UCWG 040: What if You Could Design Your Own Country? Starting a Sovereign Nation from Scratch with Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland.

Vít Jedlička is the president of the world’s youngest country. His new micronation, the Free Republic of Liberland, is only three square miles in size. It was established in April 2016 in an area between Croatia and Serbia which had been unclaimed by either country for many years. Unlike other emerging territories on Earth, there are no other claims to ownership on the land Liberland has been established on.

Founded primarily on libertarian values, the nation of Liberland is designed to cater to people who do not identify with the values of the place they were arbitrarily born into. Vít believes that people everywhere should be free to set up lives for themselves where they are free to live how they want, in line with their preferences and values. For most people in the world, their nationality and cultural values define their behavior and opportunities more than any other single factor in their lives. Without extraordinary effort to take these matters into their own hands by moving outside their culture and acquiring new nationalities, they remain slave to the social conditions of their birth.

What defines a nation today is nothing more than an arbitrary agreement among world powers of which boundaries matter and which do not. Throughout the world, there are over 100 areas which are considered disputed territories or demi-nations. Each is fighting for recognition among the leading world powers that are always in flux and generally taken for granted. The world does not have to look the way that it does, ruled by the groups that currently claim the power to make rules and raise armies to enforce their views. With changes in technology and philosophy, the layout of the world will evolve rapidly.

In its short lifespan, Liberland has acquired nearly half a million applicants for citizenship through its merit system, which will eventually award passports and citizenship to those who provide significant value for the development of the country. The team behind Liberland currently has the task of determining which of the many applicants adhere properly to the values they have declared for the nation, and which have earned the right to call themselves citizens by the time they are ready to start operating as an official part of the world political landscape.

Liberland is slowly being developed with physical structures and community activities, though it is still difficult to access the land. Currently, Croatia prevents entry into Liberland. In doing so, they are acknowledging that Liberland is a separate nation from itself. If Vít and his team go through the proper channels to establish their nationhood, Liberland will someday be respected by existing world powers as a real nation. Whether or not that ever happens, right now it still stands for an important principle of freedom and individual choice in how cultures evolve. Someday, nations will be far smaller and more personalized than the 196 monoliths we have now. Someday, they nations may be obsolete entirely.


Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Things mentioned:




Vít Jedlička




Montevideo Convention, rules for starting a country:



List of disputed territories in the world:



Artsakh, between Armenia and Azerbaijan:





Abkhazia, Georgia:








Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization:



UCWG 039: How Do You Take the First Step of the Exceptional Path? Overcoming the Burden of Lifestyle Choice and Arriving at Your Own Authentic Values.

A regular listener of Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory joins the show to have an emotionally vulnerable discussion about breaking away from the ordinary life she is trapped in. She learns that as much as she knows what she doesn’t want from her life, she has never seriously considered what she actually values. She has had no rational way to take the first step away from familiarity and embrace the unknown.

The nature of living in a complex society is such that it seems nearly impossible to extricate your life from the constantly moving pieces of the machinery you have grown to live as part of. Stay stuck in the motion too long, and it becomes impossible to envision what your life can look like beyond its boundaries. As a result, even the people who begin to realize that there is more to their identity than what they have been told can never figure out how to take the meaningful first step away from the life they already know. They only know that that do not want to repeat the defining values they already know.

This idle suffering, if it persists for too long, can bring an exceptional young person to madness. In one form or another, they must begin to make meaningful decisions in the pursuit of their personal values. Above all, these choices must move out of the realm of concepts and into actions that challenge them, physical, mentally, and emotionally all at once. That is the only way they see what remains true for them in the face of great challenge.

The point of having values is to segregate and evaluate what actions to take out of all possible choices. Your values define for you what is right and wrong, what will bring you the deepest sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If you are never placed in a position to think with your own agency and arrive at a new choice with your values, you will always default to the values others have implanted within you. They have already made a million major and minor choices, so you don’t have to.

