Years ago, for a previous job, I interviewed a guy who was a motivational speaker. He talked to me for an hour about his personal motto: Take the stairs. His gist was that self-discipline was the key to one’s success in life. By taking the escalator, you’re not working at anything, you’re not growing. By choosing the stairs instead, you’re moving, you’re working and you’re essentially a better person than the other guy who’s flying by you on a way more convenient staircase.

As a pessimist, I wasn’t super motivated or impressed by this guy’s spiel. But recently I’ve been thinking about the motto that guy brought up to me some eight years ago.

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