Seriously, the fact that you're even reading this already proves you haven't got the slightest clue what you're doing. Congratulations, you're officially as clueless as the rest of us.
Recently (by 'recent' I'm referring to the time period after Moses up until about the middle of last week), there have been more and more of those lovely lists popping on Digg and else where on the internets. You know the ones, those sugar soaked nauseatingly optimistic blog posts that have titles like, "10 Ways to Improve Your Life" and "7 Ways to be More Productive" and "23 Ways to Achieve Complete and Utter Bliss, Make Shit Loads of Money, and Have Lots of Great Sex".
Look, I'm generally a happy person, really I am. Just because I make fun of old people and kick small breed dogs off the sidewalk doesn't mean I'm bitter or anything. Okay, every now and then I have a bad day while driving when I feel like pulling some idiot off the road and strapping a cherry bomb to his testicles. That's normal, right?
I click the same links you do, I read those same feel good articles. Do you know why? Of course you do, because we click and read for the same reason. We read those feel good, do good articles because we want to feel good. And you know what else? They work, they really do. It never fails that when I see one of those cheerfully named articles I must read it, hoping that there will actually be something in there that will have a real and lasting effect on how I live my life. And I always feel good after I read it, as if I've learned something that, at least in theory, makes some sense. And it never fails that in a grand total of five minutes I've either forgotten everything I just read, or a crisp, cold bitch slap by real life promptly reminds me that none of it was relevant or applicable anyway.
Alas, I have concocted the only response that makes any damn sense. The list to end all lists. Therefore, I present the list of ten reasons why your life isn't going to get any better, more productive, or creative by reading a blog. Enjoy.
10. They're Stupid
Seriously, have you ever actually read one of these things? Okay, so some of them do make a little bit of sense, I'll give you that. A few work in theory, and fail for other reasons (as I'll outline in a minute), but some of this shit is just fucking dumb. I kid you not, I've read blogs that have attempted to bless the world with earth shattering revelations such as, "Try Harder". Yeah, no shit, Aristotle.
Next thing you know John Madden is going to have his own productivity blog. "And, and, and, you know, if you don't, if you don't get out of bed in the morning, uh, you're not gonna get anything done, and I mean that's just how it works. If you want, the thing is, if you want to get things done at work, then you have to, you have to get at your desk and work hard. Brett Favre works hard at work, I mean BOOM, there he is, he's in the huddle calling the play, and then he's throwing the ball and *munch* *munch* *munch*..."
News flash: stupid meditation tricks, obvious tips, and irrelevant feel good rhetoric isn't going to help you, ever.
9. You're Stupid
Normally I try not to insult my readership (all three of you), but let's be honest, if you're reading these things as often as I am, you aren't very smart. Hell, if you're reading this now that either makes you very bored or you're just looking for a good laugh (at me, not with me).
In terms of those self help blogs, they don't work because you've developed this half assed idea that reading them makes them worth a damn, when in fact, without action they're pretty useless. Actually, based on reason number ten, I think it's safe to say they're pretty useless no matter what you do.
8. Real Life Is Hard
One of the things they fail to explain to you is that no matter how insightful or wonderful all these tips and methods may seem, doing anything that is even remotely productive, creative, or useful in real life typically tends to be hard. In fact, scratch the 'typically' bit - it's always hard. I don't care what your therapist, your mother, your high school counselor, or your favorite blogger tells you, everything worth doing is hard. Trust me, I know, I've failed at all of them already.
Every great novel, song, piece of art, business, product, or service was hard to develop and make into a reality. The idea, as it so often does, usually comes easy. That excited feeling of knowing you came up with something cool is nice and often immediate, everything after that is work. And I don't mean that bullshit "it doesn't feel like work" kind of work I mean the tedious, frustrating, I'm going to cut my wrists and take a bottle of sleeping pills kind of work.
Even if there is that magical something that comes naturally to you, undoubtedly, at some point, you won't feel like doing it. It's going to be hard, you're not going to like it, and if you want to succeed at anything other than being the world's most successful procrastinator, you're going to have to do it anyway. So no, it's never easy, and no stupid zen mind trick or different outlook is going to change that. Put that on your bumper sticker, bitches.
7. Lord Xenu Hates You
According to Tom Cruise and Scientology, all of our problems can be attributed to the fact that a big alien overlord committed genocide against some other aliens, and now they're spirits haunt us... seriously.
