7 Things That Can Destroy The Life Of Any Young Man


By Danceville


There are many things that can destroy the life of a young man, hurt their destiny, stop their growth, slow their progress or block their advancement in life.All young men should know this things and avoid them.

1. Living Without Purpose And Vision

A friend of mine once said, “Guys of nowadays love Television buh don’t have Vision “.This is nothing buh the truth.Most guys don’t have vision, aspiration or even a plan for tomorrow.You can’t be the best in any trade if you don’t have anything you’re pursuing.

2. Alcohol And Drug

The use of alcohol and drug is another way young men ruin their lives.When a young man is exposed to drug and alcohol at a very tender age, the effects goes beyond what they ever expect in life, as they easily get inducted into the dark world of crime.

3. Wrong Association

The company a young man walks with, will ultimately determine what he will become.Choose your friends wisely.Some friends are multipliers while some are destroyers.A wise man once said “Show me your friends and I can accurately predict your future.The company you keep determines your accomplishments.

4. Crime

Wrong association and information, leads to drugs and alcohol usage.The resultant effects are crime, gang fights, cultism, armed robbery murder etc. At the end, the law catches up with those young ones and helps them waste many years in the college for stubborn and foolish prison yards.

5. Sexual Immoralities

Lust, fornication, pornography, rape, masturbation etc are all sexual immoralities and serves as a media the devil uses to destroy the life of young men.Don’t expose yourself to them, don’t company with those that are involved in it because it will end up destroying you.

6. Laziness

Hatred of work, oversleeping, indolent lifestyle is dangerous to the life of any single man.A man, I mean a real man should be bold enough to work, he must be a man of the field, planting and harvesting for his future.When a man is a lover of his bed, lazy and lukewarm, there’s no way he will not serve his mates and live in abject poverty and penury throughout is lifetime.

Last buh not the least..

7. Love Of Money

Love of money is a great destroyer of many young men nowadays.Some even results in rituals, that later end up their lives soon.Don’t think without money, you can’t reach that place you desired to be.. And always remember, Vanity Upon Vanity, All Is Vanity.

NB

This thread is meant for everybody.The way young men is destroying their lives in this Society, is appalling.Are you guilty of any of these? Please it isn’t too late to make a CHANGE…

I drop my pen at this Juncture.

Feel free to add yours.

Please share this post among your friends..

You might just SAVE A SOUL..


Written And Compiled By
DanceVille


Please help me to give this thread a wider coverage.A soul might be save through this post.


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If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents!


By Craig Harper


Dear Parent Blamer,

Firstly let me say, stop it.


It’s pathetic and pointless. And for the rest of us innocent bystanders… very annoying.

To be completely honest, we’re sick of your whining, your complaining, your anger, your victim mentality and your inability to see that your current attitude (not some historical event) is your biggest problem. We’re also sick of you blaming your (current) bad behaviour on your parents. What’s standing between you and success right now is YOU. Not your folks, not your history… you. And the fact that you think THEY have sabotaged your life and are somehow responsible for your (current) stupid behaviours and less-than-desirable outcomes, wreaks of denial, immaturity and delusion.

Yes, we all get that your childhood, or parts thereof, sucked – welcome to the world’s largest club.

We also get that your old man was periodically a completely insensitive, uncommunicative at times. Sadly, that’s what (many) fathers do. And yep, we know that your mother was a selfish cow that time when you were in the eighth (and ninth and tenth) grade; it happens.

Okay, let’s be honest and blunt… some parents are crap. And yes, many of us have been hurt – physically, emotionally and/or psychologically – by our parents. I am not suggesting that you deny your past, but I am suggesting that you don’t live there. It’ll kill you. In ten different ways. Some people have been inhabiting the seventies and eighties and re-visiting their childhood for the last few decades.

No matter how much you think your parents deserve your anger, vitriol and resentment, I’m telling you (1) it serves no positive purpose (2) it will hurt you more than them (3) stop being a big, immature, stupid baby and (4) you and only you, are responsible for your current reality – no matter what your parents have or haven’t done to you, or for you.

Even though you may have a very good ‘reason’ to be eternally pissed at your folks, I’m saying let it go anyway. Move on. And it’s not about what they do or don’t deserve; it’s about what you deserve. If you want to destroy your potential, your enthusiasm, your optimism and your hope, then become a chronic Parent Blamer. Hang on to that hurt, no matter what!

