How to Be a Loser

How to Be a Loser

Why do you want to learn how to be a loser?

You ask. We learn from both examples and warnings. This post provides you both.

It’s good to know how to be a loser so, 1) you could do the opposite and 2) you can check to be sure you aren’t doing those things yourself.

I remember Jim Rohn saying that it’s too bad failures don’t give seminars. He would say, “If you meet a guy who has messed up his life for forty years, you’ve just got to say, ‘John, if I bring my journal and promise to take good notes, would you spend a day with me? Tell me how a good-looking guy like you with a beautiful family, everything going for him messed up his life so bad. What did you do? What do you read? What do you eat? What type of people do you hang out with? What do you do with your free time? What TV programs, newspapers, and radio programs do you spend time with? Wouldn’t that information be valuable? Find out and then DON’T DO those things.” Great strategy.

Here’s some loser training tips to get you started:

Take it day by day. Don’t bother with setting goals, making plans and preparing. Just wake up each morning and figure out what you want to do then.

Seek comfort. Growth and progress requires work, stress and struggle. Forget it. Stay comfy instead.

Don’t believe in


It’s easier to be cynical. If you believe in something you’ll have to do something. It’s easier to point out what’s wrong with something. Then you’re off the hook.

Be heard. You have a voice—use it often. Be sure to tell your story, no matter who is talking and what the topic is.

Avoid failure. The best way to avoid pain, rejection and failure is to not try at all.

Sleep in. Hey, you don’t want to accomplish much anyway, you might as well sleep in. Let the early morning strivers clear out before waking.

Don’t let others mess you up. Just take care of No. 1. Family, friends and other relationship require effort, sacrifice, being inconvenienced and doing things and listening to things you don’t want to. Who needs that?

Be blameless. If you never step forward and take responsibility, then you can never be blamed.

Defend yourself. Your view and opinion should be protected in every instance. Don’t let something you disagree with go undefended. Prove yourself always.

Protect yourself. Keep your guard up. Trust no one. Love no one. Those you let in might hurt you. Keep a wall around your heart. It’s safer that way.

Expect to lose. If you expect it, you can’t be disappointed right? Don’t put yourself at risk by having high expectations. Expecting to win and for good things to happen puts pressure on you and makes you face self-doubt, angst and tension. Just surrender early. Then the pressure is off.

For extended study… just find two or three losers and interview them. Find out what TV shows they watch, what radio programs they listen to. Find out where they eat and what they eat. Who do they spend time with? What do they talk about? What magazines, books, blogs and newspapers do they read? Find out what they think about our current economy, our government and the future. Ask them how they treat their spouse. Find out what they think about their co-workers. Etc.

Take copious notes. Make a long list. Then, DON’T DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS! Those are the things that mess up your life. Do the opposite and you become the opposite of a loser, which is a what? Yeah, a winner! That’s what you want to be, right? Then don’t think, act, talk, walk, dress or do what losers do.

Let’s keep this important training going. What other tips do you have about how to be a loser? Contribute in the comments below.




85 responses to “How to Be a Loser”

  1. Hey Darren, so in order to use this article to the best of my ability, but, not wanting to do anything without really understanding it, I was wondering if you could explain to me what exactly a loser is?

    In fact, while we’re at it, explain to me what a winner is too? Just so I can know what I’m avoiding/striving for in life. Because at least in my experience, lots of people who have followed bits and pieces of your amazing on how to be a loser seem quite happy with their life. Does that content mean that they’re a loser?

    Maybe your advice works for a specific societal ideal of “success”. But I haven’t found that perfect relationships come from only listening. Sometimes you have you have to be heard, in order to stand up for yourself or others. There’s a difference between being cocksure and standing up for the things you believe in while still being open minded. And sometimes it’s good to take it day by day and live life in the moment. Some of the most amazing opportunities appear when living somewhat impulsively.

    I’m sorry if I’m trying to be to heard, just wanted to express to your readers that there might be other types of success and other methods to achieve that rather than avoiding your qualities of a loser. Almost all of these bits of “advice” can be looked at in multiple lights, not just the way Darren portrays them. Don’t worry if you sometimes sleep late after a fun night with your friends or stand up for yourself. You’re not being a loser, you’re just being healthy and strong.

    My advice on how to be a loser: Do everything people tell you to do.Do what feels totally unnatural and what makes you the most unhappy.