When you know the nature of your values, you will be able to reverse engineer the actions you can take, out of all possible actions, which will bring you closer to the embodiment of your values in your life. When you are thrust into the uncomfortable unknown, you will find that you have to make a choice. The nature of that choice will reveal who you fundamentally are.

In order to be able to make any sort of meaningful choice at all, you first need one vital thing as the foundation of your actions, and it is something notably missing in young people today (especially young women): self-worth. Without confidence in your wants and your abilities, you will never do anything new at all. This is the primordial step away from the life you already know: to believe in yourself so well that no matter what happens, you trust you will always thrive in the infinite uncertainty of the universe at large.

UCWG 037: How Can Losing Your Sight Enhance the Clarity of Your Mind? Using Blindness to Overcome Cognitive Bias with Isaac Lidsky, Author of Eyes Wide Open

Perception is never a passive process to take in the objective truth of the reality around you. In every moment, you are making educated guesses to construct an internal, conceptual understanding of the world. You frequently mistake this conception for the genuine article. You take this for granted.

Isaac Lidsky went from being a successful teenage actor on TV to losing his sight and learning to reassess every unconscious assumption he had about life as a result. Isaac contends that going blind the way that he did is one of the best things that ever could have happened to him, as he learned to see his life beyond the illusions of his mind that would have kept him a prisoner of bad luck and circumstance.

As Isaac began to lose his sight gradually over the course of more than a decade, he gained uncommon insight into the layers of meaning his mind automatically added to his perception. As micro blind spots formed in his vision, his brain would do everything it could to immediately compensate for them, often with wildly inaccurate guesses (such as perceiving a urinal as a sink in a bathroom).

The mind is always attempting to sort incoming stimuli into the categories it knows. When the old categories we carry are not adequate for new types of information, we run into conflict with reality. We cease to be able to communicate with each other. We make terrible choices about what to do with our lives because we cannot align our actions with what is real. As Isaac had to learn how to reinterpret his most fundamental perceptions of the world, he took less and less for granted about the way his mind worked. For that reason, he is thankful for the new outlook being blind gave him.

Even in communicating with other people, there are so many signals we take for granted in the subtle realm. We may completely overlook body language, tone, etc., or rely on them too much and form faulty assumptions from what we think we perceive in the many nuances of how someone presents themselves. The easiest way to clarify the true meaning of communication is to break concepts down to their simplest possible terms (“explain like I’m five), or clearly outline the premises behind an evaluation.

If a blind person were to enter a building having been told an inaccurate layout of its structure, his false impressions would conflict with his experience and make it impossible for him to get where he was trying to go. Instead, if he went in knowing nothing, he would be able to derive the truth of the situation through his own unbiased observation. The same is true with everything we ever do in life, as we are all blind and, yet, mostly unaware of our disability. We refuse to draw new categories when our blindness creates obstacles, and so we suffer without end.


Isaac Lidsky, Eyes Wide Open, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory

Isaac Lidsky, Eyes Wide Open, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory

Isaac Lidsky:




Eyes Wide Open by Isaac Lidsky:



Isaac Lidsky “What reality are you creating for yourself?” TED talk:



Travel As Transformation by Gregory Diehl:



Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl:



Isaac Lidsky on The Doctors explaining his blindness:


Isaac Lidsky playing Weasel Weasel on Saved By The Bell: The New Class:

UCWG 036: Isn’t Life Coaching Kind of Bullshit? Finding the Good in an Infamous Industry with Marc Mawhinney of Natural Born Coaches.

Life coaching is an industry notoriously rampant with frauds and con artists who spout magic and creates cycles of dependency in the clients who come to them for help with their personal problems. They rarely teach systematic solutions and genuinely help people reach new levels of independent thinking. Their income depends on their clients coming back to them over and over for more coaching, instead of moving on to greater things.

Marc Mawhinney is a coach who coaches coaches, helping them build better business models and promote themselves in their quests to tell other people how to live. He joins Gregory to discuss what’s right and what’s wrong with this strange and modern industry.