Or you could let me save you some serious time and pain and just believe me when I tell you that being a Parent Blamer is a pointless, destructive, pathetic waste of your potential and emotional energy. And if you’re not careful, a waste of your life. It will destroy you from the inside out. It’s true; some people will die angry, bitter, resentful and tortured souls because they never found a way to let go of the self-perpetuated – yep, read that clearly, self-perpetuated – misery. When you’re still desperately holding on to emotional crap from years ago, it’s YOU that’s the problem. When you’re twenty five, thirty five or fifty five and you’re still thinking, talking and behaving like a teenager who’s mad at their parents, you need a big reality check.

The only thing you can change about the past, is how you let it affect you now.

You may wanna read that again.

Over the years I have worked with people who have blamed their parents for everything from their poor communication skills, dysfunctional relationships, destructive habits and violent behaviours, to their fat body and poor eating habits. What!!! Do you not have a brain in your head? Are you incapable of independent thought? Can you not make your own decisions, choose your own behaviours and be responsible for your own existence? Surely you feed yourself these days? Surely you have some control over what comes out of your mouth? And surely you can choose to do, be and create different in your world.

Perhaps your parents taught you how not to be?

Let me say that I totally understand that your parents weren’t always what they should or could have been for you as a child (caring, supportive, forgiving, understanding, loving, available, guiding, honest). You have my sympathy and understanding but you’re not alone. You’re in a very large majority. The problem with parents is that they’re flawed and that whole ‘being human’ thing kind of gets in the way of parental perfection. If only parents were cyborgs.

Today’s article is the result of an inordinate amount of recent conversations I’ve had with people who are hell-bent on blaming their parents for every aspect of their own miserable and dysfunctional existence. Sometimes the vitriol, the anger, the resentment and dare I say, the absolute hatred, that people hang on to (for decades) amazes and saddens me.

The parental blame game is a slippery slope of self-pity, self-destruction and futility that’s played by far too many people to their own detriment. It’s a game you’re advised to avoid.

Hope this letter finds you well,

Craig.


This article was first published at www.lifehack.org


3 ways Africa can unleash the potential of its women and youth

By Vanessa Moungar

Everyone deserves a fair chance at life. That’s a fact and a right. However, the reality is it depends on your context.

Across Africa, millions of boys and girls are still out of school, which dramatically reduces their chance at realizing their potential in increasingly urbanizing and formalizing economies. Some of these girls are married off at a young age, and lack access to their legal sexual and reproductive health and rights, resulting in their having more children than they would have wanted and can actually support. Simultaneously, millions of young people come of working age each year, with low prospects of finding employment.

African leaders have recognized the urgency of investing in Africa’s women and youth to ensure they are productive agents of their growing economies, and have articulated the African Union 2017 Roadmap around that theme. But beyond policy, governments will need to work closely with the private sector, multilateral organizations and civil society to scale up the things that work, and make that agenda a reality.

Image: UNESCO

Following that call from the African Union and the United Nation’s Population Fund, a global partnership of stakeholders from the various sectors is being assembled to advise and provide practical solutions women and youth. Here’s what that means:

Empower

No country in the world has ever achieved the demographic dividend without making a significant investment in access to family planning. Fertility is higher in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere in the world, and falling very slowly. There, in addition to enforcing laws to prevent child marriage and scaling up cash-transfer programmes for school attendance, governments must leverage partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry as well as logistics experts to bring family planning options to women everywhere, even in the most remote areas. They can ensure private health insurance covers family planning and education, work with media to open conversations about family planning or marriage age, and partner with community-based organizations to engage communities.

Educate

Progress has been made in school enrolment in recent decades, but it is way too slow. A radical shift is needed in the way education is financed and how those funds are used. To start, increased financing for education is needed from both international donors and domestic resources. But importantly, any increase in financing needs to be matched by country-level reforms that increase effectiveness and improve accountability around spending. In addition, public-private dialogue is needed to review and adapt curriculum and training to market needs.

New technologies open the door to much progress in both reach and quality of education, and digital literacy is quickly becoming a crucial skill. Vocational training models have proven successful in speeding up school to work transition and must be scaled up, in partnership with business. Finally, by incentivizing private sector investment through a competitive education market, governments can encourage the creation of first class regional educational institutions.

