How can my brother stop being a loser?
March 19, 2009 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Help my brother stop being a decade-long loser. It's a long one.

My older brother is intelligent, good looking and charming. This is where the good traits end. Since a failed relationship at 20, he has been living off of my parent's money, running away from terrific jobs he gets through my father's connections because he doesn't REALLY want to do x,y, or z or because the amazing opportunity he has is actually sub-standard, according to him. He has spent years being depressed, reading and coming to the conclusion that there is no meaning to life, so why bother?
He also believes that because my mother doesn't work, he also has the right not to.
My parents have been trying to get him moving for years, opting to pay for his apartment, etc so that they don't have to listen to him rattle on about the next great plan he has and will inevitably never realize because reality is just too hard. They also think it might help him have a more normal social life instead of the stigma of living with your parents, and thus help him get a job. Hasn't worked so far.
He manages to get people interested in him, and get going for a bit, but has a few days of partying, gets depressed, and disappears, only to re-emerge full of self-doubt. He has told me he feels like a failure and likes to analyze why he is so stuck, but never manages more than a few months of actual productivity before disappearing into his mind again.
He is also incredibly shallow and has been employing "fake it till you make it" all the way into bankruptcy. At 30, he is ashamed of not having a career or an education (he would get great letters of rec and not turn the application in on time), and yet will threaten suicide whenever he is forced with any real action.
My mother is at her wit's end and wants the tough love approach - since he refuses to take any job that he considers beneath him (read: any job) just so he can be financially independent, she wants to cut him off to teach him about what life is about for people who don't have well-off parents. My father grew up poor with a drunk for a father, and he has no problem buying expensive equipment, finding work, and generally subsidizing whatever fantasy job my brother presents at the time.
He's been given books, gone on ADD medication, been forced to find work or be cut off (he was cut off and stopped talking to all of us, only starting again when the money came back). He also seems to have a great deal of social anxiety, talking a lot, rapidly, when agitated. He is very worried about others' expectations of him.
I love him and want to be successful and happy, but it's tough hearing your shortcomings from a younger sibling. Is there anything that can be done to get him moving? I'm afraid of another decade of this, where one day he will be 40 and nowhere, and coming to other family members for money, or worse, actually committing suicide because he hasn't accomplished anything in his life.
I understand he is insecure and lost, but how can that be fixed? Or is he just a lost cause? Thank you.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
He needs to grow the fuck up, and the family needs to stop treating him like he's a teenager, because he's not going to act any different until he's responsible for himself.
posted by iamabot at 4:29 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Start with compassion. I fucking swear to you that however bad you feel about him he feels worse about himself. Mental illness is real, serious and compounded by associated stigma.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:30 PM on March 19, 2009 [15 favorites]

and before taking iamabot's suggestion get a thorough and current psych evaluation for him. Maybe the suicide threats are real, maybe they're not, but you don't want to be attending his funeral for Christ's sake.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

You just described my older brother too... close exactly. Quick questions before I fully answer.

1) Is he better in relationships?

2) Intelligent. How intelligent? The range matters. If he's hyper-intelligent it could explain a lot of things and effect my answer.

3) Does he pour that intelligence into activities that just do not earn money? Or does he really just not do a thing?
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:32 PM on March 19, 2009

We can't help him not be a loser. You and your parents haven't been able to. You mention ADD meds, but how did he come into them, was this a psychiatrist thing, or a general physician prescripbed them? I think he may have issue that need to be treated (likely medically, at first) by a real psychiatrist before he ceases to be a loser.
posted by kellyblah at 4:32 PM on March 19, 2009

People like your brother fall into two categories: the first are those who just need to cowboy the fuck up and get over themselves because the world is never going to give a shit about them and they need to understand that, and the second are those who need genuine psychiatric help because they have a mental condition requiring therapy and possibly medication. The tricky part is figuring out which is which.

Also, is he on drugs? The illicit kind?
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:41 PM on March 19, 2009 [7 favorites]

Sounds as if he's choosing to be a loser. Be careful with whatever you say, if you say anything, because I would guess he's going to be pissed regardless, and will probably pull a dramatic move to try to get everyone back on his side again.

