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The last word on… Embracing your alter ego

You know the devil inside – the part of you that says ‘just do it’ when you probably really shouldn’t? Fret not, writes Oliver Burkeman, your conflicting selves can co-operate
ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IMAGES

When it comes to making wise choices – getting up early to run, resisting the third cocktail, not messaging that ex you want to cut ties with – it often feels as though we’re two people living in one body. One of your personalities, Virtuous You, heads to bed confident of leaping up at 6am, or arrives at the party certain you’ll limit yourself to one drink – but the one who’s actually faced with the option of diving back under the covers or accepting the next negroni is weak-+willed Hedonist You, who can’t imagine what Virtuous You was thinking! If your self-disciplined personality could bring the other into line, life might run more smoothly – but that’s the problem: when the moment of truth arrives, Virtuous You is nowhere to be seen.

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