Day 7 | On Poverty and Self-Discipline
Financial stress (or for that matter, all kinds of stress) diminishes your ability to delay gratification. Consequently, poor people find it harder to resist temptations. In the end, they get stuck in a vicious cycle — they can’t escape poverty because it imposes constant mental stress on them, which then leads them to making bad decisions — not only the financial ones, but also those relating to their health, relationships, and general future.
Day 6 | On Superhumans
It’s easy to forget this fact when you look at the accomplishments of the people who are changing the world around you. After all, they appear to be so perfect — extremely productive, intelligent, beautiful, creative, persistent, strong… and the list goes on.
Day 5 | On Enslavement to Self
It’s easy to delegate the responsibility for our lives and choices to other people.
It’s not your fault that you can’t stick to a diet — it’s because your friends constantly tempt you to grab something to eat with them.
Day 4 | On Creating Systems
A lot of people think that being self-disciplined means that you can sit in front of a delicious piece of cake and stare at it for hours without eating it. They think of resisting temptations as being like a knight defending his kingdom against the invader.
Day 3 | On Being a Human
Caving in to your temptations whenever you feel them emerge is like relinquishing your humanity, in a way. As an intelligent human being, you have an ability — and I daresay an obligation — to make decisions that are based on rational thinking, not on your instincts alone.
Day 2 | On Your Choices
Eat this greasy, high-calorie hamburger or prepare a healthy salad? Sleep in and barely get to work on time or wake up at 5 a.m. to work on your side business before going to work at your day job? Stop trying the moment you get rejected or swallow your pride and keep going, despite hearing “no” dozens of times?
Day 1 | On Living the Hard Way
Self-discipline means living your life the hard way: resisting temptations and instant gratification, in order to receive bigger and better rewards in the future. It’s certainly easier to avoid all kinds of discomfort and indulge yourself whenever you want, but in the end, all that you get from that approach is fleeting pleasure now at the expense of your future, which otherwise could have been much better.