3 step program
I started running a few years ago. 39 years old and I had never ran before in my life. Through this truly painful experience of learning how to run, I discovered something about myself. I am excellent at setting myself up for failure and making myself miserable. Instead of crawling into a hole, I decided to use this knowledge to help others. I created a program. The 3 step program to guaranteed failure and absolute misery.
Mister Contest Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests. This evening I will share with you my 3 step program along with real-life examples. Soon, you too will be able to feel like a failure and beat yourself up about it.
Let’s get started
Step #1, set unrealistic goals
Make sure you set goals that you have no way of possibly accomplishing. Earlier this year I ran a 5k race, that’s about 3 miles. The race was advertised as being very hilly and muddy – more difficult than the average 5k. My goal was to run the race faster than any other 5k race I had run before. I failed, of course, and I was very disappointed in myself. The key here is to set yourself up for failure to give you MORE reason to feel bad about yourself.
Step #2, expect improvement without putting in the time
It is often said that in order to achieve anything worthwhile, you need put in a lot of time and effort. However, if you already know you won’t be achieving the goal, why waste the time? When runners train for a race, they run 6 to 7 days a week, hours at a time. Me, I run 2 or three times a week, tops, and I always wonder why I don’t see improvement. Try to be as impatient as possible while working towards your goal, because why should you have to put in the same amount of time as everyone else? The best part about this step is the time savings. Because in the time that you save by not working on your goal, you can use that time to agonize over why you’re not getting any better.
Step #3, negate your accomplishments
If you actually do end up achieving an accomplishment, don’t panic. I have a created a mantra for this third and final step “Negate Don’t Celebrate”. Say it with me, “Negate, don’t celebrate”. Excellent. Come up with every excuse you can think of as to why you don’t deserve recognition for your accomplishments. In May of this year I ran my very first 10k race. That’s a little over 6 miles. As people were congratulated me for running such a distance, I thought: What’s the big deal? I ran really slowly, I came in second to last, that’s virtually last place, and I tripped and fell flat on my face a mile before the end of the race. I had to cross the finish line with blood dripping down my legs and a contusion on my cheek. How embarrassing! By using irrational thought you can turn your accomplishments into failures.
That’s my 3 step program to guaranteed failure and absolute misery. Let’s review the steps: Step number one, set unrealistic Goals. Step number two, expect improvement without putting in the time. Step number3, do you remember? “Negate don’t celebrate”, Negate your accomplishments. Very easy, right? I can tell that many of you are eager to get started. One word of caution, though, before you embark on my program. At some point you may be reviewing the steps in your head and think, “If I do the exact opposite of each of these three steps could I make myself happier? Perhaps more successful?” DON”T DO IT! Resist that urge! Because, why would you want to be more successful when you could be a guaranteed failure? Mister Contest Toastmaster.