I didn’t want to go to the gym this morning. I really, really, didn’t feel like going. And, I had so much work to do at home, it was easy to justify skipping the gym just this once.

But a like the approach Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) takes, which he explains in his awesome book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My LifeIn it, he says that he made a deal with himself: whenever he doesn’t feel like going to the gym, he agrees to just drive there, and go inside; once inside, if he looks around, and STILL doesn’t feel like working out, he can then turn around and go home. The result? He stays and works out, almost every single time.

Some time ago, I coined the following phrase:

“It is important to both know thyself, and to know thine enemy; for they are often one and the same.”

One helpful trick to life is to know yourself, and know that sometimes you can be your own worst enemy—and that you must battle this reality by your present self setting “traps” for your future self.

So, as per my agreement with myself, I drove to the gym this morning, knowing I could go back home if I still didn’t feel like working out, or could even do a partial workout and then head home. Guess what? I did a complete workout, and felt great afterwards.

And that’s how I can (sometimes) beat myself at my own game.

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