How to be Miserable:
Strategies You Already Use

These talks are based on my new book How to be Miserable, which will be published May 2016 (it is available for preorder from online booksellers now).

We spend much of our lives making decisions about how to improve our life satisfaction. If I buy this car, I will be happy. If I live in this city, I will be happy. If I have this career, I will be happy.

Most of us feel at least a faint dissatisfaction with how things have been gone. In a uniquely privileged society, how is it that so many of us are depressed, discouraged, or despondent?

For the span of one brief talk, I invite you to consider the opposite task. What if your goal was to be miserable, rather than happy? What would you do? How would you go about it?

If you take this challenge, you may discover that you are already doing many of the things that you know will lower your mood and impair your life. By examining the road downward, we can illuminate the road upward as well.

This presentation, which employs generous doses of humour, candour, and seriousness, has been extremely popular whenever it has been given. It is appropriate as a stand-alone presentation, as a thought-provoking keynote counterpoint to a conference, as a perversely motivational talk for organizations, and as a spur for life enhancement.

Formats: Available in 30-, 45-, 60-, and 90-minute versions, as well as a half-day participatory workshop. Most presentations employ ample use of visuals with presenter’s laptop and host’s (or presenter’s) projector. It can also be adapted for straight lecture without visuals. Although most presentations do not involve book readings, an “author reading” talk can also be had. Book signings can be offered if desired.