Give young people meaningful roles

By Azugbene Solomon


“Having a voice” means more than making a sound when you sing or shout. The ways people express ideas, energy, and insights make each person unique. Helping young people find their voices is one of the best ways to help them be a positive force in their families, schools, clubs, teams, or neighborhoods. This is good for them—and for your community. Young people have a lot more to contribute when their opinions are respected and their talents are tapped. Listen closely to the opinions of young people around you, and you’ll all benefit.


Research shows when young people have useful roles in their community they feel good about themselves and their future, do better in school, and get into less trouble. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and appreciated. Only 26 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they’ve been given useful roles in their community, according to Search Institute surveys. Allow all young people to have a voice in issues and decisions at home, school, and in the community.


Building this asset means valuing young people’s talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It means setting aside the belief that adults know more than the younger generation. When you see children and youth as valuable resources, they feel more empowered to contribute to the community, and at school, and home in meaningful, thoughtful ways.

This post originally appeared on Youtherie


By Power of Positivity


We all feel discouraged from time to time. Some days, we might run full speed ahead and tackle life with no problem, but other times, we might feel like throwing in the towel. Life contains ups and downs for a reason, so that we may appreciate the good times and learn from the hard ones. If you ever feel like giving up, just consult the following inspiration to get you through another day.



When life seems a little boring, realize it’s because of us, not because of a task, our job or the lack of a nightlife. We have the ability to create joy and excitement in everything we do, and it starts with our thoughts around the situation. It is not so much about trying to fix the situation or even ourselves as it is learning new things, finding the good, and focusing our energies on activities that have personal meaning.

We need to take the time to look after our emotional well-being by putting time aside every week for a yoga class or a little meditation. The relaxing breathing strategies involved in both will help eliminate stress and reduce anxiety. We will feel better, and will look at things differently.


When we make small changes to our daily routine, it brings back the excitement. Take a new exercise class, read a book, or even just doodle – these can get you out of a rut and ignite your creative self. You will soon realize that the act of starting and doing something new can give you some confidence to continue creating.

Negative thinking is common, but it’s how we handle the thoughts that will either drain our excitement for life, or build on it. We can’t stay in the midst of negativity and hope to be our best selves. Understanding our negative thoughts and reframing them into thoughts that better serve us keeps us from getting stuck.


An optimist is more excited about everything, not just life! If you’re not presently an optimistic individual, don’t worry – optimism may be learned. And it’s not whether the glass is half full or half empty, it’s knowing you can fill it up.

Teach yourself to see the other side, even with the small setbacks, little adversities, frustrations, disappointments, and letdowns in daily experiences. Look for the lessons and trust things will work out. When you do, it’s easy to get excited about the possibility.


When we start to look at our day, we’ll probably notice quite a bit of time wasted on non-value added activities like Candy Crush, Facebook or mindless television. Wasted time is energy draining, and as mentioned earlier, it’s hard to get excited when your energy is drained. When you know down deep you need to do something, you will find the time and the energy. But beware, because time fillers have a way of creeping in.

This post originally appeared on Power of Positivity

How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement

By Maria Jensen

Today, most people like the idea about self-improvement. It’s trendy.

But before you can improve yourself, you have to get to know who you are, what you want, and why it’s so crucial to know the answers to those questions.

Once you know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want, then you can go on to work on self-improvement.

This article will take you through the main reasons why you should take the time to get to know yourself, how to get to know yourself, and then finally how to seek self-improvement.


  1. Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
  2. How to Get to Know Yourself
  3. How to Seek Self-Improvement
  4. Final Thoughts

Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
Many people go through life without getting a clear understanding of themselves. There’s a difference between wanting to be someone and then the actions that creates a person. It’s easy to tell people who you are, but can you actually walk the talk?

We have a tendency to brush away our shortcomings and play a certain role that we’ve intentionally or unintentionally created for ourselves. It may work for a while, but it won’t help you achieve anything in the long run.

Yes, you can say you’re a good spouse. People will believe you when they see the picture-perfect image on your office, but if you go home to a different story, it doesn’t really matter.

In the end, the opinion that matters the most are the one we hold about ourselves. A lie will drain you, overwhelm you, and unresolved emotions will resurface.

Maybe you choose a certain path many years ago and now you feel stuck. You look in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself. The week seems endless and it’s only 7am on a Monday morning.

These are just examples. It doesn’t mean that only unhappy people need to get know themselves and seek self-improvement. Even if your life is truly as great as it looks like, it’s always worth checking in with yourself.

It’s natural to change throughout life, but too many people are afraid of reacting to this change or realize that the path they once choose may not be right anymore.

