A Manifesto for Sheer Discomfort


Going viral taught me a lot about embracing vulnerability. And I have been thinking a lot about how beautiful discomfort is, how it is typically treated in society, and where it can take us in life.

1. Laugh at the hilarity of life. We don’t laugh enough. Treat your life as a soap opera or video game. Take a step back, and realize how absurd some of the things in our world really are, including our struggles.

2. Give up control. Control is an illusion. Accept that there are moments where everything will be in reach, and then a second later everything will be gone. That, my friends, is called life. It can be glorious, cruel, and sometimes just gloriously cruel.

3. Know that you will ruin a lot of things. You will hurt others. You will hurt yourself. You will let yourself down. You will waste moments. You will feel up against a wall. You will not want to move ahead. These are human realities.

4. Embrace the suck. Feel badly. Baste in your own sorrow. Don’t hide from it. Give into it. But set yourself time to wallow. Once the time is up, move on.

5. Set aside time to worry. Schedule it religiously. Fifteen minutes a day ought to do it. Outside of that don’t let a worrying thought enter your mind. Train yourself.

6. Stop running from your past. It only catches up to you. Instead, treat it like a pain-in-the-ass roommate that you can’t evict.

7. Listen closely to your heart. It knows better than your brain, always.

8. Don’t be bound by convention. Find opportunities in unsuspecting, weird and even totally crazy ways. Live through them. Search for them endlessly.

9. Do something good, especially when you don’t have to. It will make things more complicated and time consuming, but it’s the right thing to do.

10. Figure out how to make an idea you love into a real thing. Keep it lean and dirty, but just create something. And tell the world.

11. It doesn’t matter if things actually work. Success or failure is irrelevant so long as you create and learn. But the real lessons are never obvious.

12. When the world calls your name, run. Everyone has a moment. Go. Run. Chase. Hustle. Make it happen. But be ready to fail too. No matter what you’ll be better for the wear and tear.

13. Focus on others. You are the sum of your relationships and your contribution to others. Nothing more, nothing less. Take that obligation seriously.

14. Stop wanting to be someone else. Vicarious living is poison. Anytime you idolize anyone else, stop. We’re all just moving on. The most perfect people are the most lost.

15. Pull the parachute. Even when things are good, don’t be afraid to say no more. Good is only good in moderation, anyway.

16. Fall apart. You should breakdown often. You should be weary. You should question everything. It keeps you true.

17. Big things happen in small ways. Nothing noteworthy ever happened at once. Small things build overtime into something beautiful. Don’t anyone ever tell you otherwise.

18. Be an imposter. Be the person you want to be before you need to be that person. We are all imposters to a degree. It’s called aspiration.

19. Be the worst. The second you are the savviest, smartest or most caring person anywhere leave and never go back.

20. No is better than maybe. Crave the moment when someone tells you no. It’s freeing.

21. This moment will not define your life. Neither will this one. Nor this one.

22. Iterate yourself. Treat yourself like a software release. Make a prototype, work out some kinks, do some beta testing, launch, and do it all over again. You are never done.

23. Terrify yourself. Do something that you hate the idea of once a day. Call an old enemy, message a lover that hurt you, learn something daunting, go viral on the internet…

24. Life is a series of choices. There is extraordinary beauty in knowing that you are only where you are by pure chance. Enjoy it. Feel small.

25. Be graceful. Find it in yourself. Have confidence that if you push yourself that the cards will be in your favour.

26. Avoid familiarity. When in crisis, don’t revert to what you would do otherwise. Do anything else. And see where it takes you.

27. Never settle. Avoid mediocre. Settle on things that you love and that bring you joy. Keep pushing until you find it.

28. Chase discomfort. Vulnerability is nothing if we don’t embrace it. Soak it up. Then go further into the abyss of you. You’ll be surprised of what happens next.

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