Self-Hacking: The One Habit Separates The Successful From The Rest

Maarten van Doorn
Apr 29, 2018 · 6 min read

Willpower

It’s a bummer, but our mental capacities are not unlimited. What’s more, there is only one source of it. That means that every decision we make detracts from the same finite storage of precious thinking power.

Planning your behavior

Schematic existence is easy and hard at the same time.

Forcing yourself?

“Your only path to success is through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time.” — Darren Hardy

The other day, my Japanese flatmate told me he’d heard of this strategy and confessed to harboring resistance against it because, according to him, it feels like “forcing yourself”. What he meant to say was that removing behavioral possibilities (such as snoozing) from the life of your future self is an undesirable constraint on his or her freedom. One should not coerce his future self into doing something (such getting out of bed) he doesn’t “really” want to.

How to live the life you want

Living according to routines means taking long-term decisions that will shape your life like you want it to unfold, instead of succumbing to short-term gratification. By consciously arranging your own behavior, you’ll act like you want yourself to act.

How to have a meaningless life

If I would allow myself to be derailed by impulses that draw me away from the goal I’m pursuing and the means I have accordingly instructed myself to take, the distinction between my will and my momentary longings does not exist. If I am my urges, how valuable is my existence on this planet going to be?

Take responsibility for your life

Not having to deliberate about when, where and how you’re going to do whatever it is that you need to do, makes you more effective at it. In many areas of life, it pays off to be a person who acts automatically.


There’s more to that

If you’re looking for more hacks, please subscribe to my personal blog. You’ll get a weekly dose of similarly mind-expanding ideas.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 320,131+ people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.

Image for post
Image for post

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +686K people. Follow to join our community.

Sign up for Top Stories

By The Startup

A newsletter that delivers The Startup's most popular stories to your inbox once a month. Take a look

Create a free Medium account to get Top Stories in your inbox.

Maarten van Doorn

Written by

PhD philosophy. Essays about why we believe what we do, how societies come to a public understanding about truth, and how we might do better (crazy times)

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +686K people. Follow to join our community.

Maarten van Doorn

Written by

PhD philosophy. Essays about why we believe what we do, how societies come to a public understanding about truth, and how we might do better (crazy times)

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +686K people. Follow to join our community.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store