To be honest, I’m writing this one just as much for myself as I am writing it for you.
Life is merely a measurement of time. When you waste one, you destroy the other. As mortal beings, I think it’s absolutely imperative to keep this in mind at all times.
It’s so easy to get pulled into the gooey seductiveness of “free time,” or “time to kill”. The in-between moments of life, when there isn’t something obvious and clear happening, can feel absolutely smothering.
Something I often feel in these moments is a sense of weighty inertia. Heaviness and disconnection, as if my body is something to be dragged. My mind arrives at the same thought over and over before pushing it aside, wandering in loose circles that lack a clear beginning or ending.
Over the years I have learned that it’s far easier to prevent yourself from entering this listless state of mind than it is to leave it behind.
To prevent yourself from entering the self-destructive spiral, there is a simple, threefold recipe: Action, Faith, and Confidence. But if you’re hell-bent on living an empty, uninspiring life—then fear not!
I can tell you exactly how to do it.
How to Live a Life Devoid of Meaning
The first thing you need to do to disenchant your life is to Procrastinate.
By procrastinating, you’ll spend more time thinking about what needs to be done than actually doing it.
Try to immerse yourself in a world of “shoulds” and “should nots”. You’ll create your very own reality that’s totally separate from the real world—a place completely void of “am” or “am not”, “is” or “is not”.
Do your best to avoid what you know needs your attention. Don’t think about the desirable outcomes your actions will bring, and instead focus only on how working isn’t fun. And whatever you do, don’t try to use your ingenuity to figure out ways to make your work enjoyable!
It helps to reframe opportunities as burdens and obstacles.
Do all this, and eventually you’ll build a habit of avoiding the most important things in your life.
After you’ve gotten good at procrastinating, it’s time to start engaging in some good old-fashioned Doubt.
If you can, doubt everything. Doubt the consequences of your choice to procrastinate. Doubt whether the feeling of anxiety that’s bubbling inside your chest is a useful signal to stop doing what you’re doing. Doubt the intentions of others. Doubt whether any of this even matters. Doubt whether the world is a better place with you in it.
Most importantly, doubt your own conscience. Doubt the way you feel about things. Doubt the way you feel about others.
Do not trust your gut. Don’t believe anything unless there’s unmistakable and indisputable evidence to support it. Be skeptical about everything, all the time.
By doubting everything, you’ll begin to convince yourself that you don’t know anything for sure. This is a great launching pad for the last thing you need to do to destroy your life.
Seal the deal with the big haymaker: Fear.
Think about everything that could possibly go wrong—but stop yourself right before contemplating how to respond when it does.
Revisit every mistake you’ve ever made, over and over. Criticize yourself constantly. Breathe shallowly and rapidly through your mouth. Convince yourself that everyone, stranger and familiar alike, is judging you every time you leave the house.
Avoid difficult conversations like the plague. Don’t try to learn new skills. Only stay in familiar, comfortable environments. Cultivate dread like its your most prized possession.
Be afraid that your past choices have set you on a trajectory that you can’t escape. Think about that trajectory as inevitable, and completely ignore how your actions right now determine your trajectory more than anything else.
But most importantly, fear that you aren’t enough. Be afraid of the possibility that “I am” is not a complete sentence. Spend so much time dwelling on what could happen that you never have the faintest idea about what you’re doing right now.
Live in the future. Don’t look around you. Don’t feel that you are exactly where you are, exactly when you should be there. Don’t notice all the meaningful little details that surround you. Don’t think about how you’ll only ever be here, and it will only ever be now.
Whatever you do, don’t think about love. Don’t think about the times that your heart swelled so big that it started pushing into your throat. Don’t tell people how you feel. Don’t write your thoughts down in a journal. And do not—I repeat, DO NOT—let go of everything that causes you suffering. Hold onto it with all your might. In fact, build your identity around it. Make this anguish a crucial part of who you are, despite everything that indicates to the contrary.