  2. Well actually, I LIKE Jerry Springer, because it teaches you what NOT to do, and Jerry doesn’t approve of what they do. He actually asks them what would have been the better thing to do.

  3. I am a loser, but I think it was predetermined…

    For instance, ever since I was a child, I felt this strong piercing black energy, with a firm hold over most of my heart.
    It has automatically controlled many of my decisions, even when I didn’t want to do something. I even became vegetarian to refine my karma, and still the black thing pushing out happiness.

    The best thing is acceptance that you will live and die a loser, some things change, others don’t. A rock doesn’t change the composite minerals that constitute its structure, except over vast amounts of times (thousands and millions of years).

  4. Hi Darren,
    Thanks for the post. I’m 30s and no bf, about to engage last year but broked it up. Too fussy in chosing partners and always think that I am loser, fat and ugly. Both career and personal life in middle of no where, sigh… Is there any tips for me?

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  6. In order to be a winner one must start early in life making their decisions and actions on not so much as what will this decision cause me in the now, but in the future as well. Also, never compromise who you are for anyone or any reason. Always be true to yourself and then and only then will you be able to be true to others. Enjoyed your article Darren, Barbara.

  7. I might add after Zig Ziglar: “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll be getting what you’ve been getting.” If you seek change, don’t do anything from the above ! :) All the best !!

  8. Going the opposite direction of what you see doesn’t work for others, is definitely a good strategy. Unfortunate part is I noticed that some people who are successful, exhibit some of those traits you mentioned. Great blog post nonetheless. Much love to you ♡

  9. 1-Do Not start the work until you know all the details involved.
    2-Forget your weaknesses (or deny them) and just focus on other people’ s faults and weaknesses.
    3-Never spend your money on personal development matters and promoting your skills because it costs too much!!
    4-trust in everything you read or hear from secondhand resources.
    5- Never try to remember or capture your past experiences (because it takes too much! time and effort)
    6-DO NOT read “The Compound Effect “

  10. I’m going to print this and post it at work AND at home for myself just as a visual reminder. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into these behaviors especially when things get tough…

  11. My two cents: people who don’t try are also failing. The act of not doing something is a decision…to DO NOTHING. It never ceases to amaze me how people think that not deciding is not a decision. Of course it is. Life is full of choices: the choice to do, the choice not to do and the choice to not decide, which keeps you from doing.

    The other thing I would like to add: I can see the person interviewed saying they love the tabloids, the listen and watch gossip shows and follow those who are famous for nothing. I remember watching a children movie where the bad character said “and with everyone special, then nobody will be”. I change the word to famous.

    What makes you special? If we are all special for doing and being the same things,then we are not really special. That is the beauty of the world, that we all have special interests and talents. If you want to be a looser, don’t develop your talent or your skill, be like every other looser. Misery loves company. Be miserable.

    We are living in a world where everyone can upload a video on youtube and become “special”. That does not make you special. Spreading your talent with others makes you special. In time, people get tired of the lack of talent and move to the next shinny object. In order for you to succeed on the internet, in your town and in life, you must share your skills with others. Strive for success, not for being a looser.

  12. A good list, but a bit harsh, if you have some of these traits but not all, you may need help from a professional. When life gets to be too much, you do deal with it day to day or even hour by hour. Some of these are signs of depression.

    This is the first post in a while that that did not inspire me.

  13. I’ve listened to Jim Rohn many times and I’m very familiar with his “Loser Seminar” idea. In fact, I even thought of taking up the idea and creating my own seminars, giving credit to Mr. Rohn for his brilliant idea. For I am one of those “losers” to which he referred and to which others have referred to in the posts above. You see, I’ve read many self-help books, attended church services, prayed, wrote in a journal, listened to audio programs, etc, etc. I did all those things and still my life wasn’t working. I knew something was wrong but could never seem to pinpoint the definitive answer, I just knew something was wrong. I was a two-legged man who could walk but who used crutches nonetheless. The crutches were the past. In my case, one of the crutches was thrown away in 2006, when the pain of childhood memories were laid to rest, nearly 20 years after my father died. More recently the other crutch was tossed aside when the hurt and pain of being abused as a child by a neighbor kid was finally thrown away. The point? Even though “losers” may be doing all the wrong things and messing up their lives, and their “mess” is evident to everyone but them, we must remember there is a root to everything. I cannot speak for others. I know from my own experience that feeling isolated from others because of shame, is one reason why I continued with loser behavior. I was always quick to judge others when making observations about what they were or weren’t doing. I made those judgements not based on any facts, but only on observations, because that was the only thing I had to work with. Now, after undergoing a mental transformation, I see things differently. I’m more inclined to give a break to others and realize that who they are is based on where they come from. That doesn’t mean they have to stay that way, it just means they came from somewhere, we don’t always know where. My two cents. Thanks for the post.

