How to be moderately successful


Welcome to 2016. Right about now those of you who are back at work are probably wishing that you weren’t. Never fear, we’ve still got a long summer to go and plenty of public holidays. Rather than the usual high-powered motivational dreck on how to be a hugely successful automaton being published on LinkedIn by the dozen, we bring you some more realistic advice as you enter the new year.

Right now, across the internet, approximately 12m articles purport to share the secrets of highly successful people: 2016 is a new year, and if you simply restructure your entire existence, you too can become deliriously successful.

Spoiler alert: here are the secrets. Get up at 5am; commit to an exercise regime; practice mindfulness and time management; nourish your body with wholesome foodstuffs; dress professionally; set personal goals; schedule quality time with loved ones; declutter; breathe.

I always click on these articles, even though I know what they’re going to say. I read them and am briefly inspired: “Yes, I should start going to bed at 9pm, like an eight-year-old. Then I’d be able to produce more stuff in the three hours before everyone else gets up in the morning.” But the enthusiasm is fleeting. And, come morning time, I am, predictably, sleeping.

I hope it will not seem conceited if I say that I am a moderately successful person. I have a job I like. I wrote a book that is doing quite well. I have managed to trick a human I love into believing that it is a good idea to live with me. I’m reasonably happy most of the time, and think anyone who says they never feel like crap is lying.

Things are going grand and, truth be told, being highly successful sounds stressful. So I’m taking it upon myself to share the closely guarded secrets of moderately successful people. Practise these and you too can muddle along just fine.

The Guardian: Read more

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