Long term liabilities are things that put your future success in jeopardy. These traps are tricky to catch because they start as short term gratifications. The consequences of one simple short term choice can cost us a lot in the future. You are not motivated to change because you don't feel the long term consequences yet of not breaking bad habits. 

When I finish a long day, I often end it with a shower. It is not a regular shower. It is one that changes everything about how I see success. It's a reminder of what it takes, yet, the shower itself has nothing to do with success. I turn the water to the coldest temperature it can get. I count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then I jump in, let the cold water hit me.

I do this because it represents what most people will not do. All the great successes of life demand discipline. The discipline is being able to focus on what you want in the future. Everywhere you go and look long term liabilities are dangling in your face.

Hard work is not the key to success. The right mindset is the key to success, but you only develop that mindset by striving to be great. It is an exclusive club, but the only way in is by doing the things that most people won't do.

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Discipline Will Starve Long Term Liabilities

Discipline is the enemy to most people. It requires doing things that are dreadful today to get a higher reward tomorrow. Everything you want in life is behind a giant wall of discipline. To be a doctor requires getting good grades, passing the MCAT and then eight more years of school. The reward is prestige and money.

98% of people in this world get caught up in what they want now, and they make excuses about it. They want the pizza and cookies today; they want to play more video games and watch movies all day today. Others hate reading books today, they don't want to workout today, and all these small choices add up when we feed our long term liabilities.

No One Strives for Average

No one dreams of living an average life. When you were a kid, you wanted a great family, a substantial income, a wicked home with a few fancy cars. Most of all though, you wanted to live a life of impact. But somewhere you settled, and let all this go. You started going toward what others wished for you.

You decide that average is okay as long as you can convince yourself that you are still special. You have to look in the mirror and see yourself for what you are. We do not get out of life what we wish or want; we get what we MUST HAVE! Poor thinking and giving up are long term liabilities. They cost us in the future.

Watch Where People Lead You

The masses will do everything to get you to stay on the track of average. When they see you breaking away from them, they will do everything in their power to pull you back in.
 
You start waking up early, they will tell you its unhealthy, and you should stop.
 
You start working out, and they will begin to say squats are bad for your back.
 
When you come home with healthy meals, they will tell you its too much work.
 
Finally, you work up the courage to quit your job, and they will tell you that you are crazy.
 
You instinctively know what things are good for you in the long run but you let others words make you doubt yourself.  Its hard to break bad habits when you are doubting yourself. 

Why Do We Allow These Long Term Liabilities to Creep In?

It happens because the majority of people focus on the short term. We tend to figure out how to act by looking around and seeing what others do. If your whole life people tell you to go to college, you will go if you see others doing it. Many of the Nazis followed Hitler because they saw others doing it. Just because everyone is doing it, does not mean its right!

Some people want to see you come up short. If you make it, that means their excuses for being average are no longer valid. If you have been living a similar life to a peer and you wake up and change your habits one day. Then your life takes off; you kill everyone else's ability to make excuses. If you made it happen, so can they.

The 2% is Only for The Mentally Tough

Taking the cold showers prepares you for what it takes to be successful. The actual shower does nothing; it's the mindset. Day in and day out you have to do things that people will not understand, and they will tell you that you are crazy. When 98% of people shower, they put the water as hot as possible because it makes them feel cozy.

People will never put the water to the cold side because it is 100% guaranteed to take them out of their comfort zone. To be successful, you have to live in the area outside of your comfort zone. Outside of the comfort zone is where you learn to kill those long term liabilities.

It's All Risky

Everything carries a risk. Let's get this out of the way! The great speaker Jim Rohn was the one who brought this to my attention. You might think starting a business is risky until you get fired. Then you realize that letting someone else control your finances is risky.

You might think staying in for the night is risky for your social life until you realize that nothing kills a social life like having no money.

The 2% can look at situations from a different angle and realize that there is always another side of the story. The extraordinary life is in doing uncommon things. There is no way to get around this! If you want to have what most people do not, you have to do what most people will not. This is what makes people stand out. Long term liabilities creep into your life when you focus on what you feel like doing too much.

How to Start Changing Your Life

When I was starting Habit Stacker, I began by asking a simple question. What is the one thing that people could do to start becoming greater? We all need things we do daily that remind us that we different, and we are striving for greatness.

It all came back to having a great daily routine. The daily routine is all about your habits and how you choose to live your life. Waking up is the first thing you do each day, and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you sleep in and snooze daily, then you set a tone for your day and life. You are starting your day with dread and procrastination.

When you get up with some pop and a smile on your face though, you are starting the day differently. You start the day with purpose, and then you can start building other life-changing habits. Once you get this habit down, you can master many others.

Habits kill long term liabilities because any good habit focuses on the future. If you have an addiction to porn; it's due to needing short term gratification. If you focus on loving your family, its because you know how much that will pay off in the long run.

You Won't Magically Join the Greats

It's essential that you realize that you do not become a part of the greats by wishing and hoping. You won't even get there by working hard. There are tonnes of people who get up daily and go off to work their butts off.

Hard work is not the key to success. The right mindset is the key to success, but you only develop that mindset by striving to be great. It is an exclusive club, but the only way in is by doing the things that most people won't do.

Set Up Winning Habits That Kill Long-Term Liabilities

Waking up early is the start. It's the habit that reminds you that success is not given to those not willing to change and be better. If you are going to continue to excel, there are a bunch of other habits that you are going to need to work on.

If you are looking for a list here, that is for another article. There is a tonne that is common among the most successful people. Reading books like Tribe of Mentors is a great starting place. You have to figure out what works for you and make you feel whole and able to accomplish what you want to.

Habits also depend on what your goal is. Some look to gain muscle, while others seem to lose weight because they have different purposes. Some habits help one goal while that same habit can hurt another. Habit Stacker will help you to  break bad habits. 

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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