Abhilash Purohit

Go out and embarrass yourself

Don’t be embarrassed about being embarrassed. Be embarrassed of always being praised.

– My school teacher, when I was 10 years old

I have been a big follower of this advice. As most people grow up, they are constantly taught a different kind of lesson. Practice hard before you get on a stage. Rehearse before you talk to your manager about a hike. Double-check before you commit to something publicly. Triple-check before you say something in an email to a client.

Whenever someone is attempting anything slightly risky, they hear someone say these things. Don’t embarrass yourself. You’re going to make yourself look like a fool. People will laugh at you – not with you. You’ll be the laughingstock. Many times it’s not even the others. We think like this about ourselves.

I have lived my life the exact opposite way. I want to give you some advice based on the life choices I have made: Chase embarrassment.

Go after difficult things. Put yourself through potential public humiliation. Do things you suck at. Learn stuff you’ll never use in life and talk about it to the world with confidence. Tell jokes that you know will bomb. Sing on stage when you know you’re not good enough.

Be brave enough to suck at something new. If you’re unwilling to be a clumsy beginner, you’ll never be a graceful master. These words I read on a random forward in a family WhatsApp group have a profundity I didn’t expect from a random forward in a family WhatsApp group.

It really is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the essence of a life well-lived. If all you ever did was stay in a safe shell of comfort, what is the point? If all your experiences are similar to each other, why bother? If you tell true stories about your experiences and no one says you’re making that stuff up, your experiences aren’t weird enough. Go have weirder experiences.

Life as an entrepreneur will teach you lots of lessons. It’ll teach you virtues like patience, willpower, and self-confidence. It’ll also teach you a few vices like stretching the truth. If you take yourself too seriously, it’ll consume you.

This is just the stuff I have done in the last 8 months: Learn and perform magic, become a painter, sing on a stage, go do standup comedy at an open mic, write a daily blog, compose music, participate in a marathon, teach something to kids in your apartment, deep clean every inch of your home, volunteer at a dog shelter, build a board game. And I have forgotten half the stuff.

Create a list of random ideas. List your deepest desires, your secret insecurities, and your worst fears. Give each one a week. Start spending an hour a day on them. And as soon as you can, publicly perform some aspect of it. If you can’t find a public forum for it, showcase it on your Instagram.

As time goes by, you’ll start craving this. Simultaneously, you’ll become better at new things. Those new things will find a way into your business. You’ll become better at sales because Sales is all about telling stories. You’ll have better personal stories for all occasions. Take my word for it.