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HOT TOPIC How to break the cycle of "Hard times➡️Discipline➡️Good Times➡️Laziness➡️Hard Times"?

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Zarathustra

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There this famous adage, "Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men and weak men create hard times" has been applied widely to history (i.e. the rise and fall of Rome, the path of the United States, economic bubbles, etc)




I'm seeing parallels in this to the personal development side of things. Things generally are hard, then because they're hard I get strong and disciplined, then everything is good, but these good times invite laziness, then that laziness makes things hard again, on and on. This pattern occurs on multiple timescales (hours, days, months, and years) almost like a repeating fractal pattern.

How does one break this cycle? Any books/things to look at tangentially or directly related to this topic?
 

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BlindSide

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You can read books, but at the end of the day, the answer lies in your question. DISCIPLINE is how you break the cycle.

In general, people quit because things get difficult. Laziness is a sign of defeat more often than not, and a return to the comfort zone.

There is no magic answer to combating this, it's just that the answer isn't as comforting as they would like it to be.

Discipline will break the cycle. Practicing hard work will result in hard work.

If you really want to spend $5+ on books that will just give you the same answer and will delay your progress, I recommend Extreme Ownership. You probably already know what Jocko (the author) will say though..
 

Ayanle Farah

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You can read books, but at the end of the day, the answer lies in your question. DISCIPLINE is how you break the cycle.

In general, people quit because things get difficult. Laziness is a sign of defeat more often than not, and a return to the comfort zone.

There is no magic answer to combating this, it's just that the answer isn't as comforting as they would like it to be.

Discipline will break the cycle. Practicing hard work will result in hard work.

If you really want to spend $5+ on books that will just give you the same answer and will delay your progress, I recommend Extreme Ownership. You probably already know what Jocko (the author) will say though..
I've been hearing discipline my whole life, I still don't understand what it is, I've tried being disciplined and I failed everytime.

I don't know about you guys, but it's just not something I can sustain for very long. I might be disciplined one day, the next day I'm back to being lazy.

Discipline relies on willpower and willpower gets depleted quickly, it doesn't always work.

I think there is more to this discipline stuff than what everyone is saying. There is no way you can just force yourself through whatever, you're not superhuman, there has to be another answer.
 

BlindSide

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I've been hearing discipline my whole life, I still don't understand what it is, I've tried being disciplined and I failed everytime.

I don't know about you guys, but it's just not something I can sustain for very long. I might be disciplined one day, the next day I'm back to being lazy.

Discipline relies on willpower and willpower gets depleted quickly, it doesn't always work.

I think there is more to this discipline stuff than what everyone is saying. There is no way you can just force yourself through whatever, you're not superhuman, there has to be another answer.
You can only sustain discipline for one day? Good luck.

To me, it sounds like you don't have a plan in place to take repeated action daily towards your goals. If you don't have a path, then discipline won't matter. Wandering through the days will easily reinforce lazy habits, since you don't have a target.

Create a target. Create daily actions to move towards the target. Build the discipline to continue to attack the target, and the challenges you face.

Or.. act like the answer somehow hasn't already been left behind, and continue to search for the secret.
 

Ayanle Farah

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You can only sustain discipline for one day? Good luck.

To me, it sounds like you don't have a plan in place to take repeated action daily towards your goals. If you don't have a path, then discipline won't matter. Wandering through the days will easily reinforce lazy habits, since you don't have a target.

Create a target. Create daily actions to move towards the target. Build the discipline to continue to attack the target, and the challenges you face.

Or.. act like the answer somehow hasn't already been left behind, and continue to search for the secret.
I can make plans untill next year, it won't matter if I can't follow it consistently, you say discipline is all there is to it but I don't think so, I can only speak for myself but it only works in the short term.
 

Mainstream7

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Habit guys. Habit and consistency. And a bit of risk management.

If a habit truly aligns with your values, these habits will stay.
 
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RazorCut

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There is wisdom in the words 'motivation will get you started but discipline will see you through'.

However it is in fact consistent, relevant, worthwhile habits that actually sustain you and keep you on your course.

Look at it as a 100 mile journey. Motivation is the first 10 miles. Discipline will get you the next 30. But the longest part of the journey (70 miles in this analogy) is your habits taking you there.

The discipline is in building those habits. Once you have them then it is not discipline that keeps you going but the momentum of good habits that are so ingrained that much of what you do is on autopilot. Do you have to force yourself to clean your teeth in the morning? Take a shower after gym? Get undressed to go to bed?

