50 ways to stay confused and afraid

1. Look for advice and solutions on social media.

2. Stay busy. A packed schedule is the sign of a meaningful life.

3. Say yes to everything.

4. Accept guilt as a valid indicator.

5. Never sit still.

6. Consume all the information before you without any thought about its source or perspective.

7. Keep up with trends.

8. Watch the news. Read the papers. Believe all of it.

9. Research your medical symptoms online.

10. Never figure out the difference between drama and real problems.

11. Concern yourself with other people’s drama.

12. Go ahead and click that link. And that one. And the next.

13. Treat all sources of information as equally credible.

14. Trade fear-inducing stories with your friends.

15. Read only the current bestsellers. Classics are stupid.

16. Stay immersed in preparational life (watching, planning, learning about but never doing).

17. Disconnect from nature until you find “outside” inherently uncomfortable and threatening.

18. Cultivate your ability to overreact.

19. Try to follow your passion. Obsess over the amorphous idea of “what your passion is”. Start something, then doubt it and stop. Rethink your life choices regularly. Decide it’s too late. Regret everything.

20. Obsess over choosing a particular niche/expertise.

21. Try to make everything in your life look good enough to be shared online.

22. Plan the unpredictable future and be disappointed when your planning has zero effect on your reality.

23. Obsess over celebrity interactions and doings. Let fandom become the center of your life.

24. Track, measure, analyze, evaluate everything: hours of sleep, minutes of exercise, number of pounds, kids, wrinkles, amount of paycheck, level of happiness.

25. Never treat yourself with kindness. Give credence to the cruelest voices in your head, and discredit the rest.

26. Fear the unfamiliar. You’re right. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, it’s probably a threat. Look for ways to destroy it or keep a good distance from it.

27. Hold on for dear life to your own incorruptible original truth, whatever that is. Don’t question the assumptions.

28. Assume that showing kindness to people means you’re condoning and supporting all their choices and behavior.

29. Earn enough and save enough to feel really secure before you give at all.

30. Try to avoid risks.

31. Get advice from other confused and fearful people about any sort of decision you have to make.

32. Go with the safest option.

33. Try to eliminate suffering from your life.

34. Equate ‘discomfort’ with ‘wrongness’ so that you will quickly and immediately run away from anything that makes you uncomfortable.

35. Look for ways to blame others. (Especially if they’re not part of your group.)

36. Become adamant about your likes and dislikes, your preferences and tolerances, your sensitivities and proclivities, and realize that your life will be terrible whenever these standards are not met with exactness.

37. Make a mental list of things that offend you. Review it daily.

38. Believe people who are running for political office.

39. Make decisions based on the old “Once I have/Then I will” formula.

40. Base your identity/security on group acceptance.

41. Try to know a lot about all the things instead of ever going deep into one topic.

42. Ask yourself, “What will people think/say?” before you do anything.

43. Look for enemies. They’re everywhere. You’ll find them.

44. Assume that increasingly higher levels of formal education are equal to increasingly higher levels of actual intelligence.

45. Assume that increasingly higher levels of fame/money are equal to increasingly higher levels of knowledge/authority.

46. Try to keep track of the most worrying current threats. Maybe make a list.

47. Mull over your worst fears on a regular basis.

48. Expect all issues to be easily understood & defined with a clear right side and a definite wrong side.

49. Remember: you’re on the right side. Definitely. No question.

50. Avoid reading lists like this, or asking questions that don’t come with an easy-to-assemble answer.

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