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On Improving When Your Friends Aren't

Just got a comment on "Having Your Own Ethics is Lonely" by a reader. He asked one of the hardest questions about becoming successful - what happens when you're improving when your friends aren't?

I found this blog because I'm looking for advice. I've realized four years ago that I was unhappy with myself. I lived a poor, and dead end life. So I decided to look closely at my lifestyle and eliminate some bad habits and replace them with good ones. I also got a second job to make more money, and lived in relative poverty by choice. And it worked! I'm healthy financially and I've gotten a chance to learn anything I've wanted to know. I'm strong and smarter than I used to be. I think I know what God is, and everyday I work to be better than the day before. But, I can't connect with my old friends because they do all the things I dont want to be a part of any more, because they dont care to do well for themselves as much. In a way, to put it bluntly, they're not usefull to me. I'd rather make friends with people I truely admire and respect. I dont feel like I can tell them that I basically think they're bad people. They've done nothing to harm me personally, but I want nothing to do with them. What do you think?

Indeed, that's one of the hardest parts about becoming successful.

Most people don't like to change after they get established. If you improve quickly, it can upset and turn off old friends and cause breaks in friendship.

Perhaps the worst time is when you're still on a shaky ground with your old improvement. I remember one time, I was going through a super healthy kick. Lots of gym, weights, very clean and healthy diet. But with one of my buddies, we always ate junk food together when we got together. Pizza, chicken wings, burgers and fries, stuff like that.

A Method For Reliably Quitting Caffeine

As always, please do your own research and check my facts. If you have any unusual medical conditions or issues with substance abuse, consult a doctor or therapist. But the below is a method I've used soundly to be able to easily cycle off caffeine when I want to.

Why do so? Well, caffeine is tolerance building and chemically addictive. It starts as a large boon and a performance enhancer, but eventually you need to consume caffeine just to get to normal. It can be disruptive to sleep.

You might function better on caffeine or off caffeine as a general pattern, but either way -- you'll benefit from occasionally cycling off it for a month or two to reset your tolerance level and re-experience life without the cycles of caffeine high and withdrawal, just to double-check and make sure caffeine is serving your current lifestyle well.

At the same time, quitting cold turkey is a pretty brutal strategy for most people if you're a heavy user. I'm busy all year round, which presented me with a conundrum -- if I quit caffeine cold, I take a huge performance hit with headaches and sleepiness. Very bad.

With research and experimentation, I came to a method that works extremely reliably. I've never failed to cycle off caffeine using the below method -- sometimes it goes a little faster, sometimes it takes a little longer, but with patience, it simply works. The below is excerpted from a letter to a friend of mine who is performance oriented, and was inquiring about how to do better with managing caffeine and sugar. Here's my notes to him --

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