Talking Consistency with Noah Kagan

Picture of Noah Kagan and Dustin Lien

First of all, Noah Kagan is kind of a beast in the gym.

Here’s a picture of him and me after a gym session in Santa Monica recently (how do you type an up arrow?).

How do I know him? That’s a story for another day ;)

Noah is a busy dude—Helping people kick ass at work or start a $1000/month business with his company, AppSumo, and teaching business and marketing skills with his blog, OkDork. That’s a full load, yet he consistently gets to the gym and eats well to keep healthy.

That sparked a conversation about how we can be so consistent with some things, but not carry that same discipline over to other areas of life. What’s interesting is that even when we see how great the results of consistency can be within one area, we still don’t always apply it to others.

Here Are 3 Takeaways:

1. We’re disciplined with the things that are most important to us.

Think about the things you do on a regular basis. Things that have become routine, like going to work. You go to work every week to make sure you have money, because it’s important that you have a place to live and food to eat. When it comes to consistency with things we care about, we’ll always show up when the curtains open, and perform. Unfortunately, we also do a lot of things regularly that hold us back from success, like watch The Hills and Drunk History every night on Hulu…(we all do that though, right?). Which leads me into my next point –

2. Time isn’t infinite.

We really can only do a certain amount of things every day, so we have to be selective about how we spend our time, which is why we prioritize by doing the things that are most important to us. The question is, why is 4-hours/night of television (or whatever) something that we prioritize? Obviously relaxing occasionally is important, it’s good, but people seem to spend a lot of time relaxing, which, you guessed it, leads us to the final point –

3. We justify laziness.

Have a hard day at work? Skip the gym. Eat really well all day? You deserve 3 Snickers—you earned it. Our brains respond positively to natural rewards such as food and relaxation. We’re actually wired that way due in large part to our dopamine system. Relaxation is literally an addiction, which is why it feels so good. Hold your horse though, cowboy. Most people don’t realize that our brains feel the same or a similar sensation after exercise or accomplishing a goal—things much better for us to become addicted to through consistency.

My challenge for you and myself is to become more consistent and disciplined with doing the things that will lead to a better life, and learn to say no to the things that won’t.

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About The Author

Dustin Lien

@dustinlien has a passion for helping people start businesses that are profitable by implementing content strategies, smart marketing, and good business.


  • Zoe

    Reply Reply August 8, 2014

    Hey Dustin
    I just wanted to say thanks for the inspirational blog, I’ve just read your book too and found a whole heap of useful info that has helped kickstart me into action!!!!
    Best regards

  • Dustin Lien

    Reply Reply August 8, 2014

    That’s great Zoe! Glad to hear the book was helpful :)

  • Ryan Battles

    Reply Reply January 20, 2015

    Man this is some good stuff. I was just looking back over the past few years and thinking of how I have been putting work and getting things done over my fitness, which is so important not to ignore. It’s weird, but when I’m practicing healthy habits I get more done, make less mistakes, and produce higher quality output. However, it’s funny how I use the excuse of not having time due to responsibilities for not making the time.

    You hit the nail on the head with this article Dustin, thanks!

    • Dustin Lien

      Reply Reply January 24, 2015

      Thanks Ryan – yeah it was an interesting day and interesting conversation. I agree that a lot of how we perform mentally is related to how our bodies are internally performing.

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