Your problem seems to be you are changing your habits when the pressure relaxes. You are trading good habits for bad. You are treating life like someone on a diet. If you are on a diet then logically you intend to come off the diet at some point otherwise it wouldn't be a diet but a way of life.

If your habits are so intense that when things get easier you feel the need to take your foot of the gas then maybe your habits are just too extreme. You need a better balance in your life so you can maintain your habits regardless of your entrepreneurial position.

Many people are suckered in to thinking that all the top entrepreneurs work all hours and just grind, grind, grind. It's not sustainable, it's not healthy, and in most cases it's not actually true. So don't feel guilty if you are not working 60 hours a week or super efficient 24/7. Don't try to live up to standards that only exist on Instagram. You cannot maintain extreme nor should you try.
 

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I've been hearing discipline my whole life, I still don't understand what it is, I've tried being disciplined and I failed everytime.

I don't know about you guys, but it's just not something I can sustain for very long. I might be disciplined one day, the next day I'm back to being lazy.

Discipline relies on willpower and willpower gets depleted quickly, it doesn't always work.

I think there is more to this discipline stuff than what everyone is saying. There is no way you can just force yourself through whatever, you're not superhuman, there has to be another answer.
Discipline is useless when done one day in a row. it's useful when done every single day for a long stretch. But willpower makes you tired, so what do you do?

The answer is facilitation. You get started with motivation, but that's fleeting. Then you use discipline, but that's tiring. Facilitation is the act of making disciplined behavior less tiring. You lower the stress of disciplined behavior and over time, it becomes habitual.

Wanna get up early every morning to get work done & have some peace and quiet? Go to bed earlier so you're less tired in the morning. Set out your plan for the morning the night before. Have a routine; this way, you will feel weird if you don't do it.

Wanna eat healthier? Make your meals in advance and have them readily available when you need them. Now you don't have to order delivery or go out to eat. Make your healthy food tasty, so you'll look forward to it. Drink lots of water so you're not hungry all the time.

Wanna get into a gym habit? Do workouts that are the most fun for you. For cardio, some people like the treadmill whereas other people like pickup basketball.

Habit makes you into the person you are. If you come home from work and immediately veg out in front of the computer playing video games until midnight, and you do that almost every night, no wonder you've achieved nothing! But if you come home from work and immediately get to work on the tasks needed to move your business forward, then you'd be surprised what you will have achieved in 3 years.
 

Ayanle Farah

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There is wisdom in the words 'motivation will get you started but discipline will see you through'.

However it is in fact consistent, relevant, worthwhile habits that actually sustain you and keep you on your course.

Look at it as a 100 mile journey. Motivation is the first 10 miles. Discipline will get you the next 30. But the longest part of the journey (70 miles in this analogy) is your habits taking you there.

The discipline is in building those habits. Once you have them then it is not discipline that keeps you going but the momentum of good habits that are so ingrained that much of what you do is on autopilot. Do you have to force yourself to clean your teeth in the morning? Take a shower after gym? Get undressed to go to bed?

Your problem seems to be you are changing your habits when the pressure relaxes. You are trading good habits for bad. You are treating life like someone on a diet. If you are on a diet then logically you intend to come off the diet at some point otherwise it wouldn't be a diet but a way of life.

If your habits are so intense that when things get easier you feel the need to take your foot of the gas then maybe your habits are just too extreme. You need a better balance in your life so you can maintain your habits regardless of your entrepreneurial position.

Many people are suckered in to thinking that all the top entrepreneurs work all hours and just grind, grind, grind. It's not sustainable, it's not healthy, and in most cases it's not actually true. So don't feel guilty if you are not working 60 hours a week or super efficient 24/7. Don't try to live up to standards that only exist on Instagram. You cannot maintain extreme nor should you try.
Razorcut, you're absolutely right, this cleared up alot for me. Yes I like to stop doing work and take a break whenever I see a little progress.

I think it has to do with my habits not being aligned with my values. My reason for wanting to be an entrepreneur is so I don't have to work ever again.

Basically I only work so I can not do work.

Also I don't have any passion to be an entrepreneur, it's just a means to an end, if there was a better route to wealth, maybe I'd do that instead.

So yes I'm treating this as if it were a diet and intend to come off it once I "lose weight"/succeed.

If I'm going to make this a lifestyle then I need to find something I like about business that doesn't have to do with the end result.
 
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Get Right

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Also I don't have any passion to be an entrepreneur, it's just a means to an end, if there was a better route to wealth, maybe I'd do that instead.
So what do you want to do?
 

