If you’re like me, any thought of the 90s is immediately accompanied by a music flashback to Beck’s Loser. I have many-a-fond memories of kicking back in high school and loving Beck more than life, itself. Like many other teens during the dawn of teen angst, that song was my battle cry; and very likely, I was just as much a loser as the next kid.
So it should come as no surprise, then, that even hearing or reading about losers harkens me back to that song of my youth. This morning, reading Darren Hardy’s How to Be a Loser blog post was no different. The publisher of SUCCESS magazine, Hardy blogged with intention to look at what makes a loser from a satirical standpoint … a guide, so to speak, to becoming one of those many people walking around with the big L dangling from their forehead.
The thing about Hardy’s blog is that, while it raises some excellent points, it also is a bit too general to hit the mark on each point. In one instance, Hardy says you can make yourself a loser by never setting goals and only taking things day by day. Sure, this may be true in some instances, but it is so general and does not necessarily apply to everyone. There is such a thing as getting too out of control with your goals; and for some going through major life issues (marriage, divorce, new baby, death in the family) day-by-day is the only way to survive. Ultimately, I think the blog would have been more effective if Hardy had gone with a straight-forward approach; his backhanded way of talking about loserdome just doesn’t jive with the advise he is trying to give.
Beyond that, though, I think the idea of how to be a loser is still a good one. This week has been all about balance: the healthy way to live life to its fullest. With that and Hardy’s blog post in mind, I decided to create my own list of ways to be a loser.
I’m a loser, baby #1:
Lose sight of happiness in the name of undefinable goals
We all know someone that has done this. Rather than let themselves live in the present, they are so far in the future and/or the past that they can’t even tell you what they are feeling right now, let alone whether or not they are happy. And in many cases, they come to the end of the rope only to realize that everything they gave up was not worth it. Goals and plans are important, but there is something to be said for being both emotionally and physically present in the now. And hey: you never know what could happen – you could leave for work tomorrow and get hit by a truck. Laying on the concrete, dying, will you regret not having savored life now at least once in a while?
I’m a loser, baby #2:
Always eliminate people and things from your life that deviate from the way you are
It is astonishing sometimes to hear people say that they broke up with someone because they saw things differently, or that they decided to give up certain things in their life because it got in the way with what was most important to them: them. Yesterday we talked about things the world doesn’t stop for... I’ve got news for you, faithful blog followers, you are included in that list of things. Life is about both a give and a take; and the truth to the matter is there is not one person or thing on this planet that will see entirely eye-to-eye with you. Some (myself included) might even go as far as to say that people who are much different than you are good in the sense that they offer a more well-rounded view of your otherwise closed circuit life.
I’m a loser, baby #3:
Never take risks. Ever.
I recently read Eric Sevareid’s “Canoeing with the Cree,” which is a true memoir about a 2250 mile canoeing trip up the Missouri River into Canada. The trip took place in the 1930s and had never been done before, let alone by two 18 year olds, fresh out of high school. The main focus of discussion at my book club (which the book was read for) was focused on this idea of risks: that we do not take risks anymore, be it physical or emotional risks, like they did less than a century ago. Life is about continual leaps of faith, and to think of anything as a safe venture is just foolish.
I’m a loser, baby #4:
Don’t keep things in perspective
Ever talk to someone that blows everything so far out of proportion, and gets so caught up in the “what if”s and “I assume”s of the situation that it makes you want to stick a piece of dynamite in your ear and make your own head explode before they get a chance to do it with their incessant blathering? This can go a lot of ways. One is in the case of the overachieving idealist. Sure, it’s great to have ideals and forward-thinking ways of living; but it’s another thing to not look at the situation realistically and pragmatically. Another is in the case of someone that acts as though a minor event is the absolute end of the world. It’s not, bitch. Get some perspective.
I’m a loser, baby #5:
Constantly blame other people for your problems
There are certainly a lot of things out of your control; just as a lot of times people around you influence you to do things you may have otherwise not done. But enough with the blame-game, loser. Nothing is more annoying than someone that cannot take responsibility for any of his or her actions; especially when they go as far as to suggest a change in the way things happened, or put words in people’s mouths or assign intentions in people’s minds. Chances are, unless you are 15 years old or a complete douche, you were at least 80% responsible for the situation you are blaming others for.
Am I a loser, baby? Some people might say I am. I certainly try and avoid the five scenarios above, and in fact, I generally try and live by (at least most of) Hardy’s list too. But then it takes one to know one, doesn’t it?