  14. Great article ! Thanks for bringing my beloved Jim Rohn. I translated it and send it to all my organization here in Argentina . our site was mentiones as the place where i take the article . Thanks again

  15. Great message. Donald Trump says it’s important to know your positives to keep your guards. Similarly, knowing your downside helps you keep your defenses up.

  16. Yes, I get that, but to question 2-3 “losers,” one must first identify people as such. That’s the red flag – proceed with caution when judging :0 Imagine picking the young Edison as a loser… Or conversely, Bernie Madoff as a “winner”…

    There’s merit in considering what behaviors or thought patterns (in ourselves or others) lead to losses, then flipping that negative into a positive to gain insight. That point’s a keeper!

    But I’ll just skip the process of identifying who’s the “loser” to interview, and use the approach you shared in the Thank-ful project post instead.

    Thanks for considering my .02 :)

  17. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. Great way of looking at our own behaviors to see if there is an area in our own lives that needs change. Thanks for speaking the truth Darren!

  18. Great article Darren,

    Belief is the first thing (Mind set) to start!
    Believe “I Can’t” like what Henry Ford said “If you believe you can’t, you are right”.

    Be a “Fan of others, speak about them and sit under a fan doing nothing.
    Be “Doubtful” on every activity.

  19. Another amazing post Darren! I seriously love the content that you have been making. Been checking a lot of them out for a while now. I agree with you. We should know what failures do and we should do the exact opposite! 😀 Keep it up my friend! 😀

    PJ Zafra

  20. Whatever. Anybody who writes a column and calls people losers by identifying all their negative characteristics is by nature someone who practices the very things he so disdains in others. As a friend of mine always says, “You spot it, you got it.” We ALL do some of or all of these things to some extent. Some of us don’t feel the need to point out others shortcomings to make us feel better about ourselves. What a bunch of egotistical tools.

  21. This is not targeted on the person who has medical issues they are battling with or targeting people. EVERYONE has challenges in their lives and it’s choosing what to do with them. We are all given the same 24 hr a day and what we choose to do with that. As much as I would “like” to be as successful as someone else, it’s the choices I make everyday that will get me there. People who choose to go beyond their circumstance and rise above it can take these tips to get there. I must admit, I am guilty of not doing as much as I should to get to the next level, but that does not make me a loser, it should encourage us all to choose our attitude and behavior and refine it each day to make our life, what ever definition we give it a better and succesful one.
    People on this blog are not negative or condemning, but are sharing and helping everyone become better

  22. Blame the world, the economy, people with the exception of yourself for not take action. Have the prisoner’s syndrome, “I an innocent” even when all evidence point to the fact that you are guilty. Loser think that the economy, people and circumstance are the makers of their destinies. But winners know that they are the architects of their destinies

  23. LOVE IT Darren. I have a similar list about failing socially. Here’s my list for this one…

    -Don’t read books or take courses that help you get better in your field. Avoid them like the plague.

    -Focus on only one aspect of life. e.g. focus on money but ignore health, relationships & networking, recreation, personal development etc. At least you’ll feel like you’re making progress.

    -Never admit you don’t know and never ask for help. Why would you want to risk being enlightened?

    -Master the art of complaining

  24. It’s called EGO= edging god out. I bet someone made a comment in here that got to your ego. As I do see what you mean, Darren is only stating what we should be doing to achieve success. And I really do respect your POV. But I feel like something got to you as in something you do, and you feel like your being harped on? What is it?

  25. This blog seems really negative and judgmental. And the commenters all seem like people who want to feel superior to others. Yuck. No thanks.

  26. Thanks for the ‘healthy’ discussion y’all. Don’t over read into it. like I said to Andee below, the article is “really it’s just a way to show the opposite of successful behavior.”

  27. Tips for losers: Don’t change! Wait for the economy to change! Wait for the government, your negative friends, family, and neighbors to change! If they will change: everything will change for you.

