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How to Enjoy Failure

A Brief Guide to Slacking and Not Caring About It

Enjoy failure – it’s the best advice I know. That advice was handed out in the chatbox of a blog belonging to a guy I was once friends with online. His username was enjoyfailure and he blogged where I did, on Modblog, which was a pretty cool blog host until it vanished from cyberspace. I wonder if Dave Gorman and Mike Pacific got enough money out of the deal to enjoy that failure, I really hope they did.

That catchphrase has haunted me for about five years now; I picture it mentally in a Coca Cola script. It suits my Generation X, slacker mentality. I’m really one of those underachievers who’d prefer to throw on ripped jeans and a plaid shirt every day and stare moodily at a guitar I have no idea how to play.

I was going to write ten ways to enjoy failure, but it was too much effort.

The easiest way to enjoy failure is probably just to never really set yourself goals. Enjoying actual, clear failure is quite challenging, because it takes way too much effort to overcome the initial shame and disappointment. Better to develop a laconic attitude of, “well hey man I couldn’t have done that anyway.” Sure, if you’re not in it, you can’t win it – but you can’t lose either. It’s rather like a permanent form of sulky adolescence.

An easy way to enjoy failure is to watch self-help TV; Oprah at her most motivated or Dr Phil any day of the week. You can sit back on the couch, allow your face to go slack-jawed and just be a spectator while all the drones get moving. Being snarky about motivated, successful people is one of the perks of this whole concept. Actually, any TV is good. Exercise programs will remind you you’re unfit (but not sweating or wearing ludicrous outfits) and reality TV will remind you that even though you’re an idiot, at least the fact’s not televised.

Listening to your friends describe their successes is a tricky one, because it’ll probably make you feel inadequate no matter how hard you try. The key phrase here is “fake it till you make it,” just practice looking cynical and expounding upon some arcane theory you read about or made up.

Relish watching everyone else scramble up the career ladder while you take an extra smoke break, spend too long at coffee and surf the internet while you should be working. Remember you’re not a heart attack or stress candidate.

I am now going to fail to write a nice conclusion for this piece of writing. Then I will fail to submit it to dig, stumble etc. I doubt there’s be many clicks or any comments, but if there are, I shall fail to respond to them. What on earth made you read this far anyway? Go take a nap immediately. If you can be bothered.