Change is scary, but it’s even more scary to ignore your emotions and not react to them. For better or worse – change is the only constant. If you get to know yourself now, then you’ll be able to handle change better. Obviously, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

There’s no time limit for getting to know yourself or window of opportunity. Remember that:

“Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.”

You can be at the top of your game to the outside world, but still feel the need to get to know yourself and seek self-improvement.

It’s never too late to get to know yourself, because once you do, then you’ll be ready for whatever comes next. When you know yourself, a new road won’t seem scary because you already know whether you’re planning on turning left or right.

How to Get to Know Yourself
So, it’s settled. It’s a good idea to know this person that you wake up to every morning and look at while brushing your teeth. The person in the mirror that kind of looks the same, but yet somehow seems different over time. Here comes the million dollar question: where do you start?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick answer (or solution) to this. It isn’t math. There’s no right or wrong. You can’t find a page with all the secret answers and ace the test.

Most people will get a better feeling of who they are over time by simply looking back at their previous actions, reactions and decisions. But you can also choose to take an active part of the progress right now.

Here are some active actions you can take to get to know yourself:

1. Increase Your Self-Awareness
It’s all about you now. Let the outside world exist on its own. It’s not about your neighbour or the guy from high school that posted yet another sunny picture from Dubai. It’s not about them.

Take some time to look at yourself. What have you been doing? How do you react to certain situations? What makes you smile?

And if you keep going back to comparing yourself to a specific person, then ask yourself why you’re so fixated on them. Figure yourself out. You’re worth knowing.

2. Face Your Fears
It might seem obvious, but for some reason you keep avoiding that one thing.

A lot of people let fear stand in their way even though they know deep down they have the ability to face it. It’s easy to say of course, but if you manage to overcome your weakness, it will change you for the better. You will learn from it, and you’ll know a whole lot more about your character.

Not sure how to conquer your fears? This guide can help you:

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

3. Focus on Your Strengths
It’s always a good idea to focus on what you thrive at and nurture it. It will help you become more successful, but you’ll also get a better understanding of yourself as our strengths are a big part of who we are.

Even if you’ve been running towards the wall for a while and your head is really starting to hurt – you’ll always have some strengths in you that you can return to. Go back and focus on them and see where they’ll lead you. Maybe a talent will turn into a career. Maybe a character trait will turn into a new path or relationship.

Now, let’s move on to how to go further and seek self-improvement.

Ryan Holiday said:

”You can’t learn if you think you already know. You will not find the answers if you’re too conceited and self-assured to ask the questions. You cannot get better if you’re convinced you are the best.”

How to Seek Self-Improvement
It’s important to leave ego behind and realize that you’ll never move forward, if you don’t accept that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Maybe you’re currently the best at your job, but you should never stop competing against yourself. It’s not about putting endless pressure on yourself. It’s about keeping yourself in movement.

Maybe you did some soul-searching and you realized that you did choose the right path. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve yourself. Or maybe you just realized that you want a completely different life. You quit your job, bought a dog and moved to a new city. Great, but you’re not done yet.

Once you tell yourself you have done what you set out to do, then you’ll run into the same wall that knocked you out in the first place.

Self-improvement is not about putting yourself down. Self-improvement is about lifting yourself up higher. The only way to do that is by accepting that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Even (or maybe especially) if you’re only competing against yourself.

Final Thoughts
Self-improvement can be applied to anything from learning a new skill, learning to deal with your anger, or putting yourself in a new situation that scares you. Some people need to change their scenery completely. Some people just need to attend a meeting every Thursday. Others may need to take up a self-defence class to feel in control again.

Sometimes life is not about gaining or achieving. Sometimes life is simply about losing and letting go.

People are capable of doing (almost) everything that the people they admire are doing. You can’t limit yourself by saying you can’t do a specific thing, because you’re you. It all comes down to mind-set and commitment. Get to know yourself and then set out clear goals.

Aristotle once said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

[1] ^ Mark Manson, The subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, page 3
[2] ^ Ryan Holiday: Ego is the enemy, page 41

This article was first published at Lifehack

Want to Truly Make Your Mark on the World? Start by Following These 5 Principles

By Danielle Sacks

C.J. Walker, the daughter of slaves, would not have become the first self-made female millionaire in America had she not traveled around the country training thousands of black women how to apply and sell her hair concoction. Anthropologists would never have had the insights we now know about primates had not a young British woman named Jane Goodall ventured to Africa to develop her own system of communicating with chimpanzees, despite being scoffed at by academics. And Spanx wouldn’t be a staple of millions of women’s wardrobes had Sara Blakely–who sold fax machines door to door at the time–not tried to mass produce a pair of pantyhose she hacked on her way to a party.

