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Life Rule No. 9: Do What You Love to Bitch About

Today, dearest readers, I am inaugurating what may turn out to be a new feature on my popular free hosted WordPress blog: an amazing advice column called Life Rules! It is a double-entendre but not the sexy kind: it means that I’m going to offer some cool rules to help you make the most of yourself, and that your life will rule! Like mine already does as a result of giving great advice! In the interest of making it seem like a long-running series, I’m beginning with number nine. If it turns out to be an irregular feature, I’ll just use odd numbers. So the first Life Rule No. 9 is: Do what you love to bitch about.

Ask yourself this: Have you achieved your potential? Are you satisfied with your life? In these times in which we live, I always say to people who ask me for directions that there’s no time to waste pursuing pursuits that don’t get us anywhere, because we are always trying to get somewhere, even if that is Starbucks and there are cheaper options that are almost as good. People tell me that I make no sense, but that’s because they’re not truly thinking about it and may be a bit stupid. I can’t tell because my IQ is so high that other people sometimes seem like autistic cats. Maybe they’re really cunning at hunting mice, or maybe they’re just obsessively mesmerized by small, fast-moving objects.

Regardless, the key to any successful life worth living is making a difference, where the difference is calculated between what you make and what you have to pay other people. That is true wealth. And the key to true wealth is to pursue a career in a field full of bloviating, talentless hacks and their obnoxious, self-defeating ideas, like the management of national coffee-shop chains. Only then will you know that you’ve found a calling to which you can contribute meaningful wealth-building self-promotion, because the rest of them are too dumb to do so.

We’ve been conditioned to think of the signs of success as having to do with new cars, big houses, and fancy clothes. But a person who works in an industry full of irritating half-wits will know that the true measures of success are large bank accounts no one can see and expensive foreign trips that you cheerily post about on Facebook. That way your mentally stunted co-workers will think you’re a modest person who is dedicated to their job and community, and your friends and family will think you’re just innocently sharing the good times you’ve had that they could never afford.

If you worked in a job you truly liked, would any of this be obvious? No! You would be one of the “do-gooders” instead of one of the “good-doers.” As I constantly post on LinkedIn, “do-gooders” are always trying to better the world and failing. But “good-doers” are people who simply avoid screwing up anyone else—much easier! Plus, if you take out the hyphens, “dogooders” is suspicious-looking and “gooddoers” looks like an inoffensive brand of Dutch chocolate. Which would you rather be? I thought so, because my IQ is so immense.

But let me give you some practical advice—some tangible concrete steps you can carry with you and install on your staircase to success. First, sign up for Twitter. You can follow celebrities and many local reporters, as well as me! @benwdalton. Such successful people as ourselves are always offering bon mots and pieces of advice that you can use to retweet. Second, if you haven’t already, quit your job at Starbucks. Though Starbucks is filled with interesting people who should have stopped after their first tattoo, you’ll eventually get sucked into a vortex of fellow-barista hate over their totally illegible mug-writing. Since you’ll need to spend a lot of time there as a customer—blogging and attempting to insert yourself into semi-private Twitter conversations between minor celebrities—you’ll want to avoid being constantly asked to trade next Thursday’s shift.

Third—and the most important piece of business-life advice I’ve ever received from talking briefly with an MBA—don’t stop connecting to people with your ideas and superiority. Remind everyone from the automatic-checkout lane pit boss to the Jimmy Johns cheese bedecker that no one else in your field has any clue. If you do this religiously, it will pay off one of these days in some unforeseen and hopefully not tragically violent way. And then you will be able to retire and travel to Salzburg, which has some amazing scenery that I’ll post about soon.

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