Five years ago I watched some good friends look at a photo of them in high school and croon about the self they saw in the photo. They marveled at how skinny they used to be and barely recognized the body they only recently ceased to inhabit. It struck me as ugly.

At some point, we all pull the ripcord and give in to Ben & Jerry. We all pour ourselves down the funnel cake drain. But, not in our twenties, right? This is supposed to be the time we look back on. It's too soon to let ourselves go. We're stuck with these pieces of shit for the next sixty years, longer if science pulls its weight. Why not take care of them?

So I started going to the gym and biking to work.

Five years later I can look back at photos of myself from any point in my life and not wish for a time machine. People ask me how I make myself go to the gym, eat well, and bike instead of driving. It isn't discipline. It is simply the fact that I find the feeling of my jeans molesting my thighs more aversive than a spinach salad. I don't have to try. I believe that feeling comfortable in my body is more important than that second doughnut. I believe the lack of shame and insecurity I feel when I take off my shirt before sex is better than any ice cream in existence.

Values reveal themselves. They show up on your doorsteps, invite themselves in, and sleep in your bed. They don't give a fuck if you like sleeping on the couch. That's where you go now. Nietzsche once wrote, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." If we truly believe in our project, adherence is easy. Discipline only rears its ugly head in our second order desires. Do we want to want X? In these matters, discipline can grease the wheels, but is rarely sustainable. We must simply be convinced of the righteousness of our project. If you don't work out, it isn't important you. If you don't play the guitar, it doesn't matter to you. If you cheat on your spouse, they didn't matter to you. Actions reveal character; what we mumble in-between is worthless.

Look at what you do to know who you are. If you don't like what you see, don't say a word. Don't tell anyone. Just be differently.

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