Rarely do I meet someone who is intentionally trying to ruin their life. On occasion, someone might be trying to gain attention by intentionally making bad choices. But most of the time, we ruin our lives without realizing it.
While there isn't an easy formula to success, failure is much more predictable. Some actions are almost guaranteed to lead to destruction.
When you think your issues are unique, it excuses you from taking action. Instead of knowing everyone has problems, you can think you have been dealt a uniquely bad hand which no one can understand. Instead of learning from others and getting help, you can wallow in self-pity. Instead of finding common ground with others who have overcome obstacles, you can look for the ways they had it easier than you.
2. Wait for someone to help you
Just wait. Don't act. Don't plan. Don't grow so weary of your situation that you have to do something. Assume your problems are supposed to be solved by someone else. Expect your parents or siblings or friends or employer or government to save you. Until the cavalry comes, just do nothing.
3. Cope with your pain in a way that adds to the pain
We all have sorrow and we all must find ways to deal with that pain. If you want to ruin your life, cope in such a way that adds to your sorrow. Find something which masks your pain–a bad relationship, an addiction, or some escape mechanism. Never get to the root causes of a situation.
Forget the long-road. Do whatever is easiest now. Avoid anything which might be difficult. Always take the avenue which leads to the quickest experience of ease, comfort, and peace. Avoid conflict, dodge the truth, and tell whatever lie is necessary in the moment.
5. Refuse to love others in order to protect your heart
Love hurts so you should avoid it. You've experienced the pain. You've made yourself vulnerable to others. You've seen the danger of opening yourself up to love. So avoid it. Go through life under the deception that you can avoid hurt by avoiding love. Never risk loving another and you will ruin your life.
If you want to ruin your life, money should always be something foreign to you. Assume everyone who has it, didn't deserve it. Believe it just comes to some and not to others. Feel powerless on how to make money, save money, and grow money. Enslave yourself to debt, spend money on assets that depreciate, and believe you are powerless regarding your finances.
7. Allow past mistakes to forever define you
You know you did it. Everyone knows you did it. No matter what you do for the rest of your life, let that past mistake(s) to define the totality of who you are. Don't be a person who grows, moves on, or overcomes bad choices. Instead, give up and assume there is no good in the future because of something you have done in the past.
8. Ignore the important questions of life
Few things ruin our lives more than avoiding the big questions in life–Who am I? Why am I here? If there is a God, how can I know him? What is my purpose in life? What truly matters in life? Ignore these questions to ensure that you aren't living a meaningful life. Instead of answering the tough questions, focus more on the trivial issues.
Be demanding of others. Expect perfection from them and when they can't meet your standard, judge them. End any relationship when someone does you wrong. Forgiveness is risky and undeserved; refuse to give it anyone–including yourself.
Don't focus on the good things of life. Ignore what you have. Close your eyes to beauty. Don't recognize nature. Instead, consider what others have, dream of what would make your life better, and compare yourself to everyone around you. Let every action be tainted by your bitterness.
The great news about this list is that not every point is required to ruin your life. Experiencing just one point is enough to have a negative influence on your life. Add two or three points and you are on track to ruin your life.
But if you don't want to ruin your life, look at each point and avoid them. Realize the foolishness of each idea and find a better way.