THE BLOG
05/31/2013 12:58 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2013

The Seven Rules for Happiness

I give people advice for a living; in fact, I have published seven self-help books. I thought I knew it all. But having just come back from a revelatory weekend retreat in the mountains, where I engaged in extensive meditation and other spiritually-oriented, self-realization exercises, I am here to tell you that I have, at long last, discovered the secret -- the ultimate seven rules for leading a successful and happy life:

Rule #1: Always complain.
Chronic complaining is essential for getting attention, and is very important not only for you but also for the people around you who may be bumbling happily along on their life journeys, woefully ignorant of their truly bad circumstances or surroundings.

Rule #2: Never finish anything you begin.
It's certainly easier not to, and anyway the beginning is always the most interesting part. Plus if you don't finish you will never have to face the whole pesky question of success versus failure.

Rule #3: Always try hard to control what others do and say.
This is called power. You need it for your survival.

Rule #4: Never try anything new.
Sticking to what you know is a safe strategy as well as a comfortable one. So what if you are unhappy with what you are doing? It's the devil you know, right? And it's completely sensible to fear anything that is unfamiliar.

Rule #5: Don't be yourself.
Ever. Really. There is a good chance people might not like you.

Rule #6: Never offer to help others.
It takes too much time and energy, and people will not appreciate it anyway. They definitely will not thank you enough. Life is a marketplace; nothing is for free.

Rule #7: Always look back at the past with regret.
Even if it is merely a blog entry that you just posted. (I mean, only think how much better it might have been!)

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