Yes I know that was stupid and pointless. Nothing gets past you!
6. They're Not Easy, Nor Are They Idiot Proof
Often these articles throw catchy words into the title like "can't miss" or "sure ways to..." or the all-time favorite "easy". These words are there to convince you no matter how much of a grand scale fuck up you are, that reading these measly 450 words will make you worth a damn - they won't. I assure you, sirs and madams, you're still fuck ups.
In the seldom seem cases where reason number ten does not apply, and there is actually some method or practice that could help you, it's usually much harder than they make it seem. Some examples are "make time for ... everyday" or "try something new" or the all-time stupidest thing I've ever read "quit your day job and try doing...". And no, I'm not even kidding about the last, someone actually wrote that.
Perhaps these writers just have dormant areas of their brains that have never been activated. It never seems to occur to these dipshits that not all of us are god-like beings who have the ability to effortlessly transcend ourselves to deity like status at will. Sure they're ideas make sense, but if I had the ability to make good on a good idea by myself, and I wouldn't be spending my afternoons on Digg reading articles like these, I'd have finished my screenplay by now and be selling it to Miramax.
5. Let's Face It, There's Only So Much Happy to Go Around
See I have this theory...
The way I see it there's a finite amount of happiness that exists in the universe. Now this 'happiness' is made up of just about everything that could give you a sense of satisfaction and/or fulfillment in life - success, friends, healthy family relationships, lots of money, and doing lots of shit in a short period of time. Because really, what else could possibly make you happy, right?
And there's only so much happy to go around. Therefore, all those happy grabbing bastards out there (I'm looking at you Bill Gates and Quentin Tarantino) are just taking up too much of the happy. The rest of us, get left with little or no happy at all. We are, in fact, hapless.
There's really nothing that can be done about this, certainly nothing that can be accomplished by some peppy blog posts. I think, what we should be doing is writing a lot of negative blog posts in order to confuse the people who have got a happy monopoly going on. If we tell people to be sad, ultimately there will be more happy to go around.
4. You're Not Doing It Right
It might be fair to call this "You're Stupid: Part II". There is the very real possibility that you are actually such a monumental failure that no matter how relevant, applicable, or easy these tips are, you still manage to screw them up. In which case you should probably just give up and die.
3. I Like Squirrels
See, that was pointless. Are you starting to see where I'm going with this?
2. You Aren't Ready to Change
You see reading an article on self improvement, isn't actually improving yourself, and you know that - that's why you read it. You're procrastinating in more ways than one. Naturally, you're probably procrastinating in the immediate sense, at work or home trying to put off something that needs to be done (be it paper work or yard work) so you decide to do some light reading, and you justify it to yourself by reading something that will supposedly help you.
You think, "I may be putting off my real work, but I'm improving to do better things later." No you're not. You're being lazy, fucktard. Maybe you really do want to change, or improve, or grow, but instead of actually going out and doing something about it, you're content to remain in the "planning stage" of growth.
Trust me, you've read enough of these blog posts and magazine columns. That's why they all feel the same to you now. When you're ready to get off your ass and do something with what you've learned (if it's actually any good), you'll finally stop reading and start doing.
1. You Don't Want to Change
Allow me to explain by saying, duh.
Assuming a case in which reason number ten isn't true, then this is the most obvious reason why these self help texts never work for you. You don't want to change, grow, or improve.
This may seem strange at first, and the natural reaction is to think that simply reading the article means you're seeking some sort of knowledge or advice to improve yourself for the better. And maybe, possibly, you are interested on some level, perhaps you're just curious, or maybe you want to change but just (get ready for the cliche) "aren't ready."
Honestly, I think you're just a lazy bastard... like myself. For that brief moment when you read the headline, you're optimistic, you're hopeful, you want to grow and reach for new horizons, but after you've wasted fifteen minutes and read the same light minded garbage you're used to seeing, you remember you think it's all bullshit anyway.
You're not going to change because you don't have to and you don't want to, You like who you are, quirks, flaws, laziness, and everything else.
This one's for you.
Thanks for reading.
Jordan Rivas is a resident expert on absolutely nothing (except the NBA) and his opinions are, in fact entirely irrelevant - which means you are a loser for reading them. Have a nice day.