Employ

Job creation needs to dramatically accelerate on the continent, to absorb its bulging working-age population. Adequate education and skills training is crucial; it’s also the first step towards integrating into the jobs that already exist. Governments must also gives incentives to youth employment and leverage the multiple existing private-sector-led initiatives to expand internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. Beyond these jobs, youth needs easier access to business capital, which can happen through microcredit and SME financing programmes in partnership with the banking sector. Overall, competitiveness must improve for markets to offer opportunities to entrepreneurs, as well as to attract larger investors in sectors with job-multiplier effects, such as manufacturing, agro industries and ICT.

These are some of the topline, priority recommendations . And the good news is that most of these laws and programmes already exist. All they need is to be scaled up.

It will require government coordination across many areas, clear and practical national plans, and optimum engagement of civil society, the private sector and the international community at large, to mobilize adequate capacity and investment.

It will be one of the most powerful investments a nation can make to spur progress for all its citizens.

This article was first published at www.weforum.org.

A Message For Those Feeling Lost In Their 20s

By Gary Vaynerchuk

Society puts a lot of pressure on people in their 20s to “figure out” their lives.

The reality is, most 57-year-olds don’t even have their lives figured out. There’s no reason to put pressure on yourself so early in the process.

Here are a few things to remember as you’re navigating life in your 20s:

1. Take The Biggest Risks Of Your Life.

Going “conservative” in your 20s is something you really, really should debate. Especially if you aren’t in debt.

When you’re this young, the number one thing you should focus on is executing on the most high risk behaviors of your life.

The biggest reason that so many people become unhappy is that they play life in “reverse.” They go for the safe and practical job right out of school, and they buy expensive stuff to impress their parents and friends. Then, it becomes less practical to quit their job because they’re “chained down” with expenses.

Instead, make high risk moves around the thing that will make you the happiest.

This is exactly when you should go live in Bali for a year. This is exactly when you should try and become Beyonce.

This is exactly when you go on the “offense.”

2. Don’t be Afraid to Take a $12 / Hour Job Over a $25k / Year Job.

I’m a big believer in working for cheap (or free) for the person you want to try and become.

Getting “closest to the sun” is where all the leverage is.

Here’s what I mean by that:

If you go and work for someone you admire and do an incredible job, they could “put you on” and change the course of your entire career. For example… if you admire Alex Rodriguez or Chance the Rapper and you had the chance to run their social media for $12 / hour, there’s no question that would be be better than a job that pays $52,000.

Imagine what it would be like to be known as the guy or girl behind A-Rod’s social or Chance the Rapper’s videos.

Be humble, patient, strategic, and stop caring what your living situation looks like to people “on the outside.” You’ll set yourself up for an incredible future.

3. Do it Because You Enjoy the Process Not Because You’re Chasing Results.

When I look for talent, I’m obsessed with finding people who love the process — not the stuff that the game “buys” you.

If you’re focused on the cars, the shoes, and “posturing” to your friends, you’re finished. If you’re building a business or navigating your career based on what’s going to get you the off-whites, private planes, spa treatments, or jewelry, you’re not going to have a long career.

So many people in their 20s are taking jobs that pay a few thousand dollars more just so they can buy more stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I have empathy for people in debt. But a lot of people are taking these jobs because they’re trying to live up to the expectations of their parents and friends.

I look for people who “can’t breathe” if they’re not doing their art because those are the people who are going to win long term. For me, business is my art. For you, it might be design, performing on stage, or something else.

Whatever it is, be that person who’s obsessed with their craft and would be doing it for “free” no matter what.

4. Don’t Stress About Finding the Answer “What Should I Do With My Life?”

If you don’t know what that “craft” is yet, that’s okay.

It blows me away how much pressure we put on people in their 20s and early 30s to have their entire lives figured out.

Of course you don’t know what you want to do yet — you haven’t even lived yet!

Now’s the time to be massively risk-oriented and try everything you want to try. There’s no “wrong” move you can make. If you genuinely want to spend every minute working like I did, great. If you want to travel to Bali or work in a vineyard in Tasmania, great.

Now is the time to go have different experiences and try different jobs until you find one you like.

5. Stand Up to the People You Love and Have Tough Conversations.

If there’s one piece of advice you take away from this article, it would be this:

Have the conversations you need to have with the people you’re closest to.

Tell them the truth. Tell them how you feel about everything — about what you want to do, where you want to work, your insecurities, how you feel about their expectations, and everything else.

It will absolutely change your life. Even if they get angry and react poorly, their level of respect for you will be enormous.

