I often write articles of the “how to” variety with strategies for admissions success, but I recently read a blog post by one of my longtime mentors about how to be unsuccessful in life. It inspired this blog post, so today I will give you foolproof tips to absolutely guarantee an unsuccessful academic and personal life.

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4 min read

1. Spend time on online forums. A lot of it.

Online forums are your best friends in the quest to being unsuccessful. There’s nothing less productive than browsing thread after thread of empty opinions from anonymous users (“BeardedDog” or “Premed101-Reject2095”, anyone?). If you are in it for the win (err— loss), try bickering with one of those users who always has an opinion, or better yet: start a brand new thread asking for advice from random strangers. They are guaranteed to do anything to mislead you in the name of competition.

2. Watch, share and like as many cat videos as you can on Facebook.

Have you seen those cute animal videos that go viral about seven times everyday? Good. Make sure you watch each a minimum of three times. Then, like and share them with at least ten of your friends. For best results, try the same technique on YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.

3. Don’t read.

Don’t pick up a new book. Don’t read for pleasure. Don’t read broadly. Actually, I lied. Do read all items on your Facebook and Twitter Newsfeed—and refresh the webpage frequently.

4. Don’t learn anything new.

The most unsuccessful people are those who always stick to their "gut", and don’t adapt their behavior based on new information. Why bother? Nah! Just rely on old knowledge and experience.. If you want to score some extra points and let your brain rot a bit, avoid anything that involves focus and concentration, such as learning a foreign language, playing an instrument, or trying out a new sport.

5. Don’t make new friends.

They say you are an average of the five people closest to you. If you want to ensure continued failure, hold on to the same five people you’ve known your entire life. Avoid new friendships like the plague because different perspectives will surely infect your mind with new knowledge, experiences, and improved ideas.

6. Ignore the 80/20 rule, and stay busy just for the sake of staying busy.

This one is HUUUGE with a silent “h”. The 80/20 rule says: 80% of results come from 20% of effort. But who says you can’t turn this around? Spend 80% of your time on the 20% least important things, including, but not limited to: watching the cat videos discussed earlier or checking your phone 27 times each hour. Alternatively, put all your eggs in as many different baskets as possible so you spread your focus and energy as thin as possible.

7. Don’t exercise.

Exercise is generally bad for failure. It promotes health, focus, concentration, and takes away precious time that could otherwise be spent on those online forums.

8. Live your life to please others.

Nothing is more unproductive than wanting to please others above all else. When you are busy concerning yourself with what others think, you don’t have any time or energy left to pursue your own ambitions. Answer this: is becoming a doctor your dream, or your parents’ dream?

9. Always “be yourself” because the “official” sources tell you that’s the best way to get into medical school.

In response to inquiries on how to make applications stand out, or how to prepare for the CASPer test or the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), admissions websites often have the same advice: “Applicants, be yourselves”. I completely agree: this is the best strategy to stagnate self-improvement and propagate failure. After all, diligent and active preparation is an attempt to strive to be better, and that’s the hallmark of highly successful individuals.

10. Don’t get a coach or mentor.

Coaches and mentors can cut the learning curve significantly by sharing their knowledge, wisdom and experience. So if you want to decrease your chances of success, don’t bother with one. Simple.

I suppose we can all identify with at least one of these items on this list. I am guilty of some myself, and by writing this post I hope to learn to manage my time better. I especially can’t resist those cat videos…. What about you? What are you most guilty of?

Behrouz Moemeni

About the author:

Dr. Behrouz Moemeni is a co-founder and CEO here at BeMo. He is compelled by a vision to change the education system. He believes everyone deserves access to higher education. Specifically, he is determined to create and provide admissions and educational training programs that reduce the social barriers at professional programs. He is also driven by a mission to create the next generation of admissions/candidate screening tools that are more fair, while technologically and scientifically light years ahead of current admissions screening tools out there.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting