UPDATE: Obviously I had not expected it, but in looking at my site stat logs it seems that this post is coming up in some internet search results for those researching suicide. If you are feeling hopeless or suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or visit their site at www.Save.org. Please call them now. Help is available.
Welcome to 2008! The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take a brutally honest look at your life or your business so that you can correct mistakes, refocus on what’s important, and rekindle the passion that may have been lost along the way. If you feel like your energy for life is worn out, but you aren’t sure why, please take a minute to read this list. It could make all the difference! So, without further ado, I give you the Top 10 Ways To Kill Your Spirit:
- Finally let go of those juvenile notions to have an occupation that you enjoy. You’ve got to stay at that job that you hate and suppress your desire for a career change because, well, that’s what everybody else does. After all, you’ve got several more lives after this one to do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do. No need to have a sense of urgency.
- Stay committed to that significant other that doesn’t believe in your dreams. So what that they ridicule you for wanting to become a contractor, or that they call your hobbies a selfish waste of time. They know you better than anyone else, and therefore know what’s in your best interest. And who knows, maybe with time those feelings of resentment and bitterness that you harbor will just fade into a mind-numbing, soul-sucking disconnectedness that you so admired about your now-divorced parents’ relationship.
- Don’t show too much enthusiasm or emotion. People might think you’re weak. Worse yet, they might gain a glimpse of the real you, and the real you might make them wish that they were leading more authentic lives.
- Ignore and suppress the talents you were born with. Never mind that you were put on this planet with the express purpose of writing that Pulitzer Prize-winning book that would help sway public opinion in such a profound way that it resulted in the election of a President who’s revolutionary ideas would end world hunger and the AIDS epidemic. You’ve got more important things to do, like spend 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for the next 30 years writing cheese-ball, one-liner greeting cards that will end up in the garbage anyway.
- Don’t stand up for yourself. Self-respect is overrated, and your boss is probably right: you are a worthless idiot.
- Don’t rock the boat. The way things have always been done is the way things should always be done, period. Malcontents like George Washington, Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and Rosa Parks just made the world more complicated. Who needs air travel, anyway?
- Refuse to apologize for mistakes you’ve made. After all, it was a long time ago and they probably don’t remember, just like you don’t remember that time 39 years ago when your best friend in high school borrowed your car and then wrecked it before skipping town.
- Refuse to accept apologies because, well, you’ve never made a mistake in your entire life, and holding onto that anger is doing wonders for your blood pressure.
- Don’t take risks. Whatever is out there beyond the horizon might hurt or frighten you or, God forbid, allow you to learn something new. Besides, everybody knows that the greatest, most influential figures in history preferred to play it safe and take the easy bets.
- Read something like this and tell yourself that idealism is for the young, the naive, and the stupid.