Success is elusive. It seems that since we were born, we have been chasing success. Mastery of the potty, Algebra I, homeownership, career success, family stability, money in the bank, or maybe even just making payroll this week–all are probably someone’s idea of success.
But, the reality is that success is hard; and very uncertain. It might mean oppressive hours at the office. It might mean jumping out of your comfort zone to learn new skills that scare you. It usually includes some uncertainty and discomfort. But success is worth it! Or so we are told.
In my mind, failure is much easier. If you want to be a failure, read on. I have laid out your personal failure plan in ten easy steps. And, if you’re like me, you might have a head start on a few of them already. But, if you are still yearning for success, read on as well—this list will serve as a reminder of what to avoid!
1. Chase other people’s dreams
The best way to be a complete failure is to misunderstand the definition of “success” from the start. Focus your dreams on the ambitions and desires of others—ignore what you want. Go ahead and make a decision that you must earn 6 figures and have that corner office because your father told you so. It may mean 16 hour days and no family time, but hey, Dad did it like that, right? If you’re really lucky, you’ll work hard busting your butt to meet someone else’s goal – and then you’ll realize that it means nothing after all. After all that work, you will have still failed.
2. Start many projects, finish none
If you want to be a failure, become proficient at starting things. Avoid finishing them. When an idea hits, jump right into it—start a travel blog. Three days later, get bored and forget about it. When another idea hits, run with it and blast your clients with a great new weekly newsletter–once. Move on and jot down your new website design and put up that little “under construction” page and then find something more pressing. Are you seeing a pattern here? One great way to fail is to give up on your goals and continually establish new ones.
3. When the going gets tough, give up
Most long-term goals have their rough spots. It’s always easy at first, when you’re pumped up and oh so motivated. But pretty soon, you’ll get bored, tired, or just fed-up. If you want to be a failure, just quit at the first sign of discomfort. Don’t ever take a project all the way to the end zone. It’s just too much work.
4. Never give up, ever
Of course, there’s a better way to fail than by simply bailing out early. Once you’ve started something, don’t even consider giving up, even though you know and all the evidence points to failure. If your business has been sinking for months with no end in sight, borrow money from Aunt Ruth to keep it afloat. Max out those credit cards. Never received a single response in the 5 years you have been advertising in the local paper? Commit for another 5 years. You’re not a quitter.
5. Never ask for help
To be a failure, you have to insist on doing absolutely everything yourself. Never, ever ask for help. If you are overwhelmed, that’s alright because “if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself.” Never admit any weakness. Finally, under all circumstances, never, never, never, ask for directions.
6. Trample on other people
One great way to fail; from relationships to friendships to work, is to treat other people like trash. If they’re in your way, step on them. If they ask you for anything, refuse. If they make a mistake, yell at them. If they disagree with you, pout. To really fail in life, you need to alienate absolutely everyone who might ever be in a position to help, support or care for you.
7. Never say no
If you find that you are just too nice to trample on those who are able to help; you can always try to say “yes” to all requests. Your boss wants you to do yet another special project? No problem. A client needs you to guarantee that upgrade? Gotcha—no problem. A room in a sold out hotel? You betcha! In fact, only say “no” to your own hopes and dreams.
8. Disorganization is key
To increase your chance of failure in any venture, be as disorganized as possible. Forget invoicing your clients for the deposit. Misplace the cruise documents that just came in. Tell your client the wrong time and carrier—or both! Don’t bother keeping any notes about the conversations you have with your clients as you plan their trip. Disorganization is a critical component of failure!
9. Stay in your comfort zone
If you ever get the chance to try something new, avoid it! Steer clear. Run in the opposite direction. New opportunities are always scary; and scary is no fun. Stay inside your cozy little comfort zone and never leave. Never challenge yourself. Why extend yourself to a project or a goal that might realize your full potential?
My final tip for the road to complete failure, is to procrastinate. Put everything off till the last minute. And then put it off just a little bit more. Even longer if you feel the need. Not only will you fail at whatever project you are working on, but as an added bonus you will become stressed out! The best procrastination methods involve things that really are of little interest to you (or anyone else) – online games, playing with the cat, or watching Jerry Springer. And when you are done procrastinating, make sure you add in a large dose of guilt. That should do it!
These ten are just a start. I’m sure there are more, but, well, I don’t care. Maybe I will think about them tomorrow, Judge Judy is on. Buzz off!
How about you? Got a tip for failure? Comment and leave it below!