An analogy: each hour of your life is a casino chip. You can cash in (relax and enjoy life) or place bets (expend effort and willpower in an attempt to get more rewards).
What are the rewards? Whatever you value. Health, wealth, love, admiration, respect, fame. Or, if you’re Conan: crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women.
Odds aren’t the same in every casino. In some casinos, no matter how you place your bets, you’ll lose. Some casinos even cheat. But if you’re fortunate enough to live in a country with low rates of corruption and a thriving economy, the odds are probably decent. If you make good bets (expending effort in reasonably smart ways), you’ll get rewards.
But even good casinos favor some patrons over others. Certain combinations of gender, ethnicity, age, physical attractiveness, sexual orientation, etc. may convey better or worse odds.
So how do you bet? What’s the best betting strategy? How do you get the most chips?