Shards of Consciousness

Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

If you come here regularly, you'll know that I can tend toward the abstract and quietly upbeat, so today I thought I would be a little more practical and give some concrete tips on how to make yourself (and as a bonus, those around you), completely and utterly miserable.

  1. Spend an hour every morning remembering the mistakes you've made. This is a great way to color your entire day.
  2. When something good happens to you, take a few minutes to think of everything that can go wrong. This one is quite effective at killing any pleasure you feel, as well as preventing you from pursuing further success.
  3. Be envious. Envy of others' happiness and success is a proven way to give a negative cast to your whole life. Just as you should begin the day with tip #1, end the day with envy. This will help ensure you sleep poorly so you have a headstart on #1.
  4. Do what everyone else is doing. This relieves you of the responsibility for originality and creativity. Over time and with work, you can also forget who you are and what you really want out of life.
  5. Be jealous Thinking about everything your wife or girlfriend is doing when she goes out without you is a great way to be miserable.If you really want to make this effective, as soon as she gets home start accusing her of everything you thought about her doing. You get to kill two birds at once; you can be miserable and you can end a relationship, guaranteeing future misery.

This list is by no means complete, though I can tell you these tactics are effective. Each and every one of us finds new and unique ways to make ourselves miserable every day. The professionals have even learned how to combine the tactics in strategies that can take a lifetime to unravel. So what are your favorite ways to make yourself miserable?

12 Pingbacks to Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

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  • [...] 117. 10 steps to improve your ESP, healing and psychic abilities by Jacob 118. AAA list of 11 important advantages to list writing by Darren 119. Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable by Rick 120. Five ways to get beyond an artistic block by Laurie 121. Health and Disease Prevention: 10 Important Phytochemicals by Trisha 122. Five Common Musicianship Problems - Why Ones Do You Want to Overcome? by Graham 123. Stupid Things You can Do by David 124. 9 Steps to Transform Stress into Strength by Alvin 125. 5 Ways to Block Your Creativity by ShadowsEdge 126. 10 Tips on Leading a Balanced Life by Allen 127. How to Achieve Peak Performance by Basil 128. 10 Rules to Live By by Spencer 129. Get More Done in a Day: Do Little Things, Achieve Big Things by Tim 130. Manage your time by Mastering Conversation Stoppers by Julie 131. The 10 Best Ways to Win an Argument by I Can’t Say That 132. 12 Great Reasons to Become a Bird Watcher by Mike 133. Ways to Make People Always Remember You by Costa 134. How I am Going to Get What I Want by Jennie 135. Top 5 Keys to Success by Ian 136. Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self by Ray 137. 5 Ways to get back in your skinny Jeans by Stephanie 138. How to Be Charming by Brian 139. 10 Reasons to Baffle Your Friends and Become a Vegetarian by Ross 140. C.P.R. for a Balanced Life by Hueina 141. 10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity by James 142. The Five Questions You Should Never Ask by Tooz 143. What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting It by Molly 144. 10 Ways to Improve Your Energy by Scott 145. 11 Ways to Improve Clarity and Start Getting Results by Alexander 146. How to Gain weight without really trying (and the antitheses) by Sally 147. 5 Tools that get you way more productive by Tim 148. Top Six Mushroom Baby Names by Nancy 149. 5 Easy Steps to Snag a Date with Me by Sasha 150. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not? by Kloudiia 151. 5 Reasons to Put Off Living With Your Girlfriend by Joseph 152. 4 Ways to More Romance by jldude 153. Why Starting Over is a A Good Thing by PhoneBoy 154. 4 easy-to-use resources for higher ed learning by Leslie 155. 3 Ways to Boost Your Happiness Level by Conn 156. Getting Better with Age by Ruth 157. Pillar Articles to Write about the Art of Creating a Joyful Life by Linda 158. 5 links to calorie-conscious fitness by Fitness Mantra 159. Five Reasons Why Mornings Rock by Health Hacker 160. 5 Ways of Marketing Salvation by Richard 161. Q&A: Low vs. High pathogenic Avian Influenza by Grace 162. Finding Time and Creating Balance by Tasra [...]
  • [...] 117. 10 steps to improve your ESP, healing and psychic abilities by Jacob 118. AAA list of 11 important advantages to list writing by Darren 119. Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable by Rick 120. Five ways to get beyond an artistic block by Laurie 121. Health and Disease Prevention: 10 Important Phytochemicals by Trisha 122. Five Common Musicianship Problems - Why Ones Do You Want to Overcome? by Graham 123. Stupid Things You can Do by David 124. 9 Steps to Transform Stress into Strength by Alvin 125. 5 Ways to Block Your Creativity by ShadowsEdge 126. 10 Tips on Leading a Balanced Life by Allen 127. How to Achieve Peak Performance by Basil 128. 10 Rules to Live By by Spencer 129. Get More Done in a Day: Do Little Things, Achieve Big Things by Tim 130. Manage your time by Mastering Conversation Stoppers by Julie 131. The 10 Best Ways to Win an Argument by I Can’t Say That 132. 12 Great Reasons to Become a Bird Watcher by Mike 133. Ways to Make People Always Remember You by Costa 134. How I am Going to Get What I Want by Jennie 135. Top 5 Keys to Success by Ian 136. Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self by Ray 137. 5 Ways to get back in your skinny Jeans by Stephanie 138. How to Be Charming by Brian 139. 10 Reasons to Baffle Your Friends and Become a Vegetarian by Ross 140. C.P.R. for a Balanced Life by Hueina 141. 10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity by James 142. The Five Questions You Should Never Ask by Tooz 143. What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting It by Molly 144. 10 Ways to Improve Your Energy by Scott 145. 11 Ways to Improve Clarity and Start Getting Results by Alexander 146. How to Gain weight without really trying (and the antitheses) by Sally 147. 5 Tools that get you way more productive by Tim 148. Top Six Mushroom Baby Names by Nancy 149. 5 Easy Steps to Snag a Date with Me by Sasha 150. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not? by Kloudiia 151. 5 Reasons to Put Off Living With Your Girlfriend by Joseph 152. 4 Ways to More Romance by jldude 153. Why Starting Over is a A Good Thing by PhoneBoy 154. 4 easy-to-use resources for higher ed learning by Leslie 155. 3 Ways to Boost Your Happiness Level by Conn 156. Getting Better with Age by Ruth 157. Pillar Articles to Write about the Art of Creating a Joyful Life by Linda 158. 5 links to calorie-conscious fitness by Fitness Mantra 159. Five Reasons Why Mornings Rock by Health Hacker 160. 5 Ways of Marketing Salvation by Richard 161. Q&A: Low vs. High pathogenic Avian Influenza by Grace 162. Finding Time and Creating Balance by Tasra [...]
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  • [...] If you visit Shards regularly, you’ll know that I tend toward the abstract and quietly upbeat, so today I thought I would be a little more practical and give some concrete tips on how to make yourself (and as a bonus, those around you), totally miserable. This episode is based on Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable, originally published in August of 2006. Follow these tips, and you can keep your life in turmoil and your therapist employed for years. [...]
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28 Responses to Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