These and other iconic stories of fearlessness are chronicled by Jean Case in her new book Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose (Simon & Schuster, 2019). On Saturday, during a lively discussion at the Inc. Founders House in Austin, Case–the chairman of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Foundation, which she started in 1997 with her husband, AOL co-founder Steve Case–discussed why facing fear is critical for anyone looking to make a difference in the world. The Founders House is the inaugural event of Inc.’s Founders Project, an initiative pairing prominent mentors with early-stage entrepreneurs.

The findings revealed in Be Fearless, Case explained, are a result of research her foundation commissioned six years ago to examine the core qualities of change-makers and entrepreneurs. “I’ve traveled to remote villages and big cities, and something you find in all these places is that they have great ideas about how to make the world a better place,” she told interviewer Elizabeth Gore, who runs Alice, an entrepreneur platform in which Case is an investor. “We wondered why some people take those ideas and do something breakthrough, and other people don’t.”

In her remarks, Case outlined the principles entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, or anyone trying to effect change needs to embrace:

1. Make a big bet

“Don’t aim for incremental change, aim high,” said Case, who joined AOL when only 3 percent of people were online, typically for only one hour a week. “Our goal was to democratize access to ideas and information and communication for everyone.”

2. Be bold, take risks

“It’s impossible to do a breakthrough idea without talking risks,” Case said. “The bottom line is, it never stops.” National Geographic, she explained, is a 131-year-old nonprofit, but “we constantly have to look at where do we go next.” The organization is constantly reinventing itself, she said, pointing to its now 100 million-plus Instagram followers and recent Oscar win for the documentary Free Solo.

3. Make your failures matter

Case revealed that AOL was born out of failure. In its first iteration, she explained, it was a startup that built a brand called AppleLink for Apple. “We weren’t scaling, and Apple called up and said, ‘We want a divorce. We’re ending our partnership,'” she said. “It was an existential moment–a dark, dark moment.” But what emerged from that failure? The small team managed to get a $3 million “divorce settlement” from Apple, which they then used to start building AOL into what it would eventually become.

4. Reach beyond your bubble

“I think we get caught up in a myth in America. We’re enthralled with the idea of the lone genius in the garage,” Case said. “But the fact of the matter is that that’s not how stuff has broken through. It’s broken through with teams.” She pointed to the early days of the tech industry when talent was dispersed around the country, and collaboration between people from all walks of life was necessary. She encouraged new tech founders to return to those roots. “Reaching beyond your bubble means diverse teams break through,” she said. “People with different backgrounds and skill sets. If you’re looking at an opportunity or challenge and you have five ways to look at it versus one, you’ll see each other’s blind spots.”

5. Let urgency conquer fear

“With the pace of change, you constantly have to disrupt yourselves,” Case said, offering Kodak as a cautionary example of a company that neglected to do so. Kodak’s engineers discovered digital photography, she explained, yet the company was too worried it would cannibalize its own film business, which at the time dominated 80 percent of the market. Instead, “others discovered the same thing, ate up their market share, digital totally overtook film, and they filed Chapter 11.” She urged entrepreneurs to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them, especially when they get pressure from their boards. “Too much board conversation is based on risk mitigation, not [asking], ‘What risks should we take?'”

This article was first published at Inc

6 Life Lessons We Can Learn from “Missed” Opportunities

Negative circumstances can spark the personal growth and success we deserve.

By Marina Khidekel

Missed opportunities often end up being the course corrections we need in our lives. Many of us have had disappointments — say, rejections from top-choice schools and “dream” jobs — turn out to be the best thing that could have happened in our careers.

Mollie West Duffy, co-author of the book No Hard Feelings, recently told The New York Times about how actively processing our feelings is the crucial first step to reframing negative feelings into positive action when things don’t work out the way we’d initially hoped.

Recalling the instance when was she rejected from her first-choice business school years ago, she told the publication, “I realized that in the process of not getting what I wanted, I had this deep self-reflection about what actually motivated me and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” she said. “Looking at the roles that I would’ve had if I had gone to business school, I don’t think I would’ve been happy in them.”

We asked members of the Thrive Global community to share the best lesson they learned from missing out on an opportunity they initially wanted.

A painful breakup can spark renewed love and career success

“My fiancé abruptly broke off our relationship right after we picked a wedding date. I was devastated. However, I moved to New York City, created a whole new career, and eventually met my best friend and husband. The breakup was painful at the time and made me feel very depressed. But that ‘missed’ opportunity led me to a much better life than I’d imagined I’d have.”

