Updated: Feb 25, 2021

10 Daily Tools to Survive and Thrive

“The artist committing themself to their calling has volunteered for hell, whether they know it or not. They will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” -Steven Pressfield, THE WAR OF ART

In 2013 I was miserable, working as a management consultant, cropping screenshots for some user manual that no one was ever going to read. I googled “how to become a stand-up comedian.” A week later I did my first set - it was three minutes in the dingy basement of a bar in San Francisco. Two things happened after that three minutes:

  1. The FBI was on my tail because I bombed so hard

  2. I committed myself as an artist, and officially volunteered for hell

For the next 6+ years, it was a steady diet of exactly what Mr. Pressfield mentioned: isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt and humiliation.

And over those 6+ years, here’s what that diet manifested into:

  1. fractured relationships due to anger, resentment and low self-esteem

  2. an OCD tic where I pulled my hair out due to crippling anxiety

  3. going broke, paying my rent on credit cards and racking up 100k in debt