So it finally happened. Despite your best efforts, someone has found out that you’re making efforts.
First, don’t panic. Panicking indicates an emotional investment of some kind in the outcomes of your life. Some will tell you that this is a natural human instinct that shouldn’t be suppressed. And it may be that! But it is also not chill.
Remember: you were cursed with the need to try to accomplish things. Everyone else — based on the sacrosanct record that is your Instagram timeline — is never hustling and always achieving. You can only hope to emulate what is their true lived experience.
Regardless of your (trivial) pursuit, you can always find a means to undermine your own dedication for the sake of looking like a winner at life. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to obscure it!
Have you applied to 100 jobs with no responses? You might be tempted to vent about this on social media. Stop right there! People don’t wanna hear about that. Wait until the 153rd application when you finally do get a yes, and then only post about that one. 1/153 is a ratio that betrays weakness. The strength displayed by 1/0 is undefined.
See someone you know at the gym? Prepare an elaborate explanation about how your mom has a bunch of guest vouchers that expire at the end of the year. Then make a joke dismissing your mom and her efforts to raise you, just for good measure.
Is your love life virtually nonexistent? Why not create a Tinder profile with a minimalist caption expressing your disdain for dating apps? Ironic detachment is the new courtship.
Concerned about the quality of your nutrition? Certainly, you could earnestly reach out to your friends and determine what habits have made them feel healthier and happier. But it will be much more fun to list your religious views on Facebook as “carbs” and bask in the glow of your own quirkiness.
Feeling creatively unfulfilled? Refocus that locus. Stop asking yourself whether your work “has integrity,” and instead determine whether it “is content.” If your goal is to get people to consume and be moved by your art online, you’ve already lost. This isn’t 2006.
What you can do is post a link to literally anything you throw together with the caption “I made a thing!” and — with the influx of likes and reacts which will surely follow — you’ll release the exact same endorphins associated with an actual accomplishment. Plus, as a bonus, you don’t have to be insecure about your quality of work, because no one will click on it in the first place!
Fail your driver’s test? You’re actually allowed to talk about this, as long as you mock the Department of Motor Vehicles in the process. This will earn you universal acclaim, for some reason. Seriously — even budding socialists will take any opportunity to incredulously wonder aloud why driving instructors err on the side of caution when distributing cards that allow you to control massive steel deathtraps. This may come across as a tone shift from the rest of the advice. And it is! But, isn’t that weird?
In any case — in the end, if you give it everything you have, you’ll convince the world you did nothing at all. Great job. Or, more accurately: mediocre leisure.