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So what do you want to do?
Good question, I've never been very interested in any career choice in particular except psychology(as kid though, I used to debate if I wanted to be an astronaut, a pilot or a policeman), then I went to uni, didn't like it at all and dropped out.

Before my high school graduation I thought to myself, how everything in life is for money, you go to school to get a job to earn money so you can live.

This was a year and a half before I came across the Millionaire Fastlane, I decided since everyone lives to get money in order to live(notice how stupid that sounds?), I'm just going to get so much money I don't ever have to think about it again.

Basically, what I want is to live a life where I can do anything without money being an issue, whether that's traveling or playing games all day or partying on monday.

I absolutely care about entrepreneurship, but I don't like it much because it's a different version of the same societal game of money.

The cool thing about it though, is that it has an exit, a way you can stop playing the game, that's where I'm going for.

Although I know I'm making it sound easy, it'll probably be the hardest thing I ever do.
I also know I sound really selfish, everyone wants the same thing basically, I definitely want to help those less fortunate but you can't give something you don't have and I can't help anyone if I can't help myself.

I'm going to change how I view entrepreneurship, find something I genuinely like about it, I know MJ is against following your passion but I think I'm going to need just that.
 

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Get Right

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Basically, what I want is to live a life where I can do anything without money being an issue, whether that's traveling or playing games all day or partying on monday.
You can do that now. Why do you need/want millions?
 

Get Right

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So I don't have to work the next day of course.
Why bother even working? You can travel the world by foot, play games all day on the government dole and probably have enough cash to get drunk on a Monday. Without doing ANYTHING.
 

Ayanle Farah

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Why bother even working? You can travel the world by foot, play games all day on the government dole and probably have enough cash to get drunk on a Monday. Without doing ANYTHING.
It's not the same, that kind of life is mediocre. Besides, I want to create a great life for my family and be an inventor in my spare time once I'm rich, I'll be able to fund my own projects and I won't do it for money, not even to make it widespread, just as a hobby. I also want to get involved with space exploration, find an angle where I can contribute and I won't do that for money either, I also want to find an effective solution for poor people around the world.

However, my motivation to live and do what I want without money being an issue is my strongest reason atm, that's what got me started on entrepreneurship. I get most motivation from that, even if that's not what's most important to me(creating a great life for my family comes first).
 

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However, my motivation to live and do what I want without money being an issue...
You realize money will always be an issue, right?

There's just different sets of issues at different income levels, debt levels, etc.

I think this is why it's SO important for people to get passed the love/hate relationship with money.

Life isn't about money. It's about why we earn the money. Money is just a tool. A means to an end...not the end itself.

II'll be able to fund my own projects and I won't do it for money, not even to make it widespread, just as a hobby. I also want to get involved with space exploration, find an angle where I can contribute and I won't do that for money either, I also want to find an effective solution for poor people around the world.
Ideas for space exploration...
Helping the poor...

You realize these noble goals take vast amounts of money, right?

I want to create a great life for my family
Also takes significant amounts of money.

My impression from your posts is that you hate money.

But if money can buy:

A good life for your family
Fund your inventing things
Fund your contributing to space exploration
Fund helping the poor

Why is money something to be hated?

Yes, there are parts of the system we have that make's it easy to hate money. But "money" is just a standardized version of trade, which IMO will always exist in mankind and is not an artificially created construct, but rather part of human nature.
 

Get Right

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I want to create a great life for my family
Ok, now we are getting somewhere. We have a "why" to work with.

Now, how much money do you think it will take to "create a great life for my family".
 

Ayanle Farah

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You realize money will always be an issue, right?

There's just different sets of issues at different income levels, debt levels, etc.

I think this is why it's SO important for people to get passed the love/hate relationship with money.

Life isn't about money. It's about why we earn the money. Money is just a tool. A means to an end...not the end itself.



Ideas for space exploration...
Helping the poor...

You realize these noble goals take vast amounts of money, right?



Also takes significant amounts of money.

My impression from your posts is that you hate money.

But if money can buy:

A good life for your family
Fund your inventing things
Fund your contributing to space exploration
Fund helping the poor

Why is money something to be hated?

Yes, there are parts of the system we have that make's it easy to hate money. But "money" is just a standardized version of trade, which IMO will always exist in mankind and is not an artificially created construct, but rather part of human nature.
I don't really hate money, I hate that money or lack thereof limits what you can do in life, it stands in the way between you and everything you want.

