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How do I become strong mentally?

This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by William Beteet, Podcast Host of the Lazy Philosopher.

1. Be Stoic

Now I’m not talking about the whole “don’t feel emotions” dogma that surrounds stoicism. What I am talking about is taking the perspective that the worse thing can happen. You might not get the job, you might lose your leg, Trump might become President. But even if any of those things happen you will still be you, and you have made it all the way to this point in your life just fine and you will be ok.

2. Become Aware of Victim Thinking

When I am throwing myself a pity party, I begin to go over things I am thankful for. All of our problems are made possible by our privileges. I am sad I failed this test, but isn’t it awesome I have access to education. I am sad that the girl I like doesn’t like me, isn’t great I live in a society where I can meet many women.

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.” - Richard Dawkins

3. Understand the Compound Effect

Small things add up quick. If you eat Chipotle five times a week you will have spent $40. Forty multiplied by 52 adds up to 2080. Mentally tough people understand how to make this principal work for themselves. For example, I’ve performed standup everyday of this year since January 25th, this has lead to me being able to open for guys off Comedy Central, do club gigs, and headline shows quickly. Many of the people who I started with either have not progressed or have quit because they didn’t take advantage of the Compound Effect.

4. Challenge Yourself Physically and Mentally

I go to the gym five times a week. When I’m in the gym my preferred form of cardio is the Stair Master. Now I usually set a goal of 2.5 miles, but when I get close to that point and I am already exhausted, I increase my goal to 3 miles. I do similar stunts with the books I read, I will usually read a couple more pages than I want to, just to test myself and learn how to sustain focus. So whenever you feel like you’re getting close to your wall, just push a little farther, this will help you trust the whiny voice in your head a little less.

5. Laugh At Your Misery

No matter how bad life gets for you, there is someone in the world that can laugh at your current predicament. I’ve heard jokes about the worst events human history, I’ve also heard rooms full of people laughing at those jokes. The reason they are able to laugh at the plight of others is because they have distance from the event. So to get distance from your problems I suggest that you laugh at your problems. Laughing at your problems reminds you that life is absurd and our lives short, so laugh a little, it’ll all be over soon enough.

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