How to Live a Diminished Life


Do you believe that your life is such a treacherous journey that you will only get into heaven by the skin of your teeth?  As a result, do you daily assume a cautious, hunkered-down stance?

It is true that life is often hard. Unfortunately, we often make it more difficult than it would have to be.  We can do a lot to help ourselves, simply by using our God-given abilities.

But if you insist on a dismal world view, let me help you to truly excel at living the sad life that you feel that you deserve.

Here’s how to live a life of diminished possibilities:

  1. Don’t make a game plan. Always wait for your ship to come in.  Spend lots of money on lottery tickets.  Take the first job that you are offered and then stay there unless someone calls you with a new job offer. Assume that your parents’ religion needs to be yours and if you just follow their formula, it will work out for you and your kids too.
  2. Believe that fighting for what you want is out-dated.  Always be predisposed to believe that you have over-performed and that your current state of affairs is in spite of you, not because of you.  Definitely don’t become an entrepreneur.
  3. Always ask for permission.  Wait to proceed down any given path until someone has patted you on the back and said something nice.  Post incessantly on social media and let the comments dictate your mood.  When making decisions, always dismiss out-of-hand any option that will likely result in someone’s disapproval (or temper tantrum, or rejection).
  4. Don’t stand out.  If everyone else is doing it, believe without question that it is the most reasonable and healthy choice for you also.  Study the lemmings and aspire to be one.  If you end up in a pile at the bottom of the cliff, at least you weren’t the only one.
  5. Emphasize unimportant things.  Never have a memorable evening with friends unless your house is in perfect order (which it never is).  Make decisions on that basis consistently.  Never stop to consider what are actually the most important things to you.  And if you do, definitely don’t act on it.
  6. Feel trapped.  Accept that life isn’t fair (which it isn’t) but extrapolate that to mean that you really can’t do anything about the hand that you have been dealt.  Continue to incrementally gain weight, accrue debt, and attend a church that you hate (or fundamentally disagree with) because there don’t seem to be any easy solutions.
  7. Discount your own abilities.  Recollect every personal slam that you ever received, and conjure up a present-day self-image that matches. Never focus on your successes, only your failures, to the point that getting out of bed (late) in the morning feels like enough of an accomplishment.
  8. Think about death all the time.  Your feelings when thinking about your ultimate demise should range from depression to panic.  Bemoan all your lost opportunities.  View the future as a canvass upon which to sketch a life of continuing disappointment.

And before you know it, you will have succeeded at one thing at least!

Living a diminished life.

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