Most people never get past the "need to pay bills", "not enough money for this" phase and they die before they truly lived because money boxed them in and killed them long before they were buried.

Getting rich will allow me to put that stuff behind me, so you're right, it's just a means to an end.
 

Ayanle Farah

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Ok, now we are getting somewhere. We have a "why" to work with.

Now, how much money do you think it will take to "create a great life for my family".
Atleast in the 7 figures, it's the most important thing to me although I'm happy to say we already live a good, stable life, so it's not a desperate goal, it's just something I want to be able to provide.
 

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Money allows you to remove a huge amount of pain and misery from your life, meaning that even if you're not great, at least you won't feel terrible every day. So, if you can't get motivated and driven by the idea of what money can get you, imagine being able to remove much of the pain and misery that your wife, mother, father, and children feel. That's what primarily drives me.
 

Get Right

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Atleast in the 7 figures
Ok, so 1M$ to "create a great life for my family". There are already plenty of $1M entrepreneurs in the world. So what do they know that you don't?

Obviously, how to make $1m. So let's break this down into individual words:

How - You are going to have to learn something.
Make - You are going to have to do something.
$1M - You are going to have to change your relationship with money.

And you'll have to do all 3, no skipping a part.

So the question now is - Are you willing to sacrifice your comfortable life to become a different person in order to "create a great life for my family"?
 

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Ayanle Farah

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Ok, so 1M$ to "create a great life for my family". There are already plenty of $1M entrepreneurs in the world. So what do they know that you don't?

Obviously, how to make $1m. So let's break this down into individual words:

How - You are going to have to learn something.
Make - You are going to have to do something.
$1M - You are going to have to change your relationship with money.

And you'll have to do all 3, no skipping a part.

So the question now is - Are you willing to sacrifice your comfortable life to become a different person in order to "create a great life for my family"?
Yeah I'm ready.
 

Ayanle Farah

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Awesome, start a progress thread. Show us you're ready.
Already have a progress thread. I'm going to do Ecommerce but I'm short on money atm so I'm planning on doing some freelance gigs to earn the kind of money needed to buy units, inventory etc.
I'm currently going through a youtube web design tutorial for wordpress which I'm going to learn and market on sites like upwork, fiverr etc.

I may even come here and offer free work to some members for a portfolio. It's been a challenge being consistent with my plan though and it goes back to the conversation in this thread.

I've decided that I need to make myself like what I'm doing to be consistent at it.
 

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It's been a challenge being consistent with my plan though and it goes back to the conversation in this thread.
That's basically what I'm trying to tell you (and the others told you) in your progress thread (Yes, I read your "progress" thread). You don't have a plan. If a plan is put in front of you, you seam to dismiss it. We are all rooting for you but you aren't making it easy.

I think I've said enough here, my hope for you one day is that you might hear us.
 

Ayanle Farah

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That's basically what I'm trying to tell you (and the others told you) in your progress thread (Yes, I read your "progress" thread). You don't have a plan. If a plan is put in front of you, you seam to dismiss it. We are all rooting for you but you aren't making it easy.

I think I've said enough here, my hope for you one day is that you might hear us.
What is a plan to you? Imo I think I already have a plan, isn't what I already described good enough?
 

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There this famous adage, "Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men and weak men create hard times" has been applied widely to history (i.e. the rise and fall of Rome, the path of the United States, economic bubbles, etc)




I'm seeing parallels in this to the personal development side of things. Things generally are hard, then because they're hard I get strong and disciplined, then everything is good, but these good times invite laziness, then that laziness makes things hard again, on and on. This pattern occurs on multiple timescales (hours, days, months, and years) almost like a repeating fractal pattern.

How does one break this cycle? Any books/things to look at tangentially or directly related to this topic?
If thats happening then that person didn't have any actual good habits to begin with, they were just relying on "white knuckling" through with willpower.

The solution is daily habits some of which aren't even related to the end goal. Like, do you return the shopping cart to the little cart rack everytime you go to the store? probably not, few do. The person that does do that though? you can be damn sure thats bleeding over into other life areas

Same principle with making the bed in the morning, objectively its pointless. Looks nice, rooms cleaner "looking" but functionally you just wasted time. However , the person who makes their bed every morning probably doesn't flake on some small important detail in their business life.
 

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I was also stuck in a similar loop. I can tell you how I got out of it, but I do not think you will like this answer.

I noticed that I was acting like a little bit*ch and then I started to correct my ļittle-bit*ch behaviors.