Ask him if he's ever thought about the peace corps or military.
posted by big open mouth at 4:44 PM on March 19, 2009

also: overachieving families caue huge fear-of-failure complexes in some people, that can be a part of it.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:51 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

He manages to get people interested in him, and get going for a bit, but has a few days of partying, gets depressed, and disappears

My father grew up poor with a drunk for a father

Alcoholism has been known to have a genetic predisposition. Could there possibly be something going on along those lines that he is doing a good job of hiding? It could explain a lot.
posted by netbros at 4:53 PM on March 19, 2009

You and your family have it somewhat backwards (aside from what you say is your mom's idea). You need to figure out how you can move on from your evaluations of him. If you enjoy spending time with him, spend time with him. If not, don't. If you're obsessing about his future, that's your challenge to redirect youself when it starts. In retrospect from 100 years in the future, things seem different. Watermelons sit there for weeks at their final size before they finally ripen.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 4:58 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

I have (to a slightly lesser degree) been where your brother is. First off, he will not change until the enabling behavior stops. Secondly, it sounds like drug/alcohol issues are possibly/likely involved. He will make exactly zero progress until that issue is resolved. Once I got sober--voila--the depression basically disappeared and things rapidly improved. I understand how he feels and it's a very, very bad place to be. But you can't continue to feed him money/jobs/opportunities/emotional support. He needs to conclude on his own that he must change or lose everyone.
posted by eggman at 5:18 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Your family is enabling him. Give him 30 days to get a job and move out, then kick him out in 30 days no matter what. Offer to pay for therapy --and nothing else -- after that time.

If you really think he's a danger to himself, have him committed instead. Then kick him out.
posted by coolguymichael at 5:21 PM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]

Second peter_meta_kbd. Your brother is a grownup (at least physically). His future is really not your problem. There's a difference between having normal familial concern for someone you love and making their failure your problem. Aside from his issues, some family counseling might help. You all have grooved your communication. You can't find a way out because there's no way to get out of the box.
Getting real, informed help from outside can really get things going in a new direction.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 5:30 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

So who has the problem? You. I think your family is embarrassed. I just want to get that clear.

But I have seen this fixed and what I think you should do is get him a volunteer job. Personally, I love working at food banks. But really put your heads together and find him something he is suited for. (If he can't think of a place himself.) I have a rule for my family. You are either going to school, working or volunteering. Your family should have a rule like that too. Even mentally ill people can volunteer. I think your family should provide a modest home for him. And food. And heat. Anything else he should have to work for.

I've seen this work for a wealthy friend of mine that had no direction. He was completely lost. He started volunteering when he was about 35. From then on he was less embarrassing to his family because he could finally talk at dinner parties about what he was doing at his "job". Added benefit is you can get all self righteous about your charity and that shuts up a lot of busy bodies. Ever since he has been volunteering he has felt like his life has meaning.

This is the problem: he has too much time to think about everything. Maybe that's obvious. But it makes mental illness worse. When I worked at the food bank it was so crazy fast and hard physical work it made me forget all about my problems and my social anxiety.

Plus also pay for counciling for him.

Mefi mail me if I can help you because, like I said, I have seen this work in someone just like your brother.
posted by cda at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [12 favorites]

I agree with dahlia - he's either taking advantage because he's not being forced to account for his own life, or he has a true - and from the sounds of it - debilitating mental illness. Your descriptions of depression and/or agitation point to either clinical depression or bi-polar (in my non-medical but personal family history opinion). If he is mentally ill, then what he needs is medication and therapy - but, yeah, no one can force that on him if he isn't a danger to himself or others. If he begins to act truly irrationally, then yes, you and your parents need to address having him hospitalized.

So, here's where you're at - you can't control or "fix" your brother, you can't control your parents' involvement in his life, all you can do is control your own involvement. You can decide how much you will or will not enable him financially, you can offer help and support in him seeking serious mental health options, and you can practice disassociating yourself from the aspects of his life that you do not wish to be involved with (I know, easier said than done).

I think one of the hardest - but most useful - lessons that anyone learns in the course of their life is that you can't control other people's reactions, thoughts, or actions, just your own. Sometimes it's REALLY hard to do that, but if you can manage it, then it will become clear what you need to do in this situation.

