The Underachiever’s Manifesto
by Ray Bennet, M.D.
I love manifestos. Not that I agree with many of them, but I love reading fiery, concise statements of deeply held beliefs. They show people care. But that’s what makes this little pocket-sized book a bit jarring. It eschews fire, spit, and vinegar for the slacker mentality. Rather than put in 110%, or dream the impossible dream, or live one of those lame motivational posters, Dr. Bennet advises taking it easy, realizing control is an illusion, and letting the overachievers get the BMWs and heart attacks.
This is a serious self-help book, and not the parody you might expect. He includes 10 Principals of Underachieving, of which my favorite is “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing half-assed.” You can’t get more pointed than that, and I like to feel I’ve been subconsciously applying that concept for a long time.
After you achieve underachievement, the good doctor gives some advice about faith, dating, finances, and what to do on weekends. Accepting his advice will keep you from running yourself ragged chasing soccer games, bonuses, and really nice cars, but it will give you time to not cut the grass, teach your kids to entertain themselves, and shrug off small parking lot collisions. It’s time for this book. I’ll be passing them out as Christmas gifts this year, ‘cuz I ain’t buying any other stuff for people. I’m that unmotivated. Thanks, doc!