—Mim Senft, founder, CEO, Blooming Grove, NY

Listen to your body before you burn out

“My daily life doing senior crime scene investigation in London consisted of being stressed to illness, horrific scenes of the darkness of humanity, and trying to keep a team of 100 people motivated. So I jumped at the chance for a promotion as a way out — but I wish I’d listened to my gut then and resigned. I missed it or was too afraid. I was appointed to an impossibly huge management role, felt even more stressed, and eventually burned out. I knew deep inside that the organisation as a whole wasn’t feeding my soul and I needed creative freedom, space, and no rigid rules. My failure to listen to this cry from within caused me to crash and burn, but that’s what it took for me to quit, start living on my own terms, and create a business that gives joy to both myself and my clients. My body, heart and soul knew what it needed, I just needed to tune in and listen.”

—Lorna Reeves, founder, London, UK

Your destiny is tied to your intuition

“I’ve learned the hard way that my destiny is aligned with my intuition. Over-pursuing opportunities I’ve thought I wanted has resulted in disappointment. When I owned a small business, I was determined to lease a new space in a neighborhood where I was sure my business would thrive. Even when I caught the building owner in a lie and he tried to renegotiate a finalized agreement, I ignored my intuition and signed the lease. The location was a disaster. I’ve learned from this and other experiences that bad things result when I push past my better judgement in pursuit of a goal.”

—Matt Salis, writer, Denver, CO

Reaching out for help can help you redirect to your true purpose

“I remember working so hard to create an online summit — I had a big vision and wanted it to be perfect! I poured my heart and soul into the project, yet at almost every turn I was facing challenge after challenge. I felt absolutely defeated and exhausted. Right before my launch, I had my last five interviews cancel due to circumstances beyond our control and it felt like everything was working against me. I gave up and was about to throw in the towel in defeat when a close friend encouraged me to carry on and remember what I was working to accomplish. Through all the challenges, I’d lost my direction and forgotten what I was working towards. But in an effort to regroup and reach out for help, I spoke with an expert in my field and was able to connect with my purpose in a way that had previously escaped me.”

—Nicole Michalski, life strategist, speaker, and author, Alberta, Canada

Not fitting in can be a blessing in disguise

“As an immigrant, everything from my food choices to my accent made me feel like an outsider in the USA. But eventually after years in the United States, I slowly stopped fitting in back home. This feeling of inadequacy stuck with me throughout my childhood and early adulthood, leaving me feeling unstable and always out of place. After a plethora of sad and hilarious, failed attempts at trying to fit in, I surrendered to the fact that my happiness and sense of security was not dependent on belonging somewhere. Since then, my lack of belonging has become my secret power. I’ve created projects and organizations from the ground up with teams from every continent because I’m able to connect and collaborate with people from all walks of life. Since I don’t have a personal connection to a particular demographic, country, or culture, I’m more willing to meet people where they are, because I’m not attached to where I am.”

—Julie Santos, program strategist, Pala, California

Slow down so you can recognize a good thing

“On a hot southern day in July 1996, I met my future wife. Unfortunately, I was young and wishy-washy, she said, so we drifted apart. But we eventually found each other again many years later, and we’ve been happily married ever since. Here’s a lesson I learned from my youth: slow down and recognize a good thing when you see it — destiny doesn’t always ring twice.”

—Allen Barrett, business manager, Decatur, GA

This article was first published at Thrive Global

How to Stay Away from Friends Who Are Bad Influences

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

Azugbene Solomon

It can be difficult to stay away from friends who are a bad influence on you. Take time to notice which friends pressure you, are disrespectful, or try to manipulate you. These friends who are a bad influence are likely stressing you out and not treating you like a true friend should. If you can get help from others, set healthy boundaries, and make priorities for good friendships, you’ll be better able to manage or stay away from friends who try to influence you. Just remember your values and needs, and that sometimes bad friendships have to end.

Recognizing Bad Friendships

1 Notice who feels like a bad friend.

Notice who makes you uncomfortable, pressures you to do things you or parents don’t agree with, or teases you when you don’t want to do the things they want to do. These types of friends are bad influences, because they don’t respect your opinions and values. Instead, they try to pressure you and make you feel guilty if you don’t agree with them. Look out for friends who :

  • Boss you around
  • Use drugs
  • Are disrespectful or mean to others
  • Are destructive of property or violent
  • Try to manipulate you
  • Make you feel bad about your eating habits or body
  • Belittle your ideas or opinions

2. Realize the effects this friend has on you.

You’ve probably been noticing for awhile that this friend has a bad influence on you, but maybe you’ve been trying to give them more chances. You probably even defend them to your parents or other friends who object to the way they treat you. Take some time to think about the effect these friends have on you. Ask yourself if you feel:

  • Used
  • Drained
  • Stressed out
  • Unsupported
  • Trapped
  • Guilty for things you’ve done with the friend

3. Ask for help.

If you are having trouble saying “no” to or walking away from a friend who’s a bad influence, ask for help from a more trusted friend, your parents, or the school counselor. These people can help support you and make you feel better for the next time you face that friend. Other people can help give you a more objective opinion about if the friendship is a good one or worth saving.

