How To: Be Miserable

Step 1: Stay In Your Room.

All day. Every day. Sleep there, study there, eat there. Convince yourself that your room is your oasis; where you do your best work. The more you do in there, the better. Reduce the radius you explore. Localise all of this to your bed. Limit your exposure to natural light and exercise, lest you be tainted by hormonal rewards – make your bedroom your allroom. Designated spaces for specific activities are the enemy that lead to movement and productivity. An anathema.

Step 2: Sleep. Randomly.

Somewhere between too much and not enough. Vary your bedtime every night. Just enough to confuse your body. A sleeping schedule is delicate, annoying, and takes at least 3 days to establish. Too much work. ‘Circadian Rhythm’ is more of a buzzword anyway. So convince yourself you’re catching up on “lost sleep”, that you’ve earned it. That it’s the weekend, and it’s not a big deal if, just for today, you stay in bed ‘til 2pm. You’re being healthy. If 8 hours of sleep is good then 12 hours of sleep must be better. If you’re concerned, wake up tomorrow at 5am, it’ll even it out. It’s a little thing called ‘balance’.

Step 3: Internet. Over. Reality. Always.

Making things easier is the goal and maximising screen time facilitates this. Why leave your allroom dominion when you have mankind’s greatest invention, the internet, at your fingertips? Never has it been easier to stay up later – by choice or by force – than now. So, feed the beast that keeps you awake and indoors. Engage with enraging content, then share it on and continue the cycle. Now, begin to compare yourself to others. Your friends, your siblings, celebrities. Everyone. Who had a better breakfast? Who has a nicer house? Who looks prettier? Who earns more? To understand your worth, these are things you must be constantly aware of.

Step 4: Make Goals.

Distant goals. Difficult goals. ‘Run now, crawl later’ goals. Make them hazy and hard to get to – future-you can figure out the details. Try bake this before you try bake this. Hell, learn how to market your bakery before you even pick up a whisk. And always keep deadlines ethereal. Why memorise a single coconut and lemon biscuit recipe by this afternoon, when you could read all 944 pages of Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft at some point? You’re a dreamer, so dream big. Only a fool would make embarrassingly small goals. Once motivation strikes, you’ll have your dream realised in no time. To hell with discipline.

Step 5: Chase Happiness Directly.

Happiness is capturable, like an ill-fated butterfly in a child’s ventilation-less glass jar. You only need to capture it once for it to be yours forever. After all, other people always seem to be happy. And it’s because they’ve caught the butterfly. Like true love, it doesn’t need to be worked for. You get it once and you have it for life. Make this your ultimate goal. To capture happiness once, and coast on the eternal feeling until you die, happily, of  course.

The Takeaway

These are just five of the steps you can take to be miserable. There are more, of course, but these five are the bedrock on which misery is built. They exacerbate one another, bleeding into your everyday life.  Now, it’s harder to get up in the morning. To leave your house, and go to work. To meet deadlines. To shape your future. To hang out with friends, loved ones. To stay present in social situations. To meet new people and care about what they have to say. Because you’re now in a cycle that, with every repetition, gets harder and harder to escape.

Congratulations, you’re miserable.  


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