Today I dressed, tidied my room, got a haircut, and picked at a little scab on my face before heading to the gym. Afterwards, I showered, shaved, dressed again, ensured I smelled nice, and played with my hair.

Spending time on my appearance is pleasant. The prerequisites are readily met: I look how I do and there’s always something to improve. With straightforward tools at my disposal, I can see and feel immediate positive change from my efforts.

Spending time at the gym is less pleasant. A good session requires hours, days, weeks of disciplined hydration and nutrition and fitness beforehand. The tools require limit-pushing exertion and impose significant challenge. For at least the first couple weeks, results are both painful and invisible.

No wonder we fail to prioritize our long-term health. No wonder we spend too much time on appearances and too little on the hard work of making the important things better.

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