It saddens me that so many people allow the opinions of their parents and their friends to hold them back in their careers, or worse, push them to make decisions that have terrible long term consequences (like taking on massive debt).

If you don’t have the tough conversation with them now, you’ll resent them in the long term because you lived your life for them and not yourself.

6. Stop Debating. Start Executing.

I implore you to not worry about the current judgement being deployed on you.

One of the biggest reasons I’m happy and can navigate my life so quickly is because I believe in one thing more than anything else:

The truth will play out in the end.

It’s not that I’m right or will be right, it’s that the truth plays out regardless. It’s pointless try to prove those around you wrong with your words.

Stay patient, and do it with your actions.

Wish more people in their 20s understood this message. Share this article on Twitter if you got value from it!

This article was first published on Medium

You Can’t Be Normal, My Advice To African Youths.

By Jumanne Rajabu

Is it 99th or 100th? A question coming from the World Champion during his routine exercise. The trainer asked him, does it matter? It’s just one extra push-up you can always do it the next day. The World Champion look at the trainer and told him, that is the difference between World Champion and a normal fighter.

The lessons from this short story;

  1. Pushing to the limits, you have to break yourself before you start making yourself. If you can’t reach the breaking point, you haven’t reached anywhere. That extra push-up equals to; that extra research you do, that extra risk you take. that extra time you put, that extra sacrifice your offer etc. We are always ready to offer some of it or most of it but not ready to offer all. Champions offer all, they don’t shake, they don’t brink. They stay focused and determined. They wear it, they eat it and they live it.
  2. You can’t be normal, normal is for everyone, normal is for good ones, normal is for better but you always need to be at your best. You need to put your “A” game every time you have to; pitch your product; present your company, close an important deal or creating a first impression. Successful people are not normal, they don’t enjoy normal; They work double the time of opponents, they invest twice smarter and they spent time developing extraordinary abilities in their own fields; think of greatest footballers, musicians, leaders, and parents. They are not normal. They have that extra push-up.

If you live for the action you don’t settle for anything less. Most people are okay with the initial success. They relaxed and lose focus. They either remain at the same stage for years or they die. Those are the only options for “Normals”. You can’t afford to be normal if you want to be the best at what you do.

Normals are not innovative, normals are not leaders, normals are okay with the current situation and don’t want to improve. Normal hates when other people improve because they are normals. You have to push it, push it to the limit, with discipline and commitment and pray for luck. Luck doesn’t come to normals, it comes to those who are moving to become the best.

Why was I motivated to write this article? I’m coming from reviewing 54 startup companies submitted their business for an opportunity to receive investment. Going through the applications you see a lot of normals. Some have great business ideas without business models, some have great products without proper branding strategy, some have great pitch without the actual businesses. 95 percent of them couldn’t put that extra push-up to get themselves to be the best. You can’t be the best if you want to be normal. You can’t be the best if you are not prepared to be.

You always provide excuses and promise yourself to do the extra push up tomorrow. Tomorrow is for normals.

Appreciation

  • Brian Paul | Four years ago you told me the story of the World Champion.
  • My Team | For pushing yourself to the limits.

This article was first published on Medium

How to Develop Better Habits in 2019

By Ryan Holiday

Forget resolutions—these simple, proven methods can make lasting changes in your life

Just about everyone wants to cultivate better habits. The problem is, very few of us want to do the work to make those habits a reality. We hope they will magically develop, that one day we’ll just wake up (early, without even considering the snooze button) and head straight to the gym. Then we’ll have a healthy breakfast and sit right down with that creative project we’ve been putting off for months. At some point our desire to smoke or lie or complain will mysteriously disappear too.

The reality? This has never happened for anyone, and it’s never going to happen. This is what inspired Epictetus’ famous quote from 2,000 years ago: “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” He’s really asking how much longer you are going to wait until you demand the best of yourself.

I know I want to eat better and be more present. For a long time, I’ve wanted to do push-ups every day. I also want to work less and spend less time checking my phone. I want to start saying no so I can say yes to things I have been putting off. But I’ve wanted to make these changes for a long time. How do I transform my vague hopes into reality?

To start, I need to develop better habits, better accountability, and a clearer vision for my day-to-day life. Here are the steps I am taking. We are all staring down the barrel of a new year, and if we aren’t going to do it now, when will we?