  • Depending on what your friend has been doing, your parents may want to talk to their parents. They may also want you to spend less time with those friends or spend time with them in safer ways, like at home.

4. Talk to your friend.

Confronting someone who has upset you or is a bad influence can be hard, but you’ll have to take responsibility and try, otherwise they’ll just keep treating you the same way. By talking to them, you’re showing you care about yourself and them. Keep in mind that they may become angry or not understand. Try to focus on your friend’s behavior you disagree with, rather than criticizing them.

  • You can say, “I know you’re a good person and I know you’ve been having a hard time since your parents divorced. But I don’t want to be around your smoking and drinking at school. I feel unsafe when you do that and I’m worried about you.”

5. Set boundaries with your friend.

To protect yourself if you still want to be around the friend, you’ll need to set some boundaries so that they know they can’t treat you that way anymore. You’ll have to be direct and clear about what you need from them and what is not okay with you.

  • Limit the time you spend with that friend
  • Express your feelings and needs honestly
  • Leave situations where your friend offends you or puts you in danger

Don’t force them to change, that’s up to them

6. End the friendship.

If your friend continues to drain you, stress you out, or otherwise remain a bad influence on you, end the relationship. You cannot force them to change, but you also have to respect yourself and listen to your needs. Let your friend know that you’re ending the friendship not because of who they are as a person, but because of their actions and how they’ve made you feel.

  • You can say, “I really care about you, but our friendship isn’t working for me. It doesn’t seem our interests are the same and I don’t feel good about myself in this friendship.”

Moving on From Bad Friendships

1 Stay away.

Once you’ve ended the friendship, it may be difficult to completely avoid friends who are a bad influence, particularly if you’re in the same classes, live close to each other, or have mutual friends. It will be awkward for awhile, particularly if there are hurt feelings involved, but it’s important to be firm in your decision in taking time apart. To help you stay away you can:

  • Defriend or unfollow them on social media
  • Avoid talking about them with your mutual friends
  • Avoid answering any texts or phone calls from them
  • Avoid sitting next to them in class or at other events

2. Overcome hurt caused by the bad friendship.

Even if you were ready for the friendship to end, breaking up with a friend can take a toll on you. Take time to move on and overcome the hurt caused by your bad friendship. Allow yourself to process any feelings you have about the friendship ending, either on your own, with a parent or loved one, with a good friend, or with a counselor.

  • Cry and let yourself be sad
  • Write a goodbye letter, but keep it for yourself

3. Determine what you want in a friend.

Ask yourself what qualities most troubled you about the bad friendship, and how you can keep that from happening again. Good friendships are well balanced. Each friend gets their needs met fairly equally, and you’ll feel safe, supported, and appreciated in a good friendship. You’ll want friends who are there for you in good times and in bad. Look for people who :

  • Build you up
  • Genuinely care about how you are
  • Don’t focus only on themselves

4. Try to make new friends.

Once you know the types of people you want to be friends with and the types you’re trying to stay away from, put yourself out there. Look for people who have similar interests as you and ask to spend time with them. You can also try new activities to meet new, different kinds of people.

It might be uncomfortable or scary at first, just like asking someone out on a date. You can say, “Hi, I noticed your t-shirt. Do you like that band, too? I heard they’re coming out with a new album this weekend. Do you want to go check it out at the record store with me sometime?”

5. Spend time with yourself and your family.

If you’re having trouble making new friends, or just aren’t ready, focus on yourself. Make time for yourself by exploring new hobbies, focusing on school, and doing extracurricular activities that you like. Spend time with your family doing things you enjoy. Remember that friends are an important part of life, but they’re not the only part! Take some time away from friends to build back up your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Helping Your Kids with Bad Friendships

1. Take a step back.

Before you’re tempted to talk to your child about their bad influence friend, think about what’s making you react to their friend in that way. You might be putting all the blame on your child’s friend, when in fact there’s something going on with your child that’s pushing them toward that friend. Understand that it’s normal during adolescence for your child to try to fit in and imitate their peers, so it might not be only about peer pressure or negative influence from the friend.

2. Avoid always criticizing.

Even if you don’t like your child’s friends or the way they treat your child, it’s important to avoid only giving negative feedback about their friends. This will only push your child further toward those friends and push them away from you. They’ll get angry and defensive and will be less likely to come to you about that friend in the future.

  • Seek out positives. You can ask, “What do you like about your friend?” or “What do you get from this friendship?”
  • Let them know they have choices. You can say, “You don’t have to spend time with those friends. You don’t have to be treated this way.”

