1. Not going to the gym
DO YOU EVEN LIFT? No? That’s fine. Sure, being physically fit is great and not having to sheepishly admit to people that you’ve not done one pushup in the last decade is always a plus, but don’t kill yourself if you don’t work out. As long as you’re trying to improve in one way or another, it’s all good. Being buff or being able to run for miles aren’t the most important things in the world.
2. Not going out to the club
“These are the best days of our lives! This is the last chance we’ll have to be YOUNG,” are arguments in favor of going to bar crawls or clubs or other time-wasting, money-burning activities that most 20-somethings probably hear every weekend. Do you prefer staying in instead of going to these places? That’s totally alright — it’s your preference. Odds are when you’re 80 you’ll have bigger past decisions to question than what clubs you didn’t attend
3. Not being happy
#FirstWorldPains is a meme that makes light of many of the modern western world’s problems — and some of them certainly deserve being made light of. However, it’s also possible that people, despite the amenities that the first world afforded them, aren’t happy with their lot in life. “BUT YOU COULD LIVE IN SOMALIA,” is a fair argument for counting one’s blessings. But not living in a terrible place doesn’t rid an individual of a poor job or a chemical imbalance in the brain or some other issue. If you’re not happy, try to solve your problems and earn contentment. If you haven’t gotten it yet, don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling even worse.
4. Not being sad
There are tragedies happening in the world. People are dying. People are being raped and murdered. There are millions of “breadwinners” who are more like “crumbwinners” whose families are going hungry. Yet here you are, being content in your good job and your good house while watching your favorite show and having a cocktail. Shouldn’t you be out protesting the Keystone XL pipeline or donating blood instead of being a decadent westerner? There’s something to be said for being aware about the world’s problems and doing something to fix them, but there’s also something to be said for being happy. So many people seek joy in their lives and never find it—and if someone does find it they let others snuff it out. Instead, stay jolly and attempt to kindle the flame of merriment in others.
5. Not giving up smoking cigarettes/drinking soda/drinking coffee/etc.
About 99% of all adults have a vice, whether its caffeine, alcohol, soda, weed, or what have you. Don’t let annoying moralizers make you feel guilty. Smoking tobacco and drinking Coke/Pepsi are insalubrious, but so are many other habits.
6. Not cutting down your meat intake
7. Not doing colon cleanses
Our society has…interesting values when some people deem it acceptable to chide others for not wanting to spend their entire weekend shitting. Sad.
8. Not learning how to fight
Having trained MMA in the past, I can say that it’s awesome and a great workout. However, I’ve been in only two fights in my life and they were both before I started training. Since then, I’ve had more miniature golf games than I’ve had fights, meaning that training mini golf would’ve been far more useful.
9. Not trusting homeopathy and alternative medicine
If you hang out with enough people in your lifetime, chances are at least one of them will be an alternative medicine fanatic. I’ve met one of these people and every time I got sick I was subjected to a droll, sententious disquisition about how I was worse than Hitler for taking antibiotics or any other “mainstream” medicine pushed by “big pharma.” There is of course some truth to the overmedication of society (things like every single kid on the planet apparently having ADHD, for example) but I’ll trust a medicine backed by scientific trials over an herb backed by some ancient tribe’s anecdotal evidence. If you’re the same way, no need to feel bad about it.
10. Not accomplishing anything for a little while
Sometimes people burnout. Sometimes people get a little tired or even lazy. Sometimes they lose focus. As long as these periods don’t extend indefinitely, there’s nothing wrong with them; they are totally natural. These things happen to human beings. Have you stopped learning Esperanto or taken a week off from the grind of the weight room to play World of Warcraft or to re-watch Game of Thrones? Good. Enjoy it for a week or two and then get back on track!
11. Not condemning the mainstream music scene
Don’t ever feel bad if you like the beat of a song or relate with some of the lyrics—even if it’s “manufactured, corporate bullshit” or if it’s “too mainstream.”
12. Not condemning chain restaurants/stores
There’s a “truism” that’s circulated around the internet that goes something like “If you buy something from a chain you’re helping a CEO pay for another yacht. If you buy something from a local business you’re helping a parent pay for his kid’s braces.” That sounds GREAT and 100% true but the statement doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Not every chain location is owned by an evil, greedy corporate overlord. Many of them are owned by regular people who decided to own and operate an established franchise. These franchise owners have lives and children of their own—as do the employees of these chains. They don’t deserve to be sacrificed on the altar of public opinion, nor do you if you patronize their establishment(s).
13. Not embracing the DIY movement
Some folks are bad at home improvement and always will be. The extent of their abilities is being able to put together one piece of tiny Target or Ikea furniture in an entire weekend. DIY wasn’t made for these people. Let’s not make such individuals feel bad about supporting “the man” by purchasing his wares instead of making them on their own.
14. Not being rich
Look at the list of the wealthiest historic figures in human history. What do they all have in common? They’re all just as dead as their lower-class contemporaries. Enjoy your life without messing up anyone else’s life. If (obscene) wealth comes, awesome. If not, that’s fine too.
15. Not being famous
Same as above. A few billion years from now when the earth is burned to cinders and absorbed by the expanding sun, what will it have mattered that Justin Bieber was famous and you weren’t? Inside the heart of the sun, the atoms that comprised the lowliest of peasants will be joined with the atoms that comprised the godliest of kings. We are all equal before chemistry.