Intro to self-discipline

Turns out the underpinning knowledge of complex self-behaviorism like “habit chains” and “free energy from transitions” is not obvious. So, here’s the how part. This post is the why part.

All desirable things can be used as ends to motivate behavior changes. When we act impulsively, it’s to satisfy short-term desires. When we act deliberately, it’s to satisfy long-term desires. If you can’t be arsed with long-term desires, it’s usually because your short-term situation has sucked for long enough that you’ve given up on a relatively deep level. If someone were stuck underground for ten years, they’d be very impulsive. But they’d get a huge rush of elation just from seeing the sun, and this dopamine association would motivate behavior in the future. This is a very basic need that was going unmet.

You have more deficiencies than I do, in all likelihood. On a macro scale, in terms of human needs, you’re missing more of the ingredients that make for a happy person. You can sometimes work out what basic needs are missing in your life from your impulses, as explained here. Then again, a lot of people are just really impulsive (like blacks) and can never be anything else. If you’ve been highly self-disciplined in the past, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re capable of self-discipline within the proper environment.

So to trick your emotions back into long-term focus, you use short-term desires as micro-rewards to train behaviors with predictable long-term payoffs. Make sense? Example: Long term I want to wake up every day at 5 AM and exercise. To start, I wake up every day and dress in exercise clothes…then undress and take a shower. But if I do that first step I get a treat. Eventually it becomes a habit that’s easier to follow than to break. This is how you build the systems that Scott Adams talks about.

If you have questions please ask them so I can figure out where people are starting from.


About Aeoli Pera

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19 Responses to Intro to self-discipline

  1. MM says:

    To have long-term focus you must have FOCUS, period.
    Everything meets the law of diminishing returns.
    Are you “learning”, or being entertained?
    Does spending your time in further analysis instead of action justify the opportunity cost of part of your ONE life?

    • glosoli says:

      ‘Everything meets the law of diminishing returns.’

      Nope, not everything.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Nothing meaningful diminishes, but practically speaking everything does.

        • glosoli says:

          ‘Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.’

          • MM says:

            Are you capable of anything outside of castigating and acting holier-than-thou?

            • glosoli says:


              1. to criticize or reprimand severely.
              2. to punish in order to correct.

              Someone’s had a soft upbringing, and a poor education too. A bloodline doomed methinks, in the long run.

            • MM says:

              Look up the Latin roots, ROTH.
              Glosoli’s false act of superiority online is a smokescreen for being one of life’s GREAT FAILURES!

            • glosoli says:

              Capital letters and an exclamation mark.
              Teenage rhetoric I assume?

              I’m exactly the same offline as online, and will be judged on the success or failure of my life at its end, though not by the metrics you might use. It’s a constant struggle to be sure.

            • MM says:

              >I’m exactly the same offline as online
              You’re a greater failure than I imagined

            • glosoli says:

              I am the world champion at failure, it’s a miracle I can press these little black buttons on this machine thing.

              It’s cool that you spend imagination energy on me, thanks.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Willpower is extremely finite and unreliable. Perspective is better. You should read the book in the first link if you can find a cheap copy, the first chapter deals with this.

      • MM says:

        That’s the whole point of focus(perspective being a synonym of focus as well)…
        Additionally, switching between tasks eats up willpower and wastes time.

  2. Santoculto says:

    When we reach the existential depression we become more short term than long term because life become too weighted to be lived tomorrow if we can/must live it now. But too much impulsivity increase progressively the engagement in high risk behaviors so it’s recommendable mediate this multiple gratifications we usually search everyday.

    By now I’m quite happy firstly because I stop to be self neurotic or with lower self esteem and because by non fully understood ways I started to mimic a little bit a intrapersonal psychopathic/anti social moral system which are quite hedonist. My neuroticism or my intense willing to analyze things and to follow ideals, before intraverted, since some years It became extra-verted. One of the greatest sources of unhappiness is the internalization of guilt. No doubt when you do it, your life becoming unhappy because you’re already bad with yourself, you already have problems in your own roots. Just like when the mother cell is corrupted. All others will be too. It’s a generalized psychological intoxication. Don’t do it with you.

    Vividness is something I have and contribute to make me emotionally stable and unstable. At the same time I’m quite conformist and relaxed but also anxious. Maybe a internal conflict on me but it help me a lot in a set of things for example be more creative.

    • glosoli says:

      Your poor mother, it’s bad enough being in jail, but to have a corrupted cell too, horrible.
      What was her crime I wonder?

      • Santoculto says:

        No no. I don’t understand what it mean -_-

        • kensuimo says:

          He seems to have been making an absurdist joke, interpreting “mother cell” as implying that your mother has been imprisoned and making implications from that extrapolation, rather than working within your metaphor.

          • Santoculto says:

            Jeez… i’m understand fairly what you said, but….

            sometimes my psychotic/paranoid feelings mix with my autistic/literality feelings,

            jesus, mary and joseph

      • Santoculto says:

        Do you can explain it above at least in this year?

  3. kensuimo says:

    “You have more deficiencies than I do, in all likelihood. On a macro scale, in terms of human needs, you’re missing more of the ingredients that make for a happy person.”

    Based on your status as bigocc TT, or generalizable RNG traits with which you got lucky?

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