Happiness — many will advise you how to
obtain it but maybe you’re not trying to be happy. Your actions
aim for the opposite. You want to be the saddest saddo sailing on the sea of
sadness — much easier to achieve and this video has 7 tactics to get you started
toward the dark currents, at least one of which you are already doing. So let’s
begin. First, stay still. Remain indoors as much as possible, preferably in the same
room. Be the human equivalent of a pile of laundry — inert, unmoving. Don’t let a
beautiful day tempt you for a walk. Avoid anything even vaguely exercisial.
This keeps reward chemicals out of your brain which could diverge you and
stillness guides you towards medical problems which will keep this wheel
turning. Stillness is the most effective thing you can do, so be the laundry pile.
Make your bedroom your allroom. Live and work and play and sleep in the smallest
radius you can. Which brings us to screw with your sleep. The wrath of insomnia
will be your co-pilot on the sea of sadness. Her mere presence is unpleasant,
but she also helps confuse the productive part of your brain which
might look to navigate you toward the islands of happiness on the horizon. More on that later. A regular sleep cycle is a fragile thing and takes at least three
days to establish. Be sure then to vary your bedtime by several hours twice a
week, at least. Even better: vary your wake time. Sleep in late,
preferably very late, some but not all days. And tell yourself you are making up for sleep to feel like you’re doing something healthy even though you feel
terrible when you wake up early and when you wake up late. Irregular sleep is
another of the sea’s accelerating currents. The more you vary your sleep,
the harder regular sleep becomes, which makes your sleep more variable. To never
sleep or wake at the same time naturally is the goal. And to help in this, maximize
your screen time. Staying on-screen complements the previous sailing tactics.
Boredom could drive you to motion, so let the screen entertain you. Tiredness can
push you to sleep, so let the screen keep you awake, sort of, as long as possible.
Always fall asleep with a screen in your hand and put your eyes back on it as
soon as you wake. Every moment away from a screen is a
moment you might notice the horizon. Keep your head down and let the currents pull
you. Here you have allies unknown. Behind the screen are teams of the smartest
people and brightest bots competing to hold your attention on them as long as
possible. Let them reach you to pull you back if you turn away. Plus, screens
help with number four: use your screen to stoke your negative emotions, to feed
your anger or anxiety about things over which you have no control or influence.
Be well informed while doing nothing. The things you care about could be
navigational guides out of the sea, reasons to leave your allroom and take
meaningful action with the humans around you. But you can instead use the things
you care about as further sources of misery. Focus on the bad to fuel your
resentment or despair. If you must contribute, do so only in meaningless
token ways and be disappointed in the lack of change. We’re coming towards the
end and if you’re doing it right, misery is descending. But some part of your
brain is rebelling, trying to turn the ship by setting a goal. If you’re not
careful, that part of your brain just might save you, but luckily we can do
more than just hobble it. We can fool it to navigate deeper into the sea. To reach
goals, they must be specific, measurable, actionable, for which you are responsible,
and time bounded. I will turn the wheel one degree right now. Instead, set the
productive part of your brain on vapid goals: vague, amorphous, pie-in-the-sky,
irrelevant, delayed. Make the target unclear and the path unclear. If
motivation strikes, aim ridiculously high to guarantee failure. I will clean the
whole house today is much better than I will do the laundry in this pile.
Cleaning a whole house is impossible. There’s always more to do, so you will
always fail. Focus on goals that are after what you wish to achieve. Learn how
to market an app before you learn to code. This will distract the productive
part of your brain quite nicely. And be sure to wait for motivation rather than
setting a time. You’ll do something when you feel like it, which will be never or
never enough to matter. With vapid goals, you will turn the productive part of
your brain from a dangerous source of self-improvement that rewards
every small step into a consistent nag that berates you for your failure to
have already accomplished your goal every step of the way.
Now the vapid goals you’ve set should distract the productive part of your
brain, but if it still fights against you, direct it towards the mirage on the sea
of sadness: the islands of happiness themselves. Pursue happiness directly. The
human mind is such that by setting sail towards happiness, you will achieve the
opposite. Imagine happiness as a place where happy people are happy all the
time. This turns happiness into an unreachable
feeling of constant bliss that no one has. True happiness is like a bird that
might land on your ship, but never if you constantly stand guard to catch it.
Instead, improve your ship and sail into warmer waters — the bird will land when
you aren’t looking. Uh — so be sure never to do that. Aim toward the mirage of
happiness rather than improving the ship upon which you sail. Last, but most
important, follow your instincts. Navigation deeper into the sea of
sadness is quite easy, for there is a dark magnetic field that points the
compass of your impulses in the right direction once you get started. You will
want to stay indoors, you will want to not exercise, you will want to sleep in,
you will want to do what you know will make you sadder after you’ve done it.
Your compass points the way, both in and out, so follow the true north of your
impulses and stay away from that other pole of the long-term. It’s all so simple.
Just get started with these tactics and let the sea carry you along. This video was produced as an adaptation
of How to Be Miserable by Dr. Randy J. Patterson, which is a great example of
how thinking about the opposite of your goal can help you achieve what you
really want. And if you want to listen to it for free
you can do so on Audible.com with their free 30-day trial. Audible is the best
place to get your audiobooks. It’s where I get my audiobooks and you should too.
Audible content includes an unmatched selection of audiobooks, original audio
shows, news, comedy, and more. If you want to listen to it, Audible has it. Go to
audible.com/grey to get your free audio book with a 30-day trial. There you
can get How to Be Miserable or any other book that you want. We briefly covered
seven of the strategies from the book, but there are 33 more and I highly
recommend that everyone read it to find the ones that most resonate with you.
Audible is simply the best. You can listen to your book anywhere, they will
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like a book that you bought, you can just swap it, no questions asked. Once again,
that’s audible.com/grey for a free 30-day trial.