The secret to success is to slowly, incrementally, build an accumulation of advantages that it eventually becomes so overwhelming that you just win automatically. The best example I have of this is the game of chess. Most people, who may know how to play, but know very little of the strategic element of the game, think that chess is won by out thinking your opponent. That in some moment of shear calculation you will win the game by thinking 40 moves in advance. Reality is that this is just not the case. There maybe the occasional brilliant calculation in an end game that leads to a check mate, but most chess games are won through the slow accumulation of advantage. Every move made, every position created is designed to give he player a slight improvement or superior element of the game that will lead toward the inevitable conclusion of an end game loss.
The challenge is that we are not designed to think this way. We think in quick fix, fast solution. Very few of us appreciate the need to gain advantage slowly, patiently over time as we continue to press our opponent and gain slight improvements to our forces. In my personal life, I few my attempt to overcome the primal nature as a battle with an opponent. I am literally fighting myself. The part of me that wants to improve, grow, achieve some great result versus the part of me that wants to do nothing, be slothful, eat too much, enjoy as many distractions as possible. This is a long hard fought battle. Unfortunately for me, the primal version of myself has had the upper hand quite often!
So the self improvement side, or the active conscious side of me is the underdog. Fighting against an opponent with million years of evolution behind it. It is the God sparked creative conscious versus the instinctual primitive animal. What a walking paradox are we! So how do even have a hope of winning against this superior foe? Well, it helps to rely on the very concept that probably created your active conscious mind anyway – that of God. Then, you must consider how to start accumulate advantages that will lead to an overwhelming strength. Accumulation starts one thing at at a time, small steps, incremental progress. Slow at first, rolling faster later. Build this by creating good habits.
Nowadays, I have 7 concrete habits that have become second nature for me. They have taken a long time to build, but now they are so second nature that I do not even think about them any more. So yes, the primal force does fight back now and then, but regardless, I am still up at 5am and out the door running. You cannot overcome the primal instantly in one day. It has to be, and absolutely must be, by small incremental steps that you repeat, repeat, repeat until they become part of you. Effectively, you must replace bad habits with good habits until you have an overwhelming accumulation of daily self improvement activity that gets you more days in the win column.