I think I may have found the key to happiness, success, power, and the life you’ve always wanted. I’m not sure how I lived so long without recognizing it; from the looks of things, quite a few people have already figured it out. In fact, you may already be ahead of me on this.
The secret? Be completely in control of every aspect of your life and world.
There you have it. The results will speak for themselves.
No longer do you have to put up with displeasing people – you now will control them. No longer will you-know-who resist your wise ideas, visionary leadership, or impressive communication. You’re in charge. Say good-bye to disappointment, discouragement, rejection, financial pressure, TSA agents, time-wasting meetings, and even those unsightly blemishes.
In fact, research conducted through a grant from the Lifevesting Institute of Advanced Relationship Studies (LIARS for short) suggests that there are at least 12 strategies through which people ascend to such an advanced state of life ownership. Any one of these can take you to new heights. But when you combine these paths, the outcomes are staggering.
Well, somebody’s staggering, anyway.
Here are twelve pathways – twelve roles you can assume to take you to a state of Ultimate Grip Hold (UGH) on life – the last stage before the designation of Master of the Universe. If one doesn’t work for you, feel free to substitute for another. Or mix and match, if you like.
1. People Pleaser.
Make everybody happy. Get along, go along. Smile a lot, and never disagree. Always be interruptible and make sure the answer to every question is, “Yes.” Soon you’ll have people right where you want them – lining up to give you even more delicious opportunities to please. And what can feel safer than mastering the tide of public opinion?
2. Money Magnate.
Keep every receipt. Pay your fair share of taxes and do it early. Keep up with every transaction. Make a budget and investigate where your money is going. Give faithfully to charities and your church. Read Consumer Reports. Start a new business. Collect and pay more taxes on that. Buy lots of insurance. Diversify your portfolio and develop multiple streams of income. Watch those worries fade – what could possibly go wrong?
Your life is a collection of moving parts. You need to be the one who’s moving them. Don’t settle for planning your own day; plan everybody else’s, too. That way, things will go much more smoothly. The motto here is, “no surprises.” Plan your phone calls, emails and any other type of “interruptable.” Say “no” early and often. Your life will become a wonder to all of efficiency and order.
Practice management by nosing around. Review, approve, and sign every check. Keep apprised of every formal and informal conversation, and monitor all emails and social networking excursions. Plan, attend and run every meeting. Elicit daily, weekly, and monthly reports. Make every decision, and never share more information that is absolutely needed. Your leadership will pave the way to job security for a lifetime.
Guarantee that you raise happy, healthy, well-rounded and successful children. Attend every practice and recital. Make sure their homework is done correctly. Do their projects for with them to ensure they have a chance of winning or getting an A. Get them into the college that gives them just the right opportunities for success. Help them find a good job and if necessary, go on the job interview with them. Let them know every chance you get that your happiness depends on theirs.
Eliminate all expectations from other people. This will guarantee that you are never disappointed. Make sure the answer to “How are you?” is always, “Fine.” Avoid anyone who may possibly reject you. If it’s too late for that, go ahead and reject them. They’ll understand. Avoid discussing feelings, beliefs, money or politics. Always act busy. Listen a lot and pretend to be interested when others talk, but don’t share any of your own ideas. You will be thought of as wise and fascinating, when really all you are is safe. But safe is really good.
Make sure it (whatever “it” is) is always about you. Your needs. Your image. Your agenda. Your desires. Your wounds. Your priorities. Surround yourself with people who find you as interesting as you find yourself. Invest in yourself. Improve yourself. Pamper yourself. Spend money on yourself. Evaluate others, including your spouse, by the ways they benefit you. Never trust anybody to be more committed to your success than you are. You’ll have the comfort of being right every time.
8. Body God(dess).
Eliminate all salt, sugar, and fat from your diet. Run/walk at least three miles a day, regardless of weather. Do resistance training at least three days a week. Read every food label. Chew 25-30 times per bite. Drink a gallon of water (filtered, of course) per day. Eliminate all toxins from your body regularly, then replace them with good bacteria. Have age-appropriate screenings and checkups. Supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Wear seat belts, sunscreen, helmets, knee and elbow pads, and orthopedic shoes (though not necessarily all at the same time). Floss. You’ll still die, but you’ll die healthy.
See to it that you get what you want, when you want it, regardless of what anybody else has to say. Define pleasure and fun on your terms, not somebody else’s. Then pursue it with abandon. Make it clear that you can quit anytime – you just choose not to. Avoid work if it limits your freedom to do what you want. Refuse to accept “no” or “wait” for an answer. Demand and get what you’re entitled to from your employer or the government. Avoid pain or discomfort at all cost.
Forgive, but don’t forget. Freely love everybody (who pleases you). Use guilt to inspire noble or appropriate behavior in others. Keep other people guessing what your true feelings or intentions are. Cry at least once a week in front of somebody else, just to stay in practice. Keep a good supply of pictures of starving children and wealthy lifestyles. Keep others in a state of emergency as much as possible. You’ll be relieved to know that you are setting the emotional agenda, not someone who’s at risk to be a disappointment.
Knowledge is power. Know something about everything and everything about something. Keep silent and nod if you don’t know something and people think you do; you’ll be considered wise. Always hint that there is more you could say, but you don’t want to bore people. Earn people’s trust and keep their secrets. Ask intelligent questions. Call it like you see it, and if you don’t see it, make it up. Use a five-plus-syllable word at least once an hour (avoid “Sagittarius”), and a proven statistic once a day in conversation.
Pay your tithes. Pray at the prescribed times. Have a (preferably memorized) Bible verse for every contingency. Keep an updated list of your spiritual accomplishments, large and small. Avoid slang words like “rump” and “crap.” Always go to church services. Be someone else’s accountability partner. Support missions. Train up your children in the way they should go. Only get your milk from a Christian cow. God will be impressed by how different you are from others, and respond accordingly.
One Radically Alternative View
Well there you have it. Twelve paths to seize control of every dimension of your life. I know you must be inspired.
In the interest of full disclosure, the Lifevesting Institute is also researching a radically different approach. Rather than pursuing control, this approach actually releases it to God, with the understanding that “God is in control anyway, and that’s where we find our safety and peace – in giving Him complete control.”
Results are promising, but the Institute is having difficulty finding a large enough research sample of people who actually believe and live this.
Still… this view looks intriguing… and strangely hopeful.
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