You got to understand a couple of very important things. And I mean really, really understand.

1. Time is fuc*ing limited. It will not go on forever. You are dying at this moment. If you are not satisfied with your current situation there is only one answer - discipline. Do you respect time? You are not immortal. If you have time to give to useless stuff you are making a big, big mistake. You are basically spitting in face of opportunity to be alive. I believe there is no such thing as discipline. What? Yeah, If you really want something to change then do everything you can to succeed. If that means adapting certain habits, it is disrespect to yourself to disregard such action. Remember. Your life can stop at every moment. You do not have the luxury to whine. Death is enevitable. Respect your time.

2. Habits are ultra important. Habit is the golden key to freedom. Adapt as many helpful habits as possible. Oh, you cannot stick to them? Well, then it means you do not really respect neither your life, nor your time.

3. Make incremental improvements. You do not have to become Chuck Norris of discipline in just one day. Discipline takes time. Keep pushing your ''discipline-comfort zone''. A bit more discipline day by day is good enough. It is unrealistic to suddenly become ultra disciplined, just like You cannot bench 300lbs, without long term dedication to training.

However, at the end of the day it all comes down to one question.

Do you like to be a little-bit*ch slave? If no then You will do everything in your power to break out of every bullshit behavior, which keeps you enslaved and you will develop discipline. Otherwise, enjoy your chains of consumption and laziness.
 
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Zarathustra

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I recommend Extreme Ownership. You probably already know what Jocko (the author) will say though..
Read the first bit of this book and saw it more as a team leadership book (doesn't apply to me yet as I'm a solopreneur). But will push through it on audio while I eat and travel.

It seems like the general consensus in this thread is the same old not so pleasant advice around discipline. It's hard and takes work, dedication, strategy, and practice.
 

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I was also stuck in a similar loop. I can tell you how I got out of it, but I do not think you will like this answer.

I noticed that I was acting like a little bit*ch and then I started to correct my ļittle-bit*ch behaviors.

You got to understand a couple of very important things. And I mean really, really understand.

1. Time is fuc*ing limited. It will not go on forever. You are dying at this moment. If you are not satisfied with your current situation there is only one answer - discipline. Do you respect time? You are not immortal. If you have time to give to useless stuff you are making a big, big mistake. You are basically spitting in face of opportunity to be alive. I believe there is no such thing as discipline. What? Yeah, If you really want something to change then do everything you can to succeed. If that means adapting certain habits, it is disrespect to yourself to disregard such action. Remember. Your life can stop at every moment. You do not have the luxury to whine. Death is enevitable. Respect your time.

2. Habits are ultra important. Habit is the golden key to freedom. Adapt as many helpful habits as possible. Oh, you cannot stick to them? Well, then it means you do not really respect neither your life, nor your time.

3. Make incremental improvements. You do not have to become Chuck Norris of discipline in just one day. Discipline takes time. Keep pushing your ''discipline-comfort zone''. A bit more discipline day by day is good enough. It is unrealistic to suddenly become ultra disciplined, just like You cannot bench 300lbs, without long term dedication to training.

However, at the end of the day it all comes down to one question.

Do you like to be a little-bit*ch slave? If no then You will do everything in your power to break out of every bullshit behavior, which keeps you enslaved and you will develop discipline. Otherwise, enjoy your chains of consumption and laziness.
I've also always struggled with this problem and can FULLY relate to the OP because I know how tough it can be. Kybalion, I 100% agree with everything you said: it's about discipline and habits.

I'd also like to add on a few points that have personally helped me stay motivated over longer periods of time:

One is MJ's concept of a feedback loop. If your customers are giving you positive feedback or if you're making good money, your feedback loop is fired and you become passionate about what you're doing. If you struggle with motivation, it may mean you don't have any positive feedback. Focus on one idea at a time and make it work. Eventually your feedback loop will fire and you will have no problem getting the work done.

Secondly is a little hack: I printed out a life chart: basically it's a chart of 70-90 boxes, each representing a year of your life. Cross off all the years you've lived. So, for example, if you're 37, then cross off the first 37 boxes.
Underneath this life chart, write down your financial goals, then write down the consequences if you don't achieve this goal. An example is "if I don't make $500k a year by 2023, my parents will retire in poverty"

Put this chart up on your wall and set a reminder on your phone to read it at the same time every night. It's amazing what it does to get you all fired up!

But apart from that, it's straight discipline and habits. If being disciplined were easy, everyone would be rich!
 

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