How to be unsuccessful

…your weekly guide to being a slacker.

So, I’m unemployed, depressed and stagnating in my own b/o and it got me thinking, ‘what do I want to do? What does ‘successful’ mean?! Why am I such a loser?’. I’m sure you know how it feels. But do you know how it feels to be ‘successful’? What if they’re just as unhappy and unfulfilled? What if they’re more unhappy?! Did you ever think about that? No, because you only think about yourselves. Fortunately for these hopelessly successful types, I’m a great empathiser, and as such have created a guide in order that these non-flounderers can escape their lives of achievement and attainment. Hold on to your arses, because this is about to get enlightening…

What is ‘unsuccess’?

Good question. ‘Unsuccess’ is a feeling of complete freedom: it is being on the weather-vane of life when everybody else is stuck in the basement, trying to get out into the cold, stony air of the church.

You see, to be successful, people set themselves ‘goals’, some long-term and some short-term. They aspire to be something. Or they’re lucky, lucky bastards who attract good fortune. Or they clamber over the backs of others without so much as a second glance at the trail of dismembered, flaming lives they’ve left behind. Whatever means a person uses to become ‘successful’, the embargo normally consists of:

  • Completing tasks that feel too much like hard work
  • Doing stuff, a lot
  • Talking to people you don’t want to talk to
  • Conversing with people who, quite frankly, make you want to eat your own hand (or hands, depending on how unbearably nauseating they are)
  • Not sleeping as much as you’d like
  • Wanting to get to a ‘spiritual place’ where you ‘couldn’t give a rat’s bollock’ about what other people think of you whilst simultaneously caring an obscene amount about what people think about you
  • Hating yourself

Needless to say, it is awfully stressful. The pursuit of monetary wealth is most commonly to blame for such pointless escapades, and we will first deal with how not to be wealthy in our quest for unsuccess. Further instalments of this guide will be delivered as follows:

Week 1. Money: who needs it? (This is week one. You’re reading it already)

Week 2. How to do nothing and feel good about it PLUS letting go of responsibility

Week 3. Ways and means of procrastination: how to get the least out of your time

Week 4. Dealing with criticism from family, friends and society

Week 5. I am unable to plan this far ahead

Let us deal with the concept of ‘money’. What is money? ‘The love of money,’ according to the Bible ‘is the root of all kinds of evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is currency, normally in the form of coins or paper notes or numbers on a screen. Hundreds of years ago, people didn’t need money really. They grew and farmed their own food, and exchanged it for other types of food from people who farmed different food to them. People had sex and babies appeared and they guessed that the babies wanted food and to not be too cold because that’s what they wanted. There weren’t any mirrors, except maybe lakes and ponds, so they weren’t arsed about shaving or putting make-up on or whether their trainers were laughably tragic… they just got on with it, in much the way that I try to.

Then, the Lydians, of Lydia, which was situated in Ancient Turkey on the Aegean Sea, decided to mint coins. What happened, right, was people kept bartering and exchanging stuff, for example a slab of bread for a fish, that sort of thing. But things kept going off, and there weren’t any use-by dates back then, so it was kind of a con. Long story short, some civilisation invented money and the idea caught on. Fast forward about 2,600 years, and shit’s fucked up: people exchange other people for money- heck, they even exchange money for money! Just imagine: you acquire a note worth 5 pounds sterling (that’s our currency)- a £5 note, if it pleases you- and then you sell the note for £6. Madness has pervaded our world; people buy money, it’s possible to purchase an avocado in Hull… Such madness brings about confusion, unsurprisingly, and people feel agitated.

Quite simply, there are just too many things to spend your money on. It is often better to reach into your pockets and find nothing, thus depriving yourself of a packet of Maltesers (which aren’t even from Malta), than to reach in and find a tenner which you would probably exchange for a sharing bag of Doritos, a tub of sour cream and a large bar of mint Aero, leaving you feeling fat, and ashamed.

Now, if we follow the natural arc of this piece of continuous prose, the next question must be, ‘If money makes you fat, ashamed and unhappy, then how do I acquire less of it, thus relinquishing the burden of responsibility thrust upon me regarding the monitoring of my expenditure?’. Very good question, reader. In order to not get money, one must not have a job. If you’re struggling to cope with the extreme freedom that comes with being unsuccessful, you can have a job which pays the bare-minimum required to survive in wherever it is you live and eat tinned mushy peas each day, cold. Best case scenario, a kindly family member or friend will take you into their home so you may keep warm, preferably for free. If nobody cares about you, or they get on your nerves, one must simply find somewhere to squat, which is also free. Sheds, abandoned buildings and treehouses are fantastic to squat in, if you’re short on ideas.

This week’s instalment is at risk of becoming even a slight success on my part, and I must draw it to a close. If you truly are one of the world’s great unsuccesses, then you won’t be reading the next chapters because you don’t need to and you wouldn’t want to anyway because it would require too much effort. Otherwise, same time ish (but probably not) next week, and have fun experimenting with poverty!

Peace out!