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On Codes of Conduct, Lies, and Dropping Bad Habits

If you don’t have principles, values, and rules you put up for yourself, you miss an anchor. Life will toss you around like an unlucky seagull in a hurricane. Instead of being the master of your life, you’ll have to deal with the scraps.


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Moreno Zugaro

4 months ago | 5 min read
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5 Minutes | 3 Ideas, Quotes, and Questions | 1 Challenge

1 IDEA

Masculinity means sticking to your own rules.

A man’s most closely guarded treasure should be his own code of conduct.

If you don’t have principles, values, and rules you put up for yourself, you miss an anchor. Life will toss you around like an unlucky seagull in a hurricane. Instead of being the master of your life, you’ll have to deal with the scraps.

You’ll lack confidence because you can’t trust yourself to do what you said you would.

You’ll lose respect because others can’t count on you.

You’ll never get to anything because when push comes to shove, you betray yourself.

The hardest thing is that unless you have dope-ass friends to keep you in check, nobody will hold you accountable. You’re responsible for yourself.

I’m not always in the mood for the gym. I don’t always feel like working. I find it hard to open up to others. I’ve wanted to give up so many times. But I’ve made my rules and I can’t betray the one man most important to me — myself.

Sure, you can skip the workout, sleep in, take the easy route, and do all the other things you promised yourself not to do. But betraying yourself is as far from being masculine as Alice Schwarzer from a Playboy cover. On the flip side, what kind of man would you be if you stuck to your rules no matter what?

You’d be unshakable. You’d be able to go to bed every night with a smile, knowing you’ve done the right thing. You’ll live life the way you want to and the amount of confidence, satisfaction, and inner peace you get from being able to trust yourself is incredible.

Masculinity means being clear about your code of conduct and having the discipline to stick to it, no matter how hard, unpleasant, or difficult it gets.

1 QUOTE

“I’m not interested in whether the glass is half empty or half full. I’m interested in figuring out how to fill the glass.”

— Donald Kaberuka

Your situation doesn’t matter as much as what you make out of it.

We all face hardships from time to time, whether in our career, relationships, or business — and there are two ways to deal with them.

You can complain about it. You can rant about how others have it easier or how you deserve better and get lost in endless cases of “if only…” This is a waste of your time and energy.

Or, you can accept the situation as it is. No complaints, drama, or resistance. This doesn’t mean inaction — it means you focus your efforts on making the most out of the situation instead of lamenting what you can’t change.

I know life would be a lot easier if it was fair — but it isn’t, so make the most out of whatever situation you are in.

Here are some questions that will help you do that:

What about this situation is within my control and what isn’t?What do I resist and how would I act if I could accept it?What’s the next small step I can take to improve?

It doesn’t matter if the glass is half-empty, half-full, or anything in between. What matters is figuring out how to fill it.

1 QUESTION

Why do you lie?

No matter how honest you say you are, sometimes, you lie — and that’s okay. All of us do.

“I never had an issue with this car.”“I’d love to come to your party!”“You look great in that dress.”

There are two reasons why you lie. You either want to avoid something, like your wife getting upset about her weight. Or you want to achieve something, like selling your old car for a higher price than it should.

That’s why this question is so interesting — because it highlights what’s so important to you that you lie someone else in the face despite knowing this behavior is frowned upon.

I have a hard time admitting that things don’t go well. When someone asks me how I’m doing, my answer is “I’m fine” in 99% of the cases, which often doesn’t reflect reality. Why? Because I don’t want to admit I’m not fine to myself and others. Because I don’t want to be a burden.

Because I don’t want to talk about the uncomfortable things. Because I don’t want to be the source of drama.

The next time you catch yourself telling a lie, ask why. Maybe it’s because you want to avoid conflict. Maybe it’s for your personal gain. Maybe it’s because of a subconscious pattern you go through since your childhood. Who knows.

In any case, figuring it out will help you understand yourself a lot better.

THE CHALLENGE

Ditch one bad habit.

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed — easy to slip into, hard to get out of.

The mindless phone scrolling. Smoking weed. Staying up late. Snoozing your alarm. Skipping the workout and eating ice cream instead.

Bad habits drain you, lower your quality of life, and eat up a bunch of your time. Half an hour of scrolling per day = 180 hours or almost eight full days of missed opportunities a year. Ouch.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to give up that bad habit you’ve been carrying around for way too long, here it is. And because I want to see you succeed with this challenge, I’ll throw in a couple of actionable tips as well.

Disrupt your environment

Like a tree, your bad habits grow sturdy roots over time, which make them hard to kill. But what if you simply turned off their water supply?

Your environment triggers your actions, so change it for the better. Hide the cookies or don’t buy them at all.

Move apps to the back of your phone or block them. Put your alarm out of reach so you have to get up to turn it off. Turn your couch away from the TV. Simple changes, huge results.

Remove the trigger and you’ll remove the habit.

Give yourself permission to slip once

All-or-nothing rarely works.

The whole idea of radical and instant change might be good stuff for Hollywood movies, but in real life, it undermines your efforts more often than it supports them. You’ll view yourself as a failure even if you messed up only once, which isn’t fair.

Life’s tricky and humans are creatures of habits. Sometimes, you’ll slip — so give yourself permission to do it once.

Nobody’s perfect — and giving up something is better than giving up nothing.

Observe the urge and let go of it

Sitting through a minute of discomfort is often all it takes.

When something triggers your bad habit, like seeing the cookie box on the counter, you often feel an intense craving.

Instead of giving in to your default pattern and putting your hand into the box, set a timer for 60 seconds and let yourself experience the underlying emotion without resisting or acting on it. Not resisting is important — you have to experience the emotion so you can let it flow and go.

Most of your urges will quickly dissolve— and you can do what’s right.

I wish you all the best!

Until next time,

Moreno

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Moreno Zugaro

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Personal development & slightly inappropriate jokes | Digital Nomad | IG: morenozugaro


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