  28. According to battery theory – a good dose of negative makes the positive connect.
    Life is a choice and a gift and when you live with purpose and passion you are never a loser. No one but you can judge you a loser so only when we fail to live today learning from yesterday planning for tomorrow and living with love and gratitude can we be a happy fulfilled human being instead of a mammal. Our ability to love and plan makes us human. Our ability to learn and forgive makes us human.

  29. I’m uncomfortable with the assignment categorizing people as losers. There’s an old saying that you never know another person until you walk in their shoes. Some actually have overcome (or deal with) far more adversity, pain, betrayal and heartache than meets the eye; they are, in fact, “winners,” they just have so far to go to reach what would be the starting point for many. I hope everyone can keep that in mind when judging who is in the “loser” category.. That old guy working at a grocery store might have a sick family in need of medical benefits, or had his earnings wiped out by fraud and is trying to rebuild. Those situations may upset the apple cart theory that optimism + hard work always equates to sure success, but life brings earthquakes and hurricanes and other things outside our control. So I hope this exercise moves people towards humility and compassion too and not just scorn for other human beings. It is worthwhile to consider the lessons we can learn from others.

  30. Show people you know it all and that you need no ones instructions. Tell people that success magazine is expensive meanwhile spend more than subscription cost on coffee.

  31. I LOVED it!! You know Darren… those of us who go through life with an achiever’s mentality sometimes have to “dumb it down.” Accountability and responsibility are Greek to some people. Sometimes I have to verbalize excuses to smooth some people over. My favorite lame excuse is “because of the economy.”

  32. Go to the Barber shop where you listen to all the latest gossip. Also buy the Compound Effect and place it on shelf never having time to read it.

  33. Conrad,

    I echo Bukky. Darren’s comments aren’t about the debilitating effects of lifelong clinical depression. Lord knows, most days it’s hard enough to get out of bed, much less be “gung ho” about living. FInding passion and purpose in the midst of that is really difficult, if not downright impossible.

    I think Darren is talking to persons like my husband, who has been gifted with a good childhood, a charismatic personality, who is smart and funny when he wants to be. He has also squandered a six-figure job, influence, children and a wife who love him (and are well on the way to not caring anymore), tremendous opportunities to give back to his community and all of the gifts and talents he was born with. He can be incredibly lazy unless backed into a corner. Prideful. Thinks he knows it all and argues to death when he doesn’t agree with the opinions or thoughts of others. The worse part? Despite the incredibly bad consequences of the aforementioned character flaws, he REFUSES to see the destruction he has caused. Two children no longer talk to him. We’ve been on the verge of bankruptcy for several months. Are separated again for the second time. He’s seen three therapists, several clergy members and others who have tried to talk to him. The funny part? He charms them into being convinced that everyone else is the problem.

    Conrad- please continue to battle your depression. Everyone may not become financially prosperous, but everyone CAN have a life that is rich.

  34. This post is great. A bit painful too since I slept in this morning… Anyway, it gave me a great idea to actually start touring the country giving loser seminars. CS Lewis used this type of delivery in his writing, specifically in The Screwtape Letters. This could be fun! Keep up the great work Darren.

  35. Conrad,

    I don’t think Darren’s message is targetting people with medical problems nor physical problems at all. I think he is talking about people that has the opportunity to do better in life but chooses to take easier ways out than getting to their destined success point.

    Your message makes a lot of sense however, please keep in mind that no matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse. Darren’s message as well as any message in life can always be viewed possitively or negatively (mirror always has two faces). Try and see the possitiveness in this message and run with it for it will only do you the greates good. Believe me, everyone that reads this message has one or more things to change about their lives; I know I do.

    Please try and change your thinking because tomorrow holds greatness for you, and please don’t dwell on the clinical depression too much because it will only drag you down farther. Remember: what you feed, grows

    As to having someone to talk to, we all need someone at a point in time in our lives. The only advice I will give you is: go to us, try and call the number listed, You may be able to find comfort from the person on the other side of the phone, try it.

    I wish you the best of luck in life.

    Much Luv,

  36. Good Morning Mr Hardy,

    Great post! Few people realize that we are nothing more than instruments born to play an important message for generations to come. We are nothing more than conduits designed to improve the lives of generations to come. This being the case, ego need not be part of the winning/losing equation. Once that happens, losing is only a means to teach us what doesn’t work so we will learn (and can teach others) what does! Here’s to our future!!

    Have a magical day!!

