There are all kinds of ways to succeed. If you’re interested in such things, you can read about there being no shortcuts, tips for both life and business success, or…well, how to realize success at pretty much anything.

If, instead, you’re interested in failing (with flying colors) read on.

Today I want to give you 9.5 ways to ensure that you fail in life. Every time. No matter what you’re doing.

The 9.5 Things

First of all, why 9.5 things? My answer…why not? 9.5 is far more intriguing than 9 and is distinctly more provocative than 10.

(In all honesty, there’s only 9…but 9.5 got your attention, right?)

So, here we go…9.5 things that will — without fail — guarantee that you fail:

  1. Don’t visualize your end goal before you start. One of the best things you can do to ensure that you fail is to choose not to envision where you’re headed to before you head there. Don’t look at a picture of the finished 2,500-piece puzzle before you start. Don’t look at the architect’s rendering of the house before you start building. Don’t envision your successful business before you open the doors. Just don’t visualize your goal. That’s for successful people. Leave the visualization to them.
  2. Don’t do your due diligence before you start. Doing reading and homework before a test? Who does that? Only the successful people, of course…and who wants to be one of them? If you want to fail correctly, don’t check the real estate out before you invest in it. Don’t do any research before you start to write the grant. Don’t come to the table prepared.
  3. Don’t count the cost before you start. If you want to fail, and fail well, never count the cost of the completed project…in money, time, or energy…before you begin. Those who fail well know that you don’t need to assess what a task is going to cost you before you start. You should always just jump in head first. You’ll find out that the pool is only 3-feet deep once you dive in. No need to worry about breaking your neck before you jump.
  4. Start at the last minute. Need I say anymore about this one? The top-tier failures know that one of the best ways to avoid success is to start the exam as close to the final bell as possible. It’s far easier to fail if you take a nap for the first hour and worry about the exam as time runs short.
  5. Never get organized. Organization…yet another habit that only the successful have. If you want to fail with the best of them, make your entire life like your office already is…papers all over the place, 500 to-do lists crammed into your brain, your pockets, and your dryer’s lint trap. Make sure that you have no idea what needs to be done and when. And by all means, make sure you don’t know who needs to do what.
  6. • Refuse to ask for help. A closely-held secret of A-list failures is that you can do everything yourself. Everything. It doesn’t matter if someone else has actually been educated on the topic, you know the information better. It doesn’t matter if you have 95 things to do and only 2 hands to do them with. Your 2 hands are far more effective than the 4 hands you’d have if you let your co-worker join in the fun. It’s far better to be a month late on that major project deadline than it is to allow your less-than-omniscient peers to contribute to the project and get it done on time.
  7. Always use the first idea that pops into your head. Never brainstorm. Just open up your brain and run with whatever falls out first. If it comes out first, it’s got to be the best, right?
  8. Never ask for feedback along the way. Constructive criticism is for those weak-minded people who think they can’t do it right the first time…by themselves. If you want to fail successfully, ignore any midterm assessments. It doesn’t matter if your customers don’t like it when the product is halfway finished…they’re guaranteed to like it when it’s completely finished. Because you’re the one who completed it. When you want someone’s opinion, you’ll give it to them.
  9. Don’t try it again if it flops on the first attempt. If you want to remove any chance of eventual success, just remember that true failure occurs after the first attempt flops. Never try anything again. If it’s worth doing, it will work out on the first try. Always. So, don’t bother with repeat attempts. That’s only for those who are determined to succeed.

Failing is not hard work. It just takes developing some good old-fashioned bad habits.

So, go ahead. Give it a shot. (But only one shot.)

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