I hate it when people — especially strangers on the internet — tell me what to do. This is ironic since I currently make my living as a self-help guru (I even did a TEDx talk!), and more so because I am about to clue you in to seven pieces of advice you should immediately stop taking if you know what’s good for you.
Which I do.
1) “Think Positive!”
Oh really. Have you noticed that the world is FUCKING FALLING APART? Brexit, Aleppo, Carrie & Debbie, and a President-elect who’s melting down faster than the polar ice caps? Positive thinkers can snack on it. It’s pessimists who are going to save the world — by being 100% correct to be worried about it all day every day, and getting angry enough to make some goddamn changes around here. I call it The Power of Negative Thinking. In other words, don’t get mad — get REALLY MAD. Then do something about it.
2) “Look at the big picture.”
Heads up, Buttercup: The big picture is overwhelming. Too much, too soon, too many megapixels. Much like sitting in the front row at the movie theater, you don’t have the peripheral vision for that shit. I always say, “Life is like an adult coloring book.” By which I mean, “Attack it in small, manageable chunks, ideally with glitter crayons.” It’s the only way to fly.
Look at the small picture.
3) “Get out of your comfort zone.”
What the fuck does that even mean? “Comfort zones” are so named because they are comfortable. Warm, cozy, good lumbar support, aka exactly what you need after a long day’s work or a trip to the fresh hell that is the United States Post Office. My comfort zone is a lounge chair by the pool and anyone who urges me out of it is asking for a spray can of Coppertone 30 right up the ass.
4) “Act like a lady, think like a man.”
Steve Harvey is a malignant hack. There, I said it.
5) “Follow your gut.”
I don’t know about you, but my gut usually leads me straight to the toilet, which is where your life will be if you treat the making of major decisions like some fucking boardwalk tarot card reading. What you need is a well-thought out strategy. Can it be informed by your gut feeling? Sure. But let’s not take a big wet dump on your future by acting all hasty-like.
6) “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
Actually, putting some things off until tomorrow makes it more likely that you’ll get a few other things done today, instead of becoming paralyzed with inaction in the face of your enormous to-do list. Seriously, get your shit together. Responsible procrastination is the key: Just pick the things that must get done today, and do them. That’s your “must-do” list. Put the rest off ’til tomorrow. Rinse, repeat.
7) “Failure is not an option.”
There are two kinds of people who believe this. Half of them are literally setting themselves up for failure and the other half are really annoying at cocktail parties. Like, fucking relax for a hot second and pass the queso dip, Apollo 13. Failure is totally an option! (If it wasn’t, a lot more members of my high school class would have walked on graduation day.) Failure itself is not your problem — it’s fear of failure that becomes an impediment to decision-making, when you’ve convinced yourself that if you fuck up, you’re toast…so it’s better to just do nothing. Well I’ve got news, chums: The sooner you accept failure into your life, the sooner you stop being such a pussy and start getting shit done.
Okay, good talk. If you’re in the market for more “emotional spankings” as I like to call them, my new book, Get Your Shit Together, can be purchased and delivered to you in just in time to get 2017 off to a good start. Or a slightly less terrible one, all things considered.