right back up and do things a bit differently, according to the lessons learnt.
I remember American Philosopher Jim Rohn once saying that it’s too bad failures don’t give seminars, because understanding why some people never seem to get anywhere in terms of happiness or success, no matter how hard they try, could be a very valuable learning tool.
So rather than giving you the standard ‘10 tips on how to succeed’, today I’d look at the 11 things you should never do if you want a rewarding life.
1. Cruise along, day by day.
Who needs to set goals or make plans?
Just see what takes your fancy when you wake up and stumble through each new day without any sense of purpose or direction.
2. Stay in your comfort zone.
To grow as a human being requires work and more often than not, embracing the unknown.
Don’t risk such stress; instead remain safely in your own little cosy bubble.
3. Believe in nothing.
Cynicism requires a lot less work than belief in something, because then you might have to act on it.
Point out the flaws in everything and always look for what could go wrong.
4. Talk a lot.
Why bother listening to what anyone else has to say?
You know it all, so make sure you tell your own story…often…and no matter how bored others might appear.
5. Don’t risk failure.
The answer: just don’t try because we all know that’s the best way to avoid rejection or pain.
6. Take care of Number One.
Maintaining friendships and family relations takes time and energy, not to mention the potential sacrifices you might be forced to make and the sheer inconvenience of it all.
Looking after you is all that matters.
7. Never take the blame.
Apologizing or being responsible for your own actions is so yesterday – just look at all the litigation that goes on in our modern world as people seek to find someone else at fault for the way their life is going.
Remember – it’s always someone else’s problem.
8. Sleep a lot.
Sure, there’s only so many hours in the day, but why spend them accomplishing things and progressing when you could be getting some shut eye?
9. Always defend your point of view.
Remember, it’s the only one that counts.
If someone disagrees with you, don’t let it go unchallenged – make as much noise as necessary until they renege on the debate.
10. Stay guarded.
Trust can easily lead to heartache and hurt, so keep your walls up and don’t let anyone in. Ever!
11. Always expect the worst.
If you walk around expecting something good to happen, chances are you will just be really disappointed.
Don’t risk the self-doubt and angst that can accompany unmet expectation, surrender instead to the philosophy that ‘life sucks’.
So remember, if you want to live a self-fulfilling prophecy of a life full of disappointment and despair as the ultimate loser, just follow the above 11 ideals.
On the other hand, if you want happiness and success, perhaps see if you can have a long conversation with someone who has never found it and learn more about what not to do!
Also published on Medium.