  37. Change your thoughts, change your future. Each and everyone of us is given the extraordinary opportunity regardless of circumstance 24 hours in a day The difference in results is what each of us does with this time, what we do, depends on what we think about and focus on.

    Seems at the time of your comment on the blog you were given 24 hours just as each and everyone else was, agreed, you have a challenge some may not have currently, you still have been given the same amount of time.

    What will you do with your time?

    Regardless of circumstance, the second extraordinary gift we each have been given, is the power of choice. Each of us make choices all day long, along with each choice we make, a result is created. If you had different thoughts and used your 24 hours in a different way by making different choices then the one’s you do now, would you get different results, regardless of circumstance? Seems like it.

    You hold the ability to think, make choices and use your time, none of these have been taken away from you with your current challenge, you have the ability to get any result you see fit for your incredible life, as Jim Rohn has said “What is easy to do, is also easy not to do”

    I anticipate one day you will find enough reasons to change your thoughts, use your time, make different choices which yield greater results that will fulfill your life, it seems the moment you do, you will start to take action leading you to the remarkable life you have the ability to live.

    All the very best of success to you.


  38. Don’t smile at people, be grumpy, keep posting how bored you are on Facebook, that there is nothing on TV but watch it anyway, keep buying the ‘Gossip’ magazines!

  39. Don’t waste your time hanging around smart people, or trying to learn from those more successful than you. If you only hang around those lower on the totem pole than yourself, you’ll never notice you’re not as high up as you think you are.

    Always follow trends, but only when you’re sure everyone you know is already doing it. That way, if it suddenly becomes uncool, you can blame someone else for your interests. Don’t ever, EVER develop interests of your own. Having your own interests is just asking to be singled out, and who wants that?

  40. Leftalone2k11 – USA

    “Thank you” for your well-defined critera about what a loser is: it perfectly matches how it feels spending a lifetime fighting clinical depression

    I’m unable to work and do not have a place to live that I can call my own. I owe more money than I have and cannot afford a car anymore. I am divorcing soon and have no one to talk to about how sad I feel all the time.

    A long time ago I began reading your magazine because of its “positive message” to keep moving ahead in life. But now it appears that in the eyes of “successful readers”, I’m just a born loser—and everyone should make sure to take notes on how to NOT be loser like me.

    Have never seen your magazine make fun and mock people who are overwhelmed with bad events in life, as well as a lifelong disease that was never even asked for.

    Are you going to start taking jabs at people who rely on public welfare, have other life threatening and incapacitating diseases, or maybe are just “too fat” to succeed at anything??? Are those also topics that Jim Rohn would suggest careful note-taking on: how to not end up being like “THOSE LOSER PEOPLE”???

    The Horatio Alger/American Dream that anyone can come from nothing and still hit it rich is a lie, especially in an economy that has almost a 10% unemplyment rate.

    Enjoy your fun. People in every state in this country are commiting suicide every day because they can’t “succeed”.

    My only dream now is that I will die a lot sooner rather than later.

    That’s the only dream I have anymore.

  41. Devote most of your time to search for the latest Hollywood’s latest scandals and of course take copious notes in the process for reinforment purposes. After all repetition is the mother of mastery …lol

  42. Keep doing what you’ve always done so you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. That’s a comfy place to be! And you won’t have to do anything else….whew!

  43. I was just mentioning this very thing to my friends about writing a book about what not to do, as not much has wokred out so why not make some money from it.

  44. Gene King in Charleston just spent time telling me about Darren Hardy and agree 100%. WINNER!

    1. The humor of getting information to folks is a great way to communicate. I think we ought to start Failure or Loser Magazine. Maybe we ought to just keep putting it off.

    2. Finally, get those cds out of the magazine and have them in your car for long drives. Sunday we drove three hours and it was so easy listening to some great infromation.

    Thanks . I’m printing this out for my kids and sending it via e- mail as well.
    Leighton Cubbage- Greenville SC

  45. As far as TV goes… its best to watch Jerry Springer! That show focuses on the most successful people in the world today!

  46. Make sure you watch a lot of TV. And not just any shows. Watch a lot of reruns, movies you’ve already seen (with commercials) and reality shows. If you really want to waste time, like a big time loser, add soap operas for greater impact.

  47. And absolutely positively lose all sense of curiosity – after all, you already know it all anyway!!

    Carpe diem!


  48. Thanks for the GREAT reminder Darren!

    My other tip on being a loser:
    – Don’t bother to read any books. Its for the nerds. ;P