  • Haha I love this. Hilarious :)

  • Thanks, Alvin!

    #316 | Comment by Rick on August 15, 2006 3:43am
  • Hee hee hee, I hope you don't do any of these things ;). Our list is up if you’d like to look - http://lilduckduck.com/ducky-moments-in-time/240

    Have a great day!

  • MamaDuck,

    Of course I've done every one of them to an extent at one point or another. After all, "walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk". Hopefully, I've gotten past most of it (though not all).

    Thanks for stopping in, and come again!

    #318 | Comment by Rick on August 15, 2006 4:03am
  • It's amazing what we can do to ourselves.

  • Yes it is, Graham. Even more amazing, we do it willingly.

    Thanks for stopping in. I hope to see you again.

  • Funny how we can defeat ourselves so easily!

  • Hi Jersey Girl!

    And therein lies the problem. It is so easy.

    #322 | Comment by Rick on August 15, 2006 8:44am
  • LOL! Love the humorous approach to this one. I wish it were easy to ignore all of these rules. I know I'd be much happier if I could.

    #323 | Comment by Caryn on August 15, 2006 3:54pm
  • But that's why they're rules, Caryn! It's hard to break them. But , like writing, the pleasure is in learning how to do so.

    #324 | Comment by Rick on August 15, 2006 4:00pm
  • Like the list...

    Thats definatley true you can't help but do them at some point, Its just part of our nature, although some do them a lot more then others...

    Solid

    #325 | Comment by Solid on August 16, 2006 6:16am
  • Hey, Solid. Thanks for stopping in and dropping a line.

