Every year around this time we’re miraculously treated to even more feel-good holiday fluff than the year before. Call me Grinch, but it’s all nonsense ... and nauseating.
It sure would be nice if, for just one holiday season, all the bloggers would quit trying to make themselves feel special by inflicting their rose-colored, bleeding heart, Pollyanna notions of how utopian life is supposed to be on decent hard-working people who just want a break from all the BS and a little bit (better make that a lot) of rum in their eggnog.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no scrooge. I love the holidays. I bawl like a baby every time I watch holiday classics like “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I even cry watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And don’t even get me started quoting lines from “Scrooged” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
I’m talking about all that mind-numbingly dumb and politically correct Web content with headlines such as 10 Ways to Give Thanks to Your Employees, 8 Unselfish Things to Do Today, 11 Proven Ways to Be Gloriously Happy, and 49 Things You Need to Do Before New Year’s. There should be a law against that sort of garbage.
If you really want to inspire people, it helps to have some talent. Not to set the bar too high – my definition of talent is actually relatively broad. If you’re looking for classic Christmas songs, for example, try South Park’s “Christmas Time in Hell” or “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo” from the Emmy and Tony Award-winning Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Now those guys have talent.
What gets me the most is all the New Year’s Resolution stuff: Fool Proof New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business, Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work, Resolutions for Fast Growth, Resolutions for Entrepreneurs, Joyful Resolutions, Social Media Resolutions, Personal Branding Resolutions, it goes on and on.
Why don’t all those self-important social media entrepreneurs and self-proclaimed personal branding gurus just get a life, get a job, take their kids out for ice cream, have a few margaritas, do something, anything but spew all that trite nonsense about how we should all live our lives.
In fact, I do just the opposite. Every year I take a good hard look in the mirror, and – after I finish sobbing uncontrollably – write down how I can be a better person. That’s right; I do it every year. It never works, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. These are my 10 genuine aspirations for 2014.
1. Live in the moment because the past is depressing and the future is nothing but gray hair, wrinkles, and catheters.
2. Remember that grabbing the iPhone and checking my Twitter connections first thing every morning doesn’t keep the world from disappearing.
3. Figure out how to make more money and do less work.
4. Try to talk the voices in my head into quieting down a bit after 10 p.m. on weekdays.
5. Be much, much nicer to my wife who, as my father-in-law once said, is “the only poor soul on this planet that gives a crap about your sorry ass,” and that’s not a paraphrase.
6. Get it through my head that social media fans and followers don’t actually like me.
7. Find something I like doing that actually includes the presence of other human beings. Dogs don’t count.
8. Stop being such a neurotic control freak who turns little things into big things and big things into epic, end-of-the-world horror movies.
9. It’s just a car, not an extension of my ego. Get over it.
10. Find a shrink who can tell me who to thank for making me this way and keep me from tracking them down and … um, never mind.
Merry Christmas, folks. Hope the New Year brings you peace, health, happiness, and prosperity.
Steve Tobak is a Silicon Valley-based strategy consultant and former senior executive of the technology industry.