Emotions are priceless and we’ve been wired to recognize them; of love, fear, anger or joy. At the barest, they define us and determine how we see ourselves or relate with our environment. Ultimately, we let the many things we can’t control influence our emotions, and other times we do things to fuel or kill them. You’ve probably always heard of true happiness but do these things if you would like to go on a pursuit of true unhappiness.
- Buy things you can’t afford or don’t want: Either choice is a sure fit for unhappiness. When you buy things you can’t afford, you go into debt, which limits the other choices available to you. When you buy things you don’t want, you lie to yourself about the real source of your unhappiness.
- Compare yourself to others: The love of comparison is the root of much misery. Therefore, judge your success or worth based on other people, especially those with a different background from you. Do this on a continual basis, always looking for a new idol or competitor in which your ideal unhappiness lies. Fail to realize you are unique and solely responsible to defining your success. Live a life without contentment and comfort.
- Take no joy in the journey: Focus only on the destination without appreciating the ride. Fail to celebrate small successes, neglect to pause for reflection on how far you’ve come and lose hope at the slightest challenge you encounter. Find reasons to give up the fight even when you are close to winning.
- Respond instead of initiate: Set no compass point for your life. Drift in the wind. For best results, allow your values and priorities to shift as you waver between bosses or role models. Allow other people determine your values and priorities. Be everybody’s yes-man. Have your life controlled by your Inbox, voicemail, or Smartphone. Take no responsibility for your schedule or preferences. Let other people set the agenda for your life. In the end, wander off confused and irrelevant.
- Refuse to challenge yourself: Take it easy and settle into routine. Choose to believe that all stress is bad and seek to live as relaxed a life as possible; and then live a normal life, with no stories to tell or people looking up to you.
- Whine and complain to anyone who will listen: Explain how the world isn’t fair and how you would do things differently if you were in charge. Bonus: this practice also allows you to contribute to other people’s unhappiness. We’d probably keep having a world filled with unhappy people, a ripple you further spread.
- Focus only on yourself. Refuse to forgive. Hold on to grudges. See the worst in people. Do not give out free lunch. Avoid getting hurt, you won’t appreciate happiness either.
- Settle: Accept things as they are no matter how unnerving they might seem. It could always be worse, right? Live in the complacency of your situation and refuse to fight for something better. Keep procrastinating and watch the world move ahead.
Happiness may require more than pithy quotations on Twitter and a good sleep cycle, but unhappiness is fairly simple. The choice is yours.