Seek Discomfort

This really means seek short-term discomfort. This often leads to a much easier life and improved well-being. You should undervalue short-term payoffs to make better decisions because they will always be more easily imaginable, easier to measure, and more exciting than long-term payoffs.

If part of you wants to do something but the other part of you is too afraid, you seem to be rationally balancing fear and risk against your true desires. But because The real downside is often tiny in modern society and exaggerated by your fears, the fear should have much less value in balancing that equation. So you should act as if the fear wasn't there because the risk it's trying to warn you about is consistently inflated.

Obviously this is easier said than done, and this is why seeking discomfort out intentionally is a useful tool for moving past fear when it really matters.

How many times have you realized it wasn't worth being as afraid or worried as you had been? I find that even when the outcome I was worrying about happens, it's not nearly as bad as I imagined. How many times have you been glad you worried sufficiently about something? How many times have you regretted moving past your fears?

I can think of literally 0 examples of either of these. In a society as safe as ours, our perceptions of fear and risk are vastly overblown.

Social Discomfort is the place where we stand up for what we believe in or new make friends.

Physical Discomfort is the place we grow physically and mentally. It's also often meaningful for people to push through hardship: Work Love and Courage and imaginary obstacles.

Mental Discomfort is how we get smarter.


In modern society risks are often very small and the fear you feel very overblown. The benefit of pushing past these fears far outweighs the consequences, but it's still hard to do. You need to make a habit of overcoming fear to do it when it matters most.


The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Simple heuristic: If you’re evenly split on a difficult decision, take the path more painful in the short term.

Jocko Willink: Hard Choices, Easy Life