3. Be clear about inappropriate behavior.

When your child’s friend does something you’re not happy about, like talking back to you or stealing something from your home, be clear and direct with your child about the behavior you don’t like. Don’t judge the friend’s personality or character. Be clear about what limits you’ll have for your child and that friend from now on.

  • You can say, “I’m sure your friend is a good person, and I don’t know everything they’re going through, but I don’t like that your friend stole beer from our refrigerator. I don’t want you to think it’s okay to do that, here or at someone else’s home. He isn’t allowed to come back over until he apologizes to me.”

4 Set limits and structure.

Sometimes you won’t be able to keep your child or teen away from friends who are bad influences just by talking to them. Instead, you can keep your child busy with structured activities during the week. Control more of their schedule by setting limits on who they spend time with, when, where, and for how long.

  • If you have a child 12 or under, you can plan visits to relatives, schedule doctors’ appointments, or schedule time with other friends instead of allowing them time with bad influences. When they do spend time with the bad friend, make sure it’s at your house or that you’re nearby and can listen in on interactions.
  • If you have a teenager, you can limit the nights they’re allowed to go out and make sure you know what their plans are when they do go out. Let them know their activities with friends have to be approved by you first, and enforce consequences if you find out they did something other than what they first told you.

5 Be patient.

Friendships come and go during adolescence. Once your kids reach high school, their brains and identities are developing even more. They’ll start to feel more secure in who they are and what they believe, and they won’t be as easily swayed by friends and peer pressure. Be patient with this process and trust that as long as you support their independence while providing them with some structure and limits, they’ll make good choices in friends.

Stay Away From Bad Friends by

Don’t ever give up, keep trying

By Azugbene Solomon

We all would have heard these Lines:

“Failures are the Stepping Stones of Success”

How many of us have succeeded in what we try in the first attempt? Not many. This proves that success cannot be attained in one day. There are exceptions where success can be achieved easily. But when it comes to a competitive task or a tough task it takes a lot of patience and needs many attempts to bring success to our side.

We would have heard about the great scientist Thomas Alva Edison. His success story is really motivating. Edison on his experiments to refine the light bulb failed 1000 times. But his attitude towards failure was simply great. He confidently said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. I found 1000 ways of how not to make a light bulb”

In life, what matters is our attitude. If we give up easily, we cannot taste the flavors of success. It takes years for a tree to give a tasty fruit. Similarly it will take time to make success, sometimes even years. The path of success can be rough and hard, but if we keep going without any lack of confidence the day to success is not really far away.

If we want to win in life we should not stop till we get what we are looking for. The only that helps us to make an achievement is self confidence. If we believe we can make wonders, we will. So, we should believe ourselves before expecting others to believe us or support us. When life gives us a thousand reasons to quit trying, give yourself one reason to try one more time. “Never Give Up” till you become a great achiever.

Life is a race which is all about winning. But winning is not the only end point. In life, we should understand no one has made great achievements in the first day. World famous Cricket Player Sachin Tendulkar did not become popular in one day. He took him lot of failures and challenges to become what he is today. When he faced failures, he did nit give up; he kept trying till he met success in life. Similarly, in our life we should wait with patience. Hard work pays. So we should “Never Give Up” until we reach what we are focusing.

Regardless of whether you slow down or not, you should keep on trying. One of the main drivers of success is persistence, perseverance and a resolution to keep on trying. Even when your body aches and the scars seem to be wearing you down; do not accept in your mind to quit.

Do not say no to your dreams. It is important to preserve as opposed to being lazy and letting defeatism take a toll on you. We tend to learn these negative vices from the society, our surroundings and our peers. Do not allow your environment to plunge you into despair; instead always have hope that in turn fuels perseverance.

What It Means to Never Give Up

1. Life isn’t about talk; it’s about commitment.

A dream isn’t worth anything until you try to put it into practice. When you dedicate yourself to your dream, whatever it may be, you find yourself at the intersection of perception and reality. This idea has probably existed in your mind for years, taking on a particular shape and existing entirely as a function of your own imagination. Now, when you put it to the test, it’s time to get real. It’s time to give birth to the idea and fully commit to nurturing that dream the same way you would nurture a child.

2. Resilience and adaptation are the keys to a vibrant life and healthy mind.

When you are trying to manifest any idea, there will be setbacks, failures and disappointments. Newsflash: Setbacks, failures and disappointments are good for you! They are the best education you can get, as they teach you to adapt. Giving up is like dropping out of school; you miss out on critical experiences and important lessons, and do not learn the enormous value of failure.

