RANDY PATERSON, PhD

How To Be Miserable in Your Twenties: 40 Strategies to Fail at Adulting

Following from the success of How to be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, it's time to zoom into one of the most difficult periods of life: early adulthood.

They call it child-raising. And then, just about when we get good at it, suddenly the world expects us to be adults instead. What they don't tell us is that the passage to a functioning adulthood is a minefield sprinkled with devilish traps that can derail us.

So in this book, let's imagine that's the mission. Forget adulthood. It's too difficult. What are the traps? How could we make it all go wrong?

The book is divided into 4 main sections:

Fight the Future. We can just decline the challenge altogether. Grab those superhero bedsheets tight and don't let go. Rebel, accept all the care that's given, wait for permission to venture into adulthood, demand that others change first, and chill out!

Santa Wasn't the Only Lie. Derailing the twenties is really pretty easy: Just believe what you've been told. You should expect unconditional positive regard. Talent is the biggest determinant of success. Self-confidence is vital. Your passion is out there waiting to be found.

Creating a Self. The self doesn't come with us down the birth canal. We create it. This makes misery easy: Keep the toolkit empty. Define your limits. Cultivate your fragility. Keep your range of experiences narrow. Build your brand, not your character. Be cool.

Navigating Adulthood. Even if you have all the raw materials, it's easy to make things go wrong: Just steer for the rocks. Set your heart on the stars. Avoid making decisions. Avoid risk. Let the money take care of itself. Take your body for granted. Focus on what you lack. Practice mindlessness.

Ignore the pitfalls of the twenties and you are just about guaranteed to fall into them. So in this book, let's imagine them as Easter eggs and go on a hunt. Along the way we'll discover the strategies you might already be using, the ones you have missed, and why things might not be going quite as well as you had planned.

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