Learn to be Successful with these 3 Simple Tricks

How to be Successful

When I was a young lad of about three hours younger than I am as I write this, I dreamed of becoming the Tetris World Champion. Shortly thereafter I realized I was bad at Tetris, didn’t really like Tetris, and was already very good at being a broke, shut-in virgin who writes poetry for a living.

In less than a day, I accomplished more than many people do in their entire lifetimes: I gave up on a stupid idea and moved on. That being accomplished, I realized my true calling is writing self-help essays for a few dozen people on the internet who think I’m occasionally funny (and my parents).

The text you are reading at the moment has been written, stared at, erased, rewritten, sneered at, re-erased, and so on many times, so I’ll just get to the point:

The best way to be successful is to be marginally better at some common things than someone else.

Read it again, but in bold:

The best way to be successful is to be marginally better at some common things than someone else.

Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean:

Say you’ve just had a long day. You’re tired, hungry, cranky, possibly sweaty, and definitely just want to go home, eat empty calories, and masturbate while you watch true crime shows. As you’re walking down the street, you come upon a person who is standing neutrally and doing nothing in particular. This is a person with plentiful free time, a lack of unattractive blemishes, seemingly-effortless nonchalance, and you hate them.

Imagine now the same scenario, but the person you see is fat, ugly, extremely rich, and kissing your significant other on the hood of your car (which has been destroyed in a freak forklift accident while you were blinking). You hate this person too, and will likely be physically or verbally aggressive toward them. The nondescript person nearby has not even drawn your notice, and has thus been upgraded from an object of hatred and derision to a not-unpleasant bit of scenery.

The nondescript person has achieved tremendous success not through their action, struggle, inherent virtue, divine mandate, or any other exclusive or difficult condition. They achieved it by being less bad (and therefor marginally better) at something common (existing) than someone else.

Alas, we are not often so fortunate as to be constantly in the presence of public displays of romantic infidelity and simultaneous realization of property damage when faced with unpleasant people in our lives. To compensate, I suggest any of the following tactics.

Tactic 1: Hang out in unpleasant places.

Most people like to be happy and comfortable. Most people, while in unpleasant places, are not happy and comfortable, and thus will leave. That said, there are enough people who hang out in unpleasant places with such frequency and consistency that these places garner a reputation for being unpleasant.

Imagine then that you, being one to frequent these nasty niches of the world, invite a friend (or just happen to encounter someone, for those of you with no friends) to join you in your unpleasant meeting place of choice. Your hypothetical acquaintance joins you (likely a person of poor taste, given you’re still reading this), and would normally be inclined to think of you as a person of poor taste. Then they see a mostly-nondescript-but-slightly-unpleasant-in-a-”can’t-put-my-finger-on-it”-sort-of-way person violently assault a second party who was displaying amorous inclinations on an abandoned vehicle. Your hypothetical acquaintance suggests you find a new place to meet, you agree, and you are no longer considered a person with questionable tastes. In fact, you are someone agreeable with whom your hypothetical acquaintance shares something in common.

Tactic 2: Shut Up

If someone is talking, they are having a good time. Sane people speak when people are present, and generally to engage with another person (creating a pleasant atmosphere) or break an awkward silence (avoiding discomfort). If you are talking, other (sane) people are not, unless you are arguing, in which case your fellow arguer likely does not think of you in a good light. If you are silent, someone else will almost certainly begin to talk, which makes them happy. If you continue to be silent, a third party will probably speak. Now you are part of a conversation between happy people who (being sane) will immediately recognize you as the root cause of their happiness and shower you with praise (to which you should not respond, obviously).

Tactic 3: Read bad poetry, and encourage others to do the same

Let’s assume things that are good are good, things that are bad are not, and things that are neutral can sometimes cause irrational rage if not accompanied by gratuitous sexuality and automobile wreckage.

All in agreement? Good!

Given our assumptions, reading bad poetry will make you feel uncomfortable or unhappy, which will make otherwise insignificant things that might otherwise cause you stress to be ignored. You’re used a pawn to capture a rook, so to speak.

Now, having eliminated many minor stresses for one large, rhyming one, you share some of these bad poems with a friend (or hypothetical randomly-encountered individual). That individual, if sane, will think you a person of poor taste, and never contact you again. After several repetitions of these events, you will be entirely alone, therefore eliminating most reasons for talking. When you don’t talk, you will by necessity shut up. When you shut up, people will like you. When people like you, you can invite them to join you in unpleasant places.

Need I say more?

In conclusion (as University has taught me I must declare before ending an essay), being successful can be achieved quite easily through a few counter-intuitive tactics. Any lack of success on your part can be eliminated by being less happy, less comfortable, and spending more time and money consuming bad poetry. If all else fails, make friends with people in troubled relationships and buy (or steal) a forklift.

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