According to Marc, a professional coach is just someone who helps someone else accomplish a specific goal. Marc believes that coaches who offer real value in the attainment of strategic goals should price their services on packages related to those goals, not act as an ongoing crutch for emotional support.

Lesser-known life coaches fall into the trap of mimicking the actions and personalities of the big players in the industry. After the release of Tony Robbins’ recent documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, coaches across the industry seemed to adopt his salty language and outgoing personality overnight.

Clients who seek out life coaches should work with them for a finite amount of time to overcome a specific obstacle, so that they avoid the temptation to fall into a dependency cycle with their influence. The goal of any truly good teacher, mentor, guru, or master is to obsolete himself, so that his student, mentee, apprentice, or Padawan rises up to replace or surpass him. Even parents are subject to addiction to their social authority, being unwilling to step back when the time is right.

The coaching industry, as a whole, is suspicious because legitimately talented guides are lumped into the same category as overhyped motivational speakers, deluded people channelling fallacious spiritual entities, cult phenomenon, and outright con artists. The good teachers who are in a position to help people make huge leaps forward in their personal lives become overshadowed and stereotyped.

The single most important qualification a life coach can have is not their age, their price, their popularity, or any specific certification. It is their success at a specific task they claim to have mastery with. If they have done the thing you wish to be able to do, and have the skill of teaching, it may be a worthwhile endeavour to learn from them. The coach either  needs to have completed a difficult journey pertaining to


Marc Mawhinney, Natural Born Coaches

Marc Mawhinney, Natural Born Coaches


Things mentioned:


Natural Born Coaches:



The Coaching Jungle Facebook group:



The Landmark Forum:



Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler:



Tony Robbins’ I Am Not Your Guru documentary:




Abraham Hicks:


UCWG 026: How Do You Experience Intimacy with the Various People in Your Life? Consciously Forming the Right Kinds of Relationships with Simone Sauter.

Simone Sauter is a veteran of Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory. After her last appearance in UCWG 007: Why Do You Believe What You Believe About Relationships? she is back to talk about her concept of relationships has changed in her own life and in what she has seen in the lives of the clients she works with as a heartbreak coach. This time, we go far beyond conventional romantic intimacy and approach the subject on a larger sociological level.

Gregory discusses his recent unceremonious removal from the Dynamite Circle, the online entrepreneur community that originally brought he and Simone together as friends and conversation partners. After writing an unfavorable review of the professional services of one of the community’s more prominent members following a bad business experience, the community founder decided to remove Gregory with little explanation.

Gregory and Simone use this unfortunate experience as a launchpad to discuss how individuals and organizations can operate on premises of pretending that what is true is not true. This method of operation always proves unsuccessful and unsustainable in the long-run, as censorship can only temporarily delay the inevitable.

Sometimes we have to make a choice between what is true and what is comfortable. We also need to choose what kind of people we bring into our lives once we know where our allegiance falls. If you’re not authentic with yourself and the people you want to serve, your life becomes divided into a series of false stories you want to tell. The space between you and reality widens further as time goes on.

Nobody should be immune to challenge. Authentic people and businesses should welcome tests of authenticity. Integrity is doing the right thing regardless of social consequences (or lack thereof).

In order for a community of any size or kind to operate, the participating members must agree on certain fundamental values and relationship dynamics. Do you consciously choose the principles by which you interact with the people in your life? What qualified someone to be part of your life? How does this change for differing levels of intimacy and function?

To understand what makes for a good relationship of any kind, you have to understand your own operating principles (whether they are deal-breakers or mere preferences). To have a fulfilling sex life, you must understand your own sexual nature. Women are the most frequent victims of not having had the opportunity to discover their own sexual nature. If you don’t know your own sexual nature, how is your partner supposed to? One of the worst sexual experiences for a man is to not be able to read the responses of his female sexual partner. Women never learn about their own nature, and thus cannot share this vital part of themselves with their partners.

Intimacy is the dissolution of barriers between separate parties. Guard yourself against excessive intimacy when it is not safe to remove your barriers. Allow yourself to become intimate with those who align with your principles – physically, mentally, emotionally, and everything inbetween.