Good luck to you and your brother.
posted by coollibrarian at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

He also seems to have a great deal of social anxiety, talking a lot, rapidly, when agitated.

First thing he needs is a total psychiatric/ physical workup to include a drug screening. If illicit drugs or alcoholism is involved then there needs to be rehab.

I also agree with the volunteer work suggestion.

He could be bipolar. He could be an addict. OR he could be a screwup and simply need careful but tough love to help him find his way. It is very important to determine which is which.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:59 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

Unless and until your parents stop feeling guilty for making their younger child into a dependent addict and subsidizing his life, nothing is going to change for your brother.

It doesn't really matter if it's true that they're responsible for how he's turned out. The reality is they feel guilty, the whole family is spinning around this vortex of need and dependency, and your brother is firmly in control of the whole clan by being resolutely and seemingly irrevocably out of control. I'm familiar with this pattern and it's awful, I know. And, as By the Grace of God says, it's awful for him, as well.

The only thing that can help this situation is for his entire family to stop enabling this destructive behavior. You all have to set limits and boundaries and insist that if he is going to be a part of your lives, he follow certain rules. Breaking those rules must have serious consequences. All of you need to be on the same page about this because dependent, immature, substance-abusing people will latch onto whomever is available to them when others begin to set limits and firmly refuse to reinforce the chaos dependent addicts prefer.

Your folks would definitely benefit from professional support in this situation and a therapist would help them address their guilt issues and begin to set appropriate limits with your brother. Such limits include no more pocket money unless he has a full physical; paying rent and utilities and contributing to expenses like food and laundry if he lives under your parents roof; giving him 30 days to find a job and 60 more to find his own apartment; refusing contact with him unless and until he gets therapy, joins AA, or submits to a drug or alcohol treatment program; or, and this is going to sound extreme, kicking him out and refusing all contact with him altogether if he refuses to even begin the process of diagnosing just what his physiological or psychological issues truly are.

Look, this is very painful. But you are not a horrible person if you simply refuse to have any contact with your brother until he gets help. You are not responsible for him, you do not have to live your life on eggshells wondering whether or not he'll ever get it together and fulfill his potential, and his behavior is an unacceptable and wholly preventable burden on you and an impediment to your peace and happiness.

Encourage your parents to seek therapy, preferably a regimen focused on addressing their own guilt and on their learning how to stop indulging your brother. Beyond that, I'd cease all contact with him, get on with my life, and refuse to be his support system until he proves that he is making an honest effort to get his life together and become a responsible, independent adult.

On preview, you can't just have someone "committed". It doesn't work that way anymore in almost every state. Research your state's laws regarding involuntary commitment, but don't put it high on your list of options.

Best of luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:11 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Does he smoke pot? That would be the first thing to consider. From your description of him it sounds like it.

People generally lead the life they want to lead. He's young, people realise things at different ages.
posted by mattoxic at 6:32 PM on March 19, 2009

A friend of mine had a very similar sibling and it turned out they had brain damage from oxygen deprivation at birth. This wasn't diagnosed until the person was in their mid-late 20s. When it was diagnosed it was a great relief to all and allowed the person to get state services and the family to move on in a productive way and stop laying blame.

So that kind of thing is a definite possibility. Or your bro is a total slacker and needs to be thrown out in the street. It's hard to tell over the internet.
posted by fshgrl at 7:02 PM on March 19, 2009

I don't see how calling him a loser would help.

To me it sounds quite a lot like he has serious depression problems. Don't go with the ADD medication, get him to see a psychatrist. If he refuses, well, shit. I guess it's got to be some pretty rough love. Some of the hardest ways of taking care of people are ways that hurt you too.
posted by OrangeDrink at 7:06 PM on March 19, 2009

Why would he want to change his ways? He has a pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. He may claim to feel like a loser because he doesn't have a job or education, but if those opportunities are being handed to him left and right and he isn't taking them, then he obviously too torn up about this "loser" situation.

