II love working really hard and then failing. Don’t you?
I’ll bet you do, so I’m going to explain to you some of the top ways to make sure you never reach another goal in your life, despite all your best efforts.
This whole idea comes from the story of a friend of mine. He’s one of those go-getter types, you know? The type that always manages to make things happen, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him. He always seems to reach his goals. He just can’t fail. It’s almost like a disease that he can’t get over.
Well, being the good friend that I am, I set out to help him solve his problem. I started reading books and talking to people who were just the opposite of my friend. I studied the people who were the most successful at failing. Over time, I managed to put all of the knowledge I had gathered into 4 principles that, if followed, will ensure complete and utter failure every time.
Are you ready to learn the secrets?
1. Don’t plan at all. Don’t set any goals.
Some people think, “if I don’t set any goals, then how can I fail?” The idea there is that if you don’t set a goal, then you can’t fail to reach it. You can only fail if you have something to fail at.
That’s a fair argument, but in my experience studying successful failures, I found that the people who were the best at never succeeding, were the ones who had nothing driving them at all. They had no goals, no plans, and no direction.
So while you might think that by not having a goal you’re keeping yourself from being able to fail, remember that you’re also keeping yourself from being able to succeed. And failing to succeed is failing.
I promise you that if you follow this one principle and never set any goals, you’ll be a very successful failure.
But this is tough. It’s human nature to want to set goals and achieve things in life. So if you absolutely must set goals, then the following three tips will help you set goals that will lead you to failure.
2. Make your goals vague and impossible to quantify.
One of the best ways to make sure you never reach your goal is to make it hard to know when it’s been reached. There are two ways of doing this that kind of go hand in hand. The first is to make your goals really vague. Goals like “this year I’m going to lose weight.” One interpretation of that goal is that when you’ve lost a half a pound or a single kilogram, that you’ve reached your goal. But the more likely interpretation for most people is that even after 22 pounds (10 kilograms) you still haven’t reached your goal.
By following this principle, you can achieve something that could have been seen as success, but by making your goal vague, you’ll see it as falling short. This is a great way to fail, because it’s not only effective but it’s also really frustrating which gives failure the maximum impact.
But I told you there were two ways of making your goal impossible to reach. The second is to make it impossible to quantify. What I mean here, is make your goal really subjective or open to interpretation. Choose something like “This month I’m going to get better at singing.” Not only is this goal vague, like the one about losing weight, but there is no clear finishing line for this one. For the weight, you could choose to lose a certain amount, or get your BMI to a certain level. But a goal about getting better at singing is just really hard to quantify.
There are ways to do it though, if you’re creative. You could choose a specific tough song and set a goal to be able to sing it without missing any notes. You can make even these subjective goals quantifiable. So be careful to leave your goals vague if you want to make sure you never reach them.
3. Make sure your goals are impossibly difficult to achieve.
If you can’t come up vague goals, then make sure you at least make them impossible to reach. For example, “I want to be able to high jump 2 meters in the air by the end of the month” would be a practically impossible goal for me to reach. Especially considering that I have never had coaching doing the high jump and that I can’t jump very high anyway. It’s pretty easy to come up with goals that are too hard to reach.
Now be careful here, I don’t mean just setting goals that are hard. Those kind of goals can actually be reached and they often help people push themselves beyond what they thought they could do. That kind of goal could have the opposite effect and make you even more successful. It’s those kind of goals that make my friend’s success disease so hard to overcome. He’s seen what he can accomplish when he pushes himself and that inspires him to keep going.
4. Don’t put a due date on your goals.
If you can’t make up vague goals, and you can’t come up with any impossible goals, then your last chance for ensuring failure is to give yourself forever to achieve your goals. This can be a very effective way to make sure you fail in life. Just don’t put a timeline on your goals. Don’t set a due date.
This is one place where human nature is really on your side. People generally tend to procrastinate things until they absolutely have to do them. This is the beauty of having no due date for your goals. Chances are, you’ll put off a lot of the effort that would help you reach your goals. The best thing is, before you know it you’ll have put it off for so long that you might even give up. And there is nothing better for someone that wants to fail than to reach the point where they just have to give up.
So this is it… the four secrets of the most successful failures out there. Follow these principles and you’ll be sure to fail. The best part is, you don’t even have to follow all of them. Using just one of these tactics will almost always ensure failure. Using two or more all but guarantees it.
The story told in this article is fictional and meant to illustrate the concepts in the article.