Simone Sauter - From Pain to Power

Simone Sauter – From Pain to Power

Websites mentioned:
Simone Sauter’s relationship coaching services, From Pain To Power:

Simone Sauter’s first appearance on Uncomfortable conversations: https://gregorydiehl.net/ucwg-007-believe-relationships-resetting-conceptions-love-romance/

The Dynamite Circle digital nomad community:

Gregory Diehl’s unfavorable review of a Dynamite Circle member:

UCWG 025: What Would it Take to Destroy You? Breaking Out of the Prison of Comfort with Stacy Cross and The Comfort Killers.

The necessary first step to personal development is removing yourself from comfort, but very few so-called personal development leaders acknowledge this in their methodology. They keep their devotees steeped in comfort and enthusiasm. What many people miss is that the willingness to be unhappy is what increases your overall capacity for happiness.

Stacy Cross is a personal and entrepreneurial development coach who founded The Comfort killers. Stacy received an email one day from a stranger deriding her for all the lifestyle mistakes she was making. That email became the seed for rapid personal transformation. She has embraced discomfort as a lifestyle and used it as a tool to overcome gambling addiction and change her entire lifestyle. Now she helps other people do the same with their own lives.

Social cohesion can be the enemy to personal development if you allow other people’s stories about you to replace your own self-awareness. Social sacrifices must be made to embrace one’s own development as their highest priority. Be willing to lose the relationships which once defined you.

True transformation is when you change your unconscious way of acting in the world. New ideas must pass through the barriers of conscious acknowledgment to become a part of you.

Addiction is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a powerful form of passion and enthusiasm. You only need to monitor how you apply for beneficial things throughout your life. It’s not the action that matters. It’s your mindset about what you’re doing in the end.

The fastest way to the truth is to cut off exits and remove all distractions. When we look back on our old selves, we can often find the seeds of the person we were going to eventually become. There is some consistency to who we really are.

At a certain point in development, there are very few mentors and gurus to guide you to the next step in the path. No one else has taken your step. At this point, you must become your own guru and find your own path, or else you are just wallowing in distraction. When the book you need to read next doesn’t exist, it’s time for you to write that book.

What can you uniquely contribute that a specific type of person will find to be just the thing they needed to progress to their next level?

Stacy Cross, The Comfort Killers

Stacy Cross, The Comfort Killers


Websites mentioned:

The Comfort Killers: http://thecomfortkillers.com/

Comfort Killers Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecomfortkillers/

Stacy Cross’ email: hello@thecomfortkillers.com

UCWG 024: What are the Processes and Objectives of Your Transformational Journey? 10 years and 100 Life Goals Accomplished by Tal Gur.

Tal Gur, Fully Lived

Tal Gur, Fully Lived

Tal Gur is an author and personal development professional who recently completed a transformational journey of spending 10 years accomplishing 100 specific goals around the world. He started at 31, and is now ready to share what he learned in his upcoming autobiographical book, The Art of Fully Living: One Man, Ten Years, a Hundred Life Goals.

Tal devoted each year of his decade-long journey to a different aspect of his personal transformation. He learned that going to uncomfortable extremes could teach him more than staying in the comfortable middle of any domain.

Transformation is not random or spontaneous. It is cumulative and logical. We move in sequence from one change to another according to patterns and rules. Most people are not in tune with their own minds, bodies, and emotions, so they do not know the right path for themselves. Tal had to learn through his many trials how to get in tune with himself to find his authentic core.

Not everyone has to spend 10 years pursuing 100 goals to find themselves. The journey is different for everyone. You have to be curious. You have to be willing to go on your journey, whatever it is. Not everyone needs to know themselves deeply to be happy. But for others, it is the only option.

We all create our lifestyle and our goals based on the timescale through which we evaluate our lives. What would you do if you only had one day left to live? A decade? Forever? Your actions can be defined by processes or objectives, journeys or destinations.