He's clearly manipulative and it works - they cut him off, and then freak out and started giving him money again. The tough love approach isn't going to work if someone wusses out that easily. And yes, it's possible he's depressed or has other issues. But your parents are in a position to make any demand they want - school, job, therapy, or all three - or the money stops.
posted by O9scar at 8:00 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could also try some 80-proof truth serum on him. Drink with him for a night and wait for him to get to the blubbery confessional stage. Good chance he'll reveal his core issues, and you can offer to help him with them. Next morning he'll probably feign innocence, but you'll have a starting point and he can't really say "I never said that" because, well, he did.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:02 PM on March 19, 2009

This was me, only at ages 16-21. My problem was I being gay, and not being able to be myself. I felt like I couldn't be myself around anybody, and after hiding it for years, knowing what I was, and how I'd burn in hell if I did turn out to be a poufter, well....that's enough to make anybody crazy. My only saving grace was my hopeless romantic dreams of better days. I took meds for depression, tried suicide multiple times, but all I really wanted to know was; if I chose to be the real me, that I'd be loved. Look, your brother might or might not be gay, but whatever his psychological temperament, he just really needs to feel loved.

After I came out, I had a discussion later telling my family about my fears of not being loved. They thought of it as a slap in their face, me telling them I thought they didn't love me, but that wasn't what I was saying at all....really I was saying that I need to love myself. Find your brothers real root of not loving himself, and he'll be a better person.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

Has he had his social anxiety looked at by a pro? If not, you should convince him to see one. All of what you wrote could be explained by a diagnosis of generalized anxiety or a mood disorder (or both).
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2009

I am going through this with my sibling, although they are younger than your brother.

Here is what I have learned:
Cut the money out of all of your relationships with him. If they are going to live with one of you, don't bother charging rent. If you are going to buy them something, don't treat it like a loan. Spend time with him if you want to, call just to chat about movies and things, don't nag or lecture on his future.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 8:54 PM on March 19, 2009

We've got suggestions here ranging from addiction to bipolar syndrome to ADD to wilfull slackitude to brain damage to psychosis to a dysfunctional family. Some of these suggestions have merit and many of the conditions could cause the behavior you're seeing. But you're not going to have any real information without talking to a doctor first. The 'full psych workup' idea is a good one. It will allow you to first rule out physical and mental-illness-related causes of the behavior, or treat them. The treatment may indeed involve letting go and let whatever will happen to your brother on his own, happen.

I just wanted to suggest that you start there, since you are getting such a bewildering variety of answers. The medical professionals are an excellent first step.
posted by Miko at 8:55 PM on March 19, 2009

Your brother sounds like my brother. Only my brother is now almost 50, and moving into my parents house yet again. He's been this way his whole life. I have come to believe that, much like shyness or self-confidence or irritability, laziness is a personality trait. Moreover, like many essential facets of the personality, it is very stable and highly resistant to change. You may have to face the fact that he is who he is.
posted by Crotalus at 9:17 PM on March 19, 2009

Anxiety is often misdiagnosed/mistaken for ADD (seem jittery? Talk fast? Can't concentrate? Etc... ADD, or constant state of borderline panic?).
Seconding the psych eval/counselling etc.

I'd also second the chucking him out of home. There's no way he's growing in any way there. Living at home? Yup. Not helping.

If that's too harsh, AND if the parents really are already spending quite a bit of money on him, AND if he seems the least bit inclined toward the idea :
suggest he needs to go on an 'OE' - overseas experience, go find himself etc for at least a few months.
Once you get over the plane tickets hurdle, you can live very cheaply in many less-developed countries, south east asia etc. Only give him enough for a backpacker experience. See what he makes of it.