    I wouldn't stay they are part of our nature. If they were, they couldn't be changed. They are part of our programming, though, at a very deep level. As mental programs and habits of thoughts they can be changed; not easily, not quickly, but with time and work it is possible to minimize, if not totally get rid of these programs. That's what this blog is all about. Come again and browse through the archives. You'll find a lot of useful tools to help you learn not to be miserable.

    #326 | Comment by Rick on August 16, 2006 8:02am
  • Love the list. I do have to admit to occasionally succumbing to some of these rules myself, though I'm trying to break them as often as possible! We posted something similar for our list.

  • Hi Shadows Edge! Thank you.

    I think we all succumb to these rules, some of us occassionally, others of us - shall we say - a bit more than occassionally. The good news is they are learned behaviors and we can unlearn them.

    I'm heading over to check out your list now. You're in my list of blogs to read, but your site is down quite a bit for some reason.

    #328 | Comment by Rick on August 16, 2006 9:50am
  • And there I was, so sure that I wouldn't find myself in any of these habits. Then I got to stinkin' #4. Ugh. I am in the midst of the battle there, I must confess. Keep an eye out for me, will ya? Let me know if you find me before I do. :D

  • Hi Kerri,

    Isn't is amazing how strong the herd habit is? "If Mary, Joe, Arnold, and Sissie are all doing it, well, there must be a reason. Mark, we need to do what the other kids are doing. We're missing something."

    I'll keep an eye out. :)

    #330 | Comment by Rick on August 16, 2006 11:21am
  • If you really want to be affective you need to recall past errors throughout the day! This way you'll always worry you might make that same mistake again!
    Its funny how universal lifes problems are sometimes.

    #335 | Comment by Erik on August 16, 2006 1:48pm
  • Excellent idea, Erik! That way you can be miserable and paranoid that you're making an old mistake again. Work that combination enough and you could get to the point of never doing anything for fear of making a mistake.

    #336 | Comment by Rick on August 16, 2006 2:04pm
  • I applaud you for coming up a list like this. #4 certainly caught my attention as I had just finished a conversation with my friend telling her "to dare to be different". The worst could happen is that she has less readerships for now, but the rewards of discovering more of yourself is priceless. To die without a true identity is sad!

  • Thank you for your kindness, Renée. I saw from your post earlier today that you have a similar sense of humor.

    Even with all the fragmentation and niching (made-up word of the day) that people continually talk about, playing follow-the-leader is still a popular game.

    "To die without a true identity is sad!" I like that.

    #339 | Comment by Rick on August 16, 2006 6:22pm
  • Excellent list! One I would add is "second guess your own decisions" -- Keep asking yourself whether you made the right choice about something; this is especially effective if the outcome of said decision isn't likely to impact many people in a meaningful way.

  • Hi Geoff. Thank you.

    Ah yes. Second guessing. You can get a lot of mileage out of this one, especially when, as you say, you apply it to minor decisions. With practice you learn to question such things as the choice of laundry soap, the shirt to wear to work, and whether you could have saved two cents buying bananas at the grocery store down the street.

    #344 | Comment by Rick on August 17, 2006 2:42am
  • Classic! I would add to the list - not living in the moment. Sometimes we get so caught up in all the good things that may or may not happen in the future that we forget to appreciate all the great things we have in the present.

    #364 | Comment by andi on August 19, 2006 10:08am
  • Thank you, andi. Definitely add not living in the moment. Or, to put it in the same context as the list, always live in the past or the future. Why experience pleasure at what is happening in your life now when you can worry about the future or feel guilty about the past.

    #366 | Comment by Rick on August 19, 2006 7:05pm
  • Ouch Rick.
    Touching on a few sore spots there! I've made an art form out of several of them! Is there any hope for me???

  • Hey Trevor! Thanks for stopping by.

    Of course there's hope for you. I only know they work through personal experience of one form or another. :) If we were perfect we wouldn't be here.

    Hope is what the tools on this site, and the books on my recommended reading list, are all about. There have been at least a few happy or content people on this planet in our history. I figure if they can do it, we can too.

    #372 | Comment by Rick on August 22, 2006 4:17am
  • just today i was feeling myself in miserable state and checked the ways i have been through---more than five ways i have walked on

  • I'm sorry to hear you're having a bad day, Pagey.

    Once you're aware of how you set yourself up to be miserable, you can start working on changing the patterns one by one. We work on each self-defeating behavior as we catch ourselves doing it until we find that contentedness is becoming the habit that misery used to be. It may not be easy, and it may not be fast, but it's our thoughts that put us there, and our thoughts that can get us out.

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