The Curse of Inappropriate Expectations

An intolerance for the inevitable hard work of self-improvement sometimes comes down to inappropriate expectations. We need to be honest and realistic in what we expect from life, so that we don’t give up too easily or assume that we’re not talented enough to achieve our dreams.

The right way is seldom the easy way. When we understand that growth and evolution can be difficult, we become more resilient and succeed sooner. We must also accept that the good life is never without its share of difficulties. The easy life is a myth, and no matter who you are, you’ll need to make sacrifices before you can see the results you desire. These sacrifices are not an obstacle to what you want, but the way toward your goals.

We can cultivate a success mindset by understanding that short-term gratification can never compare to the satisfaction of achieving our goals in the long-term. You can also apply the uncover, remove, reduce, and transform rule to identify this fixed mindset, patiently replacing it with a willingness to tolerate discomfort, reducing the things we don’t need to tolerate, and finally transforming the intolerance for discomfort into a tolerance for only the right discomforts.

Aside from mindsets and retraining your beliefs, one way to have more self-discipline is to control and curate your environment. This is when we want to optimize our default decisions for self-discipline; in other words, make it easy to be good, and make it difficult to be bad. This is completely within your control.

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