On the otherhand, he could be screwed up in so many different ways - if it's narcissistic-y, then well. Just try and break contact a bit. And counselling. We just don't have enough information. I think you're probably just expecting a Yea on the move out of home. You do have it, but only following the psych eval, oh, and maybe - 'family counselling'. The latter being a window by which a professional might get a clearer picture not only of the family dynamic, but how he does and has acted in the past, that isn't his show or song & dance for new or 'other' people (just a hunch - if he's good at making short term friendships, he's also probably good at making short-term 'I'm a great patient!/I only have shallow problems!' diagnostic relationships, before anyone gets an idea of his more essential problems).
posted by Elysum at 9:48 PM on March 19, 2009

No, he's not a lost cause. But he may not be your cause to the degree you may feel he is. You probably can't have the effect on his life that your love for him makes you wish you could. It's his life and he'll have to steer it, even if he wrecks it. I've watched my dad have to deal with this with his own brothers, whose lives have gone poorly. He has never given up on them but he has had to let go and let them live with their choices. It's a bitter pill to swallow, that letting go, but it's the reality. Your best contributions may be unconditional love, a listening ear, and perspective/advice if and when he asks for it. That will feel impotent and inactive as you watch the years slip away, but other things you try are likely to be intrusive and shaming since they'll confirm his suspicion that people think he's a failure.

Somebody upthread said the problem was yours, not his. I disagree. Or rather, you may have the problem of feeling sad because you're assuming responsibility for a life that isn't yours to steer, but he has a problem whether you feel that way or not. And he has it whether your family enables him or not, though that's definitely making it worse and prolonging it. For the sake of him experiencing life as a full and growing human being, they do need to cut him off, and quickly - push him out of the nest so he has to learn to fly. Maybe that's the most active thing you can do - try to convince your dad to listen to your mom and for the both of them to take that heartbreaking and seemingly risky step. You can at least try so that you can be satisfied in the knowledge that you tried. I'm for a clean break, but perhaps they'd consider halving his support for six months or a year and only then turning the spigot all the way off. But even if they do push him out, even after the transformative effects of tough love have taken effect and he has taken responsibility for his own basic support, he will still have a problem and a challenging road ahead of him. He sees reality through a distorted lens and has for the better part of a decade if your account is accurate. He won't unlearn that easily, even as a humbled, employed, self-supporting dues payer. Therapy has a chance of helping, but he's got to want it.

I agree with another earlier poster that there is very likely a very deep-seated fear of failure in him, which is ultimately just fear of hurt of various kinds, which is why he doesn't engage or strike out on his own. You mentioned the failed relationship - who knows what kind of rationalizations and worldview distortions he installed in his mind to survive that hurt and guard against it in the future? That's what happens in times of extreme emotion. Look at how traumatic emotion scars children for life and redirects the course of their minds and lives - it can take an entire adulthood to excavate and reset those warped perceptions of self and world. Something like that in early adulthood, even if you or I would not assign it the same importance, can also really derail a person, particularly if the precursors of emotional problems were there waiting to take root and flourish in his weakened state.

He sounds like he has feelings of entitlement, too. He deserves better but nothing measures up to his high standards. But that could really be another manifestation of fear of failure. If nothing is ever good enough, you never have to give it a chance. If you never give it a chance, neither it nor you can ever fail or disappoint. So, working backwards and taking a likely guess, the real root of that behavior may be fear and defense, not arrogance or entitlement. He openly admits he feels like a failure and is acutely aware of others' perceived expectations, yet he has constructed an ego defense that keeps him from ever trying or achieving. It's a cycle. Becoming independent can interrupt it, but it's still possible to eke through life without really risking anything. He can remain alone and safe and untested until he's dead. So fully re-engaging in life will be his long term challenge.

Talk to your parents. See if they'll go for it. He's 30 and has had enough time to try to make something happen with a bit of help from mom and dad if it was going to happen that way. But the meter has run out. He can still make something happen, but it will involve bootstraps and persistence and self-discovery. That will make such a bigger difference in his life than years more of dependence on mom and dad. We're talking about his evolution as a human here - becoming who he really is through a process of being shaped by life experiences. He may have to go silent on you all for a long time before he's broken of his sense that he is owed something.