3. Quitting can become a habit.

If you give up on the things that matter most to you, you will likely establish a pattern of giving up on anything when things don’t go the way you hoped. You will not learn the importance of persistence — and anything worthwhile requires persistence.

4. Values are the most important thing.

Persisting with goals that are important to you means placing most significance on your values, rather than convenience or expedience. Hopefully, you wouldn’t ever give up on your values, and you wouldn’t give up on the ideas that reflect those values.

5. Self-belief is everything.

Giving up on your important goals is tantamount to giving up on yourself. You are a unique person with your own gifts and talents and no one will invest in them more than you. Perhaps millions of people have had the same goals and dreams as you, but everyone manifests these aspirations differently — and uniquely.

So what does never giving up really mean? It means believing in yourself. It means willingness to accept “failure” so you can learn the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your most important values, and walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk. It means living the life you want and are passionate about.


Some days, happiness seems so, so difficult.

Some days, happiness seems so, so impossible.

Some days, sadness and depression seem so overwhelming and it’s hard enough to find the energy to get up and out of bed…let alone do anything meaningful or constructive.

But today I want to reassure you that even on the most difficult days, in fact especially on the most difficult days, it’s well worth trying to do what ever you can to do “the right things” even if it doesn’t seem like they’ll pay off in the near future.

So here’s 13 reasons why it’s important to keep trying…

1. Happy and successful people focus more on the process, rather than the outcomes; so it’s important to keep trying to do the right things even when the results don’t seem to be coming.

2. Even if you don’t achieve anything noteworthy, it feels good to try.

3. Even if you can’t see the results now, making an effort will (in some not insignificant way) contribute to progress (even if it’s in the medium to longer term).

4. And If you reinforce yourself for trying, you can enjoy at least some satisfaction and positive emotion, which can then kick-start the positivity needed to do and achieve and enjoy more.

5. Trying is better than the alternative; it very rarely helps to give up completely.

6. Even if or when you can’t find the motivation or reason to do it for yourself, do it for others because your efforts and motivation will “spread” to those who’re nearest and dearest to you.

7. Furthermore, trying sends a positive message to others that we can all, even during our most difficult times, do and try something.

8. Sometimes if you begin by “faking it”, you can create your own inspiration that will then make it real (see my previous post HERE).

9. Movement creates momentum; effort leads to energy.

10. The more you do the easier it becomes; practice makes better.

11. Trying something might lead you down a path you hadn’t considered which might then contribute to a positive outcome you’d not imagined possible.

12. Which suggests another important consideration; if you’re going to be trying something it might, at times, be worth trying something completely different.

13. And finally, remember, that sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and something great will happen!

You can develop the nature of not giving up by accepting that you can be persistent, appreciating its importance and having clear goals. Luckily, you do not need special talent to persist until you achieve your objective. With practice, hard work and determination, you can have all it takes to keep on trying till you get what you need.

1. EdgeArticles: Why It Is Important To Never Give Up? – Essay

2. Your Home Teacher: Never Give Up

3. Huff post: What It Means to Never Give Up

4. Dr. Happy: Reasons Why…it’s Important to Keep Trying Even When It Seems So Hard!

Rules To Lead A Fulfilling Life

By Azugbene Solomon

Being fulfilled is an awesome feeling, but unfortunately, it’s a feeling that many have trouble finding. Fulfillment is an easy concept on the surface, yet it’s so elusive. However, living a fulfilling life is well within the reach of everyone. Here are 18 ways to discover some fulfillment.

1. Come to peace with the way things are.

“If only I had more money, I’d…”

Or, “If I had more time, I’d…”

How many times do you hear people say these daily? Many times, I bet.

People are so obsessed with what they don’t have that they never allow themselves to be satisfied with what they do have in life. Constantly having a mindset of wanting more and more will squash any chances you have of acceptance. Embrace acceptance and watch your stress levels go down.

2. Take timeouts in life frequently.

Every so often, it’s good to hit the pause button on life and soak in the moment. Life can get hectic with work, relationships, and stress leading us to not realize how awesome life is.

Take time out of your busy day and smell the roses.

Finding the beauty and joy in the everyday mundane will allow countless little epiphanies and revelations, which will not only broaden your horizons, but make you grateful for all the things that are overlooked on a day-to-day basis.

3. Include some gratitude in your daily life.

Focusing on the negative leads to you becoming a toxic individual. Practicing gratitude has a myriad of benefits, such as happiness, more optimism, and better health. Challenge yourself to practice gratitude by writing or telling someone one thing you’re thankful for each day.

4. Spice up your life with some daily thrills.

Life is meant to be one big adventure, so get to exploring. Become daring and start saying yes to things you always talk yourself out of. Learn a new skill such as ballroom dancing, or go skydiving.