Think Small—Really Small

The writer James Clear talks a lot about the idea of “atomic habits” (and has a really good book with the same title). An atomic habit is a small habit that makes an enormous difference in your life. He talks about how the British cycling team was completely turned around by focusing on 1 percent improvements in every area. That sounds small, but it accumulates and adds up in a big way. He emphasizes thinking small with big habits. Don’t promise yourself you’re going to read more; instead, commit to reading one page per day. Thinking big is great, but thinking small is easier. And easier is what we’re after when it comes to getting started. Because once you get started, you can build.

Create a Physical Reminder

A physical totem can make the habit or standard you’re trying to hold yourself to into something more than an idea, and that helps—a lot. The author and minister Will Bowen has a simple system that helps people quit complaining. He provides each member of his congregation with a purple bracelet, and each time they complain, they switch the bracelet from one wrist to the other. This method is simple and straightforward and makes it easy to hold yourself accountable. Over my desk, I have a picture of Oliver Sacks. In the background he has a sign that reads “NO!” that helped remind him (and now me) to use that powerful word. One of the reasons we made coins for Daily Stoic was that when you have something physical you can touch, it grounds you. The coins are made at the same mint where the first Alcoholics Anonymous chips were invented, and they represent the same idea. If you have 10 years of sobriety sitting in your pocket or clasped in your hand, you’re less likely to throw it away for a drink.

Lay Out Your Supplies

When I get to my desk in the morning, the three journals I write in are sitting right there. If I want to skip the habit, I have to pick them up and move them aside. So most mornings I don’t move them, and I write in them. You can use the same strategy if, for example, you want to start running in the morning. Place your shoes, shorts, and jacket next to your bed or in the doorway of your bedroom so you can put them on immediately. You’ll be less likely to take the easy way out if it’s embarrassingly simple to do the thing you want to do.

Piggyback New Habits on Old Habits

In 2018, I kept telling myself I wanted to contribute more to my community or be of more service. When I heard about someone volunteering, I would say to myself, “I’m going to start doing that.” I read about William MacAskill giving up a great deal of his income and thought, “Wow, I’d like to do something like that.” And then, of course, I didn’t do much of either. Then I listened to an interview with David Sedaris, who talked about how he likes to go on long walks and pick up trash near his home. I go for a walk nearly every morning. It’s an ingrained habit that’s part of my routine. Boom: I just added picking up garbage to my walk. This was easy because I had already done the heavy lifting of creating the first habit. Now it’s harder not to pick up trash, like when I don’t have a bag. Will this little activity save the world? Of course not. But it helps. And I can build on it.

Surround Yourself With Good People

“Tell me who you spend time with and I will tell you who you are” was Goethe’s line. Jim Rohn came up with the phrase that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If you want to have better habits, find better friends. Most of my friends are in good shape. None smokes. Most are in good relationships. Most seem to have their shit together. I’m inspired to be better because I’m around them (and I get lots of good ideas for habits and activities). I’m also shamed into not being worse. If I started slipping, I would stand out.

Commit to a Challenge

In 2018, we did our first Daily Stoic Challenge, which was 30 consecutive days of different challenges and activities based on Stoic philosophy. It was an awesome experience. Even I, the person who created the challenge, got a lot out of it. Why? I think it was the process of handing myself over to a script. It’s the reason personal trainers are so effective. You just show up at the gym and they tell you what to do, and it’s never the same thing as the last time. Deciding what we want to do, determining our own habits, and making the right choices is exhausting. Handing the wheel over to someone else is a way to narrow our focus and put everything into the commitment. That’s why Whole30 is so popular. You buy a book and follow a regimen, and then you know what you’re doing for the next month.

To kick off 2019 we’re doing another Daily Stoic Challenge, this time for 14 days. The idea is that you ought to start the new year right—with 14 great days to create momentum for the rest of the year. If you want to have better habits this year, find a challenge you can participate in. Just try one: It doesn’t matter what it’s about or who else is doing it.

Make It Interesting

As I mentioned before, I’ve always tried to be someone who does push-ups every day. Since June, I’ve done at least 50 push-ups a day (sometimes as many as 100) almost without fail. How? I’ve been using Spar!, which is basically the most addictive and rewarding app I’ve ever downloaded. Right now I’m in a 50-push-up challenge with about two dozen people. Every day, we do 50 push-ups and upload video proof that we’ve done them. If you miss a day, the app charges you $5. At first you do the daily deed just so you don’t lose money. But soon enough, it’s about competing with the people in the group. Then a few days in, another motivation kicks in: The winners (people with the fewest misses) split the pot of everyone else’s fees. So you keep going because you want the reward. I’ve done thousands of push-ups, squats, burpees, and sit-ups (and even did one about cleaning my car and another about writing 500 words a day)—and in the process I also made a couple hundred bucks.

