1. They want you to be someone you’re not.
“I don’t know who you are or where you’re from, but this is how I’m successful at life. If you want to be successful and happy, be more like me.”
Yes, that’s gotta be it. You’ve been living your life wrong this whole time, selfishly thinking you could forage your own path when all these ‘successful’ people took the time to tell you how to live theirs.
Don’t you want to be the life of the party? Cracking jokes and busting moves on the dance floor? Well, if that’s not your personality, then force it until it becomes your personality. If you want to be awesome, you can’t ever accept yourself. You should be in a constant state of discomfort with who you are, and always projecting yourself as that person who wrote the book. That’s how those people got successful.
2. You’ve heard it all before.
“Look up at the stars and remember your problems are insignificant compared to the infinite universe.”
Oh, no way? Now you feel better. You were worried about paying the minimum on your credit card bill, or how you’ll balance your rent against your student loan payments, but those foreboding financial realities seem to dissipate somewhere between the moon and the Big Dipper. Just stop thinking about it.
If you keep eating cup of noodles, working overtime, and stop going out with friends on the weekends, you’ll have those bills paid off in no time. In fact, grab a pack of cigarettes and invite some friends over to stare at the stars with you. Make those little origami hot-air balloons, write down all your problems, and watch them fly up into the sky from the roof of your apartment building. As you burn your tongue on the cup of noodles, your problems will burn up in the night sky. It’s kind of beautiful.
3. They assume.
“You need to quit your job and follow your passion if you ever want to be happy, everyone is immensely talented in something that can be monetized.”
You won’t find your passion by trying new things, because every time you try something new, you have to endure some annoying ‘learning curve’. If it were your true passion, there wouldn’t be a learning curve because it would utilize your inherent talent. When you work hard towards your passion, you’re not really working at all.
In fact, you were pretty good at making those origami hot-air balloons…
Your balloon definitely flew the highest, way higher than Steve’s piece of shit balloon. Steve’s flew up about 10 feet before it caught fire and the burning list of problems fell right back into his lap. Making the balloon didn’t feel like work, and you had this weird sense of satisfaction upon it’s completion. This is it, this is your passion. There are thousands of people at home pacing in restless circles because they can’t find decent origami hot-air balloon craftsman. Why are you still on your roof? Get your ass inside and start folding.
4. They’re unrealistic.
“Don’t work towards the life you want, close your eyes and imagine you’re already living it. Pretty soon, the universe will give you what you want.”
You can’t just do things and expect change; you need to imagine you’ve already accomplished something great. Visualize the success or change you want, and visualize it hard, but don’t stop there.
Yesterday you imagined you’d finish 10 balloons instead of the usual nine. And would you believe it? You made 10. See, proof it works.
If you really want Mila Kunis to volunteer to endorse your new company, OrAirgami, get some pictures of yourself flying a balloon and Photoshop her into them. Tack them on the wall, start making a Mila Kunis collage, close your eyes and imagine her saying ‘yes’ to the last fifteen emails you sent her agent. Ambition is never creepy.
5. People are making money off of you.
Reading and applying these self-help tips isn’t enough. Just like the last chapter of the book said, if you want real, lasting change, you need to go to a three-day seminar. You need to sit among thousands of peers who’ve also been reborn into their new life of reckless ambition — passionate people, like you.
You type in your credit card number and think,
“Damn, $2,000 is kind of expensive, especially now that I’ve quit my job and started OrAirgami.”
Wait, what are you thinking?! Remember the stars? That’s an insignificant amount of money compared to the vastness of the universe. Besides, if your imagination is any indicator of future success, you’ll be laughing your way to the bank with Mila Kunis in no time.