Websites mentioned:

Tal Gur’s website, Fully Lived: http://fullylived.com/

Gregory Diehl’s book, Travel As Transformation: http://amzn.to/2fDzgkM

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Sisyphus comic strip: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3259

UCWG 022: What Would It Take for You to Kill Yourself? The Futility of Trying to be Bigger than Your Own Death.

Danny Flood, Open World Magazine

Danny Flood, Open World Magazine

Danny Flood is a writer, entrepreneur, and world traveler who chronicles useful information about life through his website, Open World Magazine. He joins Gregory to discuss two recent deaths: a suicide by Gregory’s hometown friend and an adventurer named Justin Alexander who never made it back from one of his more dangerous trips.

Hope is the belief in random, positive change – the idea that the unknown future can be better than what you currently have. If you’re at the end of your rope, why not throw yourself into an experience you’ve never had before? What have you got to lose?

Our culture of death is to bury and get away from it as fast as possible because we cannot stand the reality of it. It doesn’t matter what people say about you when you are gone. It only matters how you perceive your own life. A better question to ask yourself is how the world will be different because you ever existed.

You forget 99.999% of the things that ever happen to you. Only the memories with strong emotional ties remain in your ongoing memory, whether positive or negative. What your brain decides is an important event worth remembering is mostly arbitrary.

You can figure out what you really care about by examining your strongest positive and negative emotional reactions, but only if you are willing to ignore social expectations of what you ought to care about.

Why do you feel like you need to leave a legacy after you’re gone? Why isn’t your life enough? Do you need to feel bigger than death?


Websites mentioned:

Justin Alexander, Adventures of Justin: http://adventuresofjustin.com/

Gregory Diehl’s podcast interview on Open World Mag: http://www.openworldmag.com/33-wandering-consultant-gregory-diehl/

UCWG 020: Does Your Profession Align with Your Purpose? Matching Actions with Identity.

Alexa Glo is a 28-year-old multinational seeker of identity and meaning in life. She and Gregory discuss the importance of putting down roots and solidifying your identity on earth through your actions, which often means your professional path in life.

Home is where you feel most like yourself. Being outside your home is what gives you the perspective to know your home. The contrast of being something other than what you are is ultimately what shows you what you are.

Purpose is a principle, not a specific task you perform. Tasks are defined by your culture, which is always changing. There is always another way to express your purpose. You perform your purpose because of the energy it gives you, not to fulfill a social role. You have to give people what they are ready for. They can only be ready for so much as any given time.

Professions are outdated concepts. There is no law of nature that says you have to spend your entire life in one kind of productive role, just as you do not have to live your whole life in one place. Being a professional just means you accept money for what you do. Your profession does not have to define you.

Psychological adulthood is taking full responsibility for your own life, when you can see the figures from your past as just ordinary things.

UCWG 014: What Keeps You Engaged in Reality? Finding Your Authentic Narrative.

Travis Barton is a life coach from California. He felt that he was trapped on a singular path as a young adult, until he discovered that he was about to rewrite his own narrative however he wanted. This lead him to question what it was he would do if he had no social pressure to follow any specific path. Travis invokes the Japanese concept of “ikigai” – combining what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for – into something resembling a purpose for the narrative in your life.

Other people often impose mental barriers on us because they are either jealous or they simply do not want to accept that the way they view things is incorrect. Gregory expresses his frustration at experiencing diminishing returns in personal growth by running out of mind-altering new experiences to pursue. He challenges Travis to challenge him. Does everything you ever do have to be part of your singular life mission? Or can it just be something you philosophically support?

One of Gregory’s purposes is to disrupt the way people think, hence the existence of this podcast and nearly everything else Gregory ever does. He needs his own new form of resistance and great challenge to feel alive. Life is too easy, and he grows through engagement with pain.

How do you know you have removed all barriers to living authentically?

What remains true for you in all circumstances?
Travis Barton’s website: http://www.travisbartonlife.com/

Identity Publications: http://identitypublications.com/

Travis Barton - Life Coach

Travis Barton – Life Coach