Seven Steps to Unhappiness

What a lovely road!

There are many articles on how to increase happiness therefore it might be worth writing one on how to become unhappy. It is believed that harboring a strong desire for something that we do not appear to be fated to receive in life leads to unhappiness. While self evident,  that this is a source of unhappiness, it is not a sustainable one. This type of unhappiness can be lost in an instant. The moment the desire is given up this unhappiness disappears. Following is a list of seven convenient and frequently used methods of becoming unhappy on a sustainable basis: These steps are more or less guaranteed to work.

1. Get a job that you do not enjoy. This way you would be spending several hours of your life in an unhappy manner. It is likely to become a habit even when not in the workplace. To add to the woes, ensure that about an hour or so is required to commute to work each way. All you have to do is locate your home far away from your place of work.  If this commuting is through polluted traffic and choked roads that is even better. Thereby, one can cut down drastically on the free time available for any happy pursuit. In case someone suggests an alternate job that might be less unpleasant, find reasons to avoid that, such as the new job pays less or is less respectable etc. Things such as money, ego, pride, showing off etc. should become far more important to you than plain and simple happiness. That is an old fashioned thing humans have always wanted. To be modern one must love new  things such as anguish and misery that drives you to the shrink instead, LOL!

2. Find a home in a crowded and large city, located away from nature and greenery. If it is not illegal in your area chop of any trees you can see from your home including bushes or any other green thing you can lay your hands on. That way, we can avoid the inherent happiness that nature tends to produce in humans. Living in a large city further ensures that its dwellers are busy and have little time to interact with each other in any personal or substantial manner. We can thus avoid the happiness some social interactions often produce.

3. Lead a busy rushed life so that you do not have the time for basics such as  cooking, cleaning, socializing, entertaining etc and meditative reflection is a distant dream. These latter ordinary activities may contribute towards reducing unhappiness. It is easy to find other things to do e.g. do not carry out your shopping in a planned manner and you will find yourself making ten trips to the mall instead of one.

4. Continue to live and work with people and friends who periodically upset and annoy you. This method works wonders in producing unhappiness on a sustained basis.

5. Do not indulge in any service or charitable activity. Let all good deeds be for yourself or your family only. Restrict yourself to plain undiluted selfishness. Philanthropists and do-gooders tend to become happy in some mysterious way. Find books by authors like Ayn Rand who can rationalise this very cleverly with fancy arguments so that it sounds good, or read the thoughts of some extreme tea partying republicans that will strengthen your resolve in this direction. Insist that the more money you have the less tax you should pay. The government may start doing charity with your money. If this latter charity is to reduce the intolerable pain caused by unaffordable medical care by  poor persons you must oppose this even more strongly; it must become painful to you and millions of others like you. Poverty must be eliminated and the very best way is to deny medical care to the poor, and any other welfare measure besides. It is a different matter when your turn comes to be in similar need; tactics can always be changed then. Who believes in old fashioned stuff like doing unto others as you would have them do to you?

6. Do not lead a moral, truthful and principled life. These values tend to reduce unhappiness. Once you have succeeded in banishing these encumbrances, add indiscipline to your daily schedule. Do not let the hand that puts down a thing put it away so that a profound sense of disorder prevails around you. Vary your meal and sleep hours on a regular basis and miss out on chores such as personal hygiene, healthy diet etc. Disciplined life produces peace and good health that is only minutes away from happiness.

7. Do not believe in God or religion because it can give a sense of peace and security, which is an essential prerequisite to happiness. Religious people or even those who believe in God without conforming to any particular religion frequently enjoy the benefits of an opium or drug like happiness without suffering the expense or ill effects of the drug. Yes, it is a different matter if it is an organisation that calls itself religious in name only as a cover, but does gory things like child molestations, lynching the innocents or supporting those who do so. In that case you might consider becoming a proud member of one such.

If you reflect on the seven steps listed here you will realize that most humans on our planet are already following one or more of them. No wonder many are unhappy in varying degrees. One may question, what is the purpose of writing such an article, when what it proposes to achieve - unhappiness - is already widespread? The idea of listing the seven steps here is that it is possible one may have missed out on one or more. Following most or all will increase the effect.

Make a check list of the seven steps above and pin it in a important place in your home and office. Tick the steps you are already following and then add at least one more from the missing steps  every month. In a few months you will come out on top.  Best wishes to you in this exciting adventure through life.



Perhaps you might be a person who genuinely and realistically wishes to work for happiness instead, then you might consider doing the opposite of these suggestions to increase happiness in your life.


keiko amano said…

Have you read this Guardian's article on Bogota? It wasn't edited well. I think it is too long and broad. So, here I recommend you to read only Bogota story.

ashok said…
Thanks for that very useful link Keiko. I have added the reference to my my mot recent post on commuting difficulties because it has references to well documented studies on the sad effects of much commuting.

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