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Sunday 31 January 2016

How to be Miserable, Take Two: What 10 People Advise

On May 1 of this year New Harbinger Publications will release my latest book, How to be Miserable: Forty Strategies You Already Use. In it, I invite readers to contemplate how they could reduce their happiness and life satisfaction if, for some reason, that was their goal.

Why bother? Most of us spend much of our lives trying to arrange things so that we feel happier and more contented with our lives - and often we feel stuck or frustrated. We never ask ourselves how we could feel worse. But doing so can illuminate a road that runs in both directions. By understanding how we could lower our mood, we can often see more clearly how to raise it.

At talks on this topic I invite attendees to list their own top three ways to become miserable. In a recent post I provided 10 sets of replies. Here are the answers from 10 more attendees. How do they compare with your own?
  • Do not talk to friends and family.
  • Be stuck at home where I can't walk on the seawall.
  • Watch television for the whole week.

  • Question your own abilities and lower your self-esteem.
  • Avoid friends and family.
  • Be scared or fearful to live life.

  • Surround myself with people who only focus on the negative.
  • Do not have genuine friends or relationships.
  • Do not have aspirations or goals.

  • Stop talking to friends and family.
  • Stop exercising.
  • Eat at McDonald's every day.

  • Stop reading (I am a passionate reader; I live to read!)
  • Stop learning.
  • Never go outside, especially avoid natural environments.

  • Become unable to read books, ever.
  • Not being able to hear music again.
  • Having to live in a messy and disorganized environment.

  • Cancel Internet access.
  • Cancel public library card.
  • Resign from my volunteer organization.

  • Compare myself to other people, particularly friends.
  • Doubt and judge myself.
  • Try to be perfect in every way.

What about you? If you could change only three things in the quest for unhappiness, what would YOU do?

How to be Miserable is available for pre-order from Amazon and other online booksellers now.

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