It’s About the Ritual

Professional dancer Twyla Tharp has written about how every morning she gets up early, dresses, and takes a cab to the same gym, where she works out for several hours. This is how she trains and keeps herself fit. Her workouts are tough and exhausting, and you’d think she would need a lot of discipline to commit to showing up each morning. But, as she writes in The Creative Habit, she just has to get herself to the cab. That’s it. The rest takes care of itself. The ritual takes over.

It Doesn’t Have to Be an Everyday Thing

I read a lot, but not usually every day. I do most of my reading when I travel, when I binge on books. Trying to force myself to read every single day (or for a set amount of time or a set amount of pages) would not be as productive or as enjoyable as periods of three to five days of really heavy reading (where I might finish three to five books). Binge reading may not be the right thing for everyone, but not every good habit has to be part of a daily routine. Sprints or batching can work too. What matters is that the results average out.

Focus on Yourself

One of the reasons I’ve talked about watching less news and not obsessing over things outside your control is simple: resource allocation. If your morning is ruined because you woke up to CNN reports of another ridiculous Trump 2 a.m. tweet-storm, you’re not going to have the energy or the motivation to focus on making the right dietary choices or sitting down to do that hard piece of work. I don’t watch the news, I don’t check social media much, and I don’t stress about everything going on in the world—not because I’m apathetic, but because there are all sorts of changes I want to make. I just believe these changes start at home. I want to get myself together before I bemoan what’s going on in Washington or whether the U.K. will figure out a Brexit strategy. “If you wish to improve,” Epictetus said, “be content to be seen as ignorant or clueless about some things.” (Or a lot of things.)

Make It About Your Identity

Generally, I agree with Paul Graham that we should keep our identities small, and generally, I think identity politics are toxic. It’s a huge advantage, however, to cultivate certain habits or commitments that are foundational to your identity. For example, it is essential to my understanding of the kind of person I am that I am punctual. I also have decided that I am the kind of person who does not miss deadlines. That I see myself as a writer is also valuable because if I’m not writing, I’m not earning that image. You can see why being vegan becomes part of people’s identity too. If it was just about choosing not to eat any animal products, the diet would be extremely difficult to adhere to. But because it is a lifestyle and an ideology, vegans are willing to push through all that. They don’t see it as a choice, but rather as the right thing to do.

Keep It Simple

Most people are way too obsessed with productivity and optimization. They want to know all the tools a successful writer or an artist uses because they think this is what makes these individuals so great. In reality, they are great because they love what they do and they have something they’re trying to say. When I look at some people’s routines and all the stuff they’re trying to manage, I shudder. Their habits require habits! No wonder they don’t make progress. My to-do lists are always short. I want my goals to be reachable, and I don’t want to be constantly busy or get burned out. This is why James Clear’s concept of atomic habits is so important. Look at the little things that make a big difference—not only is this more manageable, but the results will also create momentum.

Pick Yourself Up When You Fall

The path to self-improvement is rocky, and slipping and tripping is inevitable. You’ll forget to do the push-ups, you’ll cheat on your diet, you’ll get sucked into the rabbit hole of Twitter, or you’ll complain and have to switch the bracelet from one wrist to another. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. I’ve always been fond of this advice from Oprah: If you catch yourself eating an Oreo, don’t beat yourself up; just try to stop before you eat the whole sleeve. Don’t turn a slip into a catastrophic fall. And a couple of centuries before her, Marcus Aurelius said something similar:

When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstance, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better group of harmony if you keep on going back to it.

In other words, when you mess up, come back to the habits you’ve been working on. Come back to the ideas here in this post. Don’t quit just because you’re not perfect.

No one is saying you have to magically transform yourself in 2019, but if you’re not making progress toward the person you want to be, what are you doing? And, more important, when are you planning to do it?

I’ll leave you with Epictetus once more, who wrote so eloquently about feeding the right habit bonfire. It’s the perfect passage to recite as we set out to begin a new year, hopefully, as better people.

From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever you think best a law that you never set aside. And whenever you encounter anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded, remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait any longer…

This article was first published on Medium