Whether they will or won't cut him off, one thing you can likely count on is that this will continue to weigh on your brother. The passage of time has interesting and sometimes dramatic effects on people's perspectives. Epiphanies, paradigm shifts, newfound urgency. Sometimes feeling the body slow down can motivate somebody to step up. Perceiving the endpoint of certain biological opportunities can cast things in a new light, too, which reorders priorities. People can run out of resistance energy and finally yield to that thing they've been avoiding. An illness or near miss on the highway or death of a friend or family member - these unexpected or unavoidable events can shock somebody onto a new path. So, he's not a lost cause, just a wayward one. Let go, be there, and be patient. Wait for it, but meanwhile live your own life. Good luck to all of you.
posted by kookoobirdz at 10:08 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

You should want to help him not because he's a loser or a fuck up or a parasite but because he's probably really unhappy. He's not smugly satisfied about having successfully pulled the wool over his parent's eyes. He's probably ashamed and would like to change but doesn't feel equal to the task. Therapy might help and if it hasn't been seriously pursued it's kind of a no brainer. Physical Exercise might help and considering the cost it's probably another no brainer.

The thing about him getting a job is that he will be treated by the entire employment process like he's worthless. He is going to get a job where nothing that is good about him will matter. Where it will be pretty much impossible for him to even be especially good at it because good is such a low bar to clear. And that will be the situation for years. And in his imagination it is probably worse than all that. And he has never done it before. What you want from him is one of the harder things that a person can do and it is easy to take for granted how hard it is to overcome that resistance in pursuit of the ordinary. Imagine he had a spinal injury and couldn't walk and he finally through lots of hard work he finally managed to take a couple steps. You would feel proud and he would know to feel proud too. You wouldn't think "big deal everyone can walk and he's not even that good at walking". The thing with mental illness or lack of mental wellness is that while it's pretty easy to compartmentalize the 'you' overcoming the body, it's really hard to compartmentalize the 'you' overcoming the mind. So do what little you can and without being patronizing recognize that this is something that he has a lot of trouble with and that any progress at all is a big deal.
posted by I Foody at 7:55 AM on March 20, 2009 [4 favorites]

Some people you cannot help; this person exactly mirrors one of my exes (who happened to be a pathological liar, depressive and addict who manipulated people to get by until he wore them out, then literally had to move to a new city, rinse, repeat). Sounds like you guys have tried a lot so far, and if he will not accept a psychiatric eval and meds, you should maybe look at therapy for yourself and your family when the tough-love approach is the only option left and begins to wear you all down with worry and self-doubt.

If he's a genuine sociopath (always a possibility with people fitting your brother's description), that's going to be more than any of you can reason with, because sociopaths are not rational or reasonable; if he's truly depressed, only medication and professional help will make any dent in his psyche and self-esteem. Some people will manipulate therapists to get meds they don't need (which, from your description, might be something he would do, downers, probably), threaten suicide without intent to avoid the consequences of dealing with their own problems, and use their past failures as excuses to avoid risk and possible additional failure, which justifies enmeshment with those willing to stay codependent and act as involuntary providers.

Sorry to sound harsh; it appears that nobody in your family is happy, and your brother, most of all. You cannot force him to get help or change who he is on a fundamental level, only a professional can do that, and it seems like you guys have tried a lot already. Good luck dealing with this in a way that allows you to get on with your life instead of living your brother's.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:59 AM on March 20, 2009

My two cents- his ADD diagnosis could have a significant role in all of this.

It is quite possible that he can't pull himself together-and a lot of the social anxiety and fear of success that you are describing can be symptoms ADD/ ADHD. He needs to be evaluated by an ADD/ ADHD specialist - not just someone who will medicate him, either. He may need the meds, but it sounds like he could use therapy and a coach as well.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 9:27 AM on March 20, 2009

In life, you have to see which variables are in your control and which are not. In the end, your brother will make the choices that he wants.

I did notice though that you said it was tough for someone to hear from a younger sibling their shortcomings. It sounds though that alot of things are tough for you to handle in this situation too.

I'll recommend some obvious things which you probably already know, but if you write them down on a list and show them to him it might make the conversation more easier.

1. Do you wish to be financially independent in your life? If yes, then here are some suggestions.
2. No booze.
3. No drugs.
4. Read Getting Things Done by David Allen.
5. Get any job and do it for two years straight and then re-evaluate.

The momentum of working creates way more positive dividends in the rest of your life then sitting and thinking about them do. Working and becoming financially independent won't stop the other things that he wants to do (whatever the grand schemes are). If anything, they'll make it ten times more likely for them to happen.

Best of luck.
posted by fantasticninety at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

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