5. Treat yourself like royalty.

Do you beat yourself up over things that happened in the past? If so, then you need to stop that immediately. It’s time to forgive yourself and stop living in the past. If you don’t show respect and kindness to yourself, then how can you expect someone else to? How can someone else see how awesome you are if you can’t see it yourself?

6. Eat in a way that is satisfying and healthy.

Eating healthy doesn’t entail the daily consumption of boring and bland meals, such as steamed chicken and broccoli. If fat loss is your goal, living a fulfilling life and eating awesome, tasty foods is very doable. Eating healthy should please your palate and your fitness goals.

7. Make exercise a priority, not an exception.

If you care about living longer, having more energy, and wanting to look hotter, then look no further than exercising to take care of all those needs. From improving your mood to improving your sex life, exercise is a no-brainer. If exercising isn’t your favorite activity, then read this article to help change your mind.

8. Stop making life so difficult.

Sometimes, life is meant to be simple. Stop overanalyzing everything and making every decision complicated and complex. Life isn’t meant to be filled with stress. Chill out and take a walk through the park or go have a quiet and relaxing dinner.

9. Punch fear in the face and get to living.

Fear is a natural part of our lives. Conquering fear starts in our heads and the mindset that we approach fear with. Experiencing failure provides value when it comes to living a fulfilling life and being the best version of yourself. Through failures, you’ll learn lessons that will make you a better person down the road.

10. Stop letting others determine your self-worth.

When you compare yourself to others, you’re devaluing yourself. Looking at someone else’s life from the outside is the same as looking at a highlight reel. Who knows how long it took them to get to their current position? Don’t compare your life to others.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

11. Kick all your negative company to the curb.

Life is far too short and awesome to deal with negative people who are full of toxic thoughts and habits. Keeping negative people around guarantees you’ll be unhappy and miserable. Equate negative people to mosquitoes and put some repellent on so they can’t suck the life out of you.

12. Learn to enjoy your own company.

Don’t become reliant on other people’s company or feel the need to be in a relationship to feel complete. Being in a relationship needs to come from a want, not a need. Embrace the notion of being your own BFF.

13. Commit to being a lifelong learner.

Those who desire to live a fulfilling life need to have a curious and hungry mind. By being a lifelong learner you realize that there’s a vast world out there that is waiting for exploration and adventures. By constantly learning, you’re increasing your knowledge and perspective of the world.

14. Escape from all the craziness that lives in our head.

The story that exists in your head is not even close to the actual day-to-day story that you live. Eliminate all those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Positive thinking leads to positive results.

15. Challenge yourself to become a social butterfly.

Make an effort to connect with more people, smile, and maintain eye contact a little longer than normal. This forces you to become more open to the world, leading to greater connections. When meeting new people, choose people from all different backgrounds and beliefs. This allows you to become a more well-rounded individual.

16. Embrace living outside your comfort zone.

If you never take yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of in life. All the magic in life happens outside your little box. By staying inside your shell, you will only produce a mediocre version of yourself. Start living outside your comfort zone today by doing something you normally wouldn’t do.

17. Go for your dreams and let no one take them from you.

You can’t be afraid to go after what you want. Following your dreams is a vital part of living a life of fulfillment and shouldn’t be overlooked. Everyone says to follow your dreams, but few do. You only get to live through this thing we call life once, so you might as well make the best of it and live it on your own terms.

18. You should quit being so serious 24/7.

Would you please have a sense of humor and smile? Not everything is a matter of life and death. Feel free to take time off from playing the role of Captain Serious and joke around and act stupid.

Laughter helps people live longer, while also reducing blood pressure. The world would be a better place if we would all quit taking ourselves so seriously and get a little stupid. One of my favorite ways to get stupid is to start dancing. Here are some videos to help you get your dance on.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend and leave a comment below. Thanks!

Lifehack: 18 Basic Rules

Stop Blaming Yourself

By Azugbene Solomon

Do you constantly cast blame on yourself for feeling the way you feel or for desiring the things you desire? Do you feel guilty after you express your emotions to someone else? Do you constantly fear hurting others when making a choice that’s best for you, but then find that you stop yourself and hurt yourself instead?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are just like me and many of us on the planet who suffer from existential guilt whereby we think, on some level, that our mere existence is a burden.

The fact that we are surviving should be enough, right? We should all be grateful and satisfied to have food, water and shelter, and can accept it as “normal” to live with tons of guilt, right? Asking to thrive, to achieve our dreams and goals is simply too much to ask.

If you can’t already tell, I am being sarcastic. It is not wrong to want to enjoy our lives, our relationships and our bodies to the fullest. It is not wrong to desire fulfilling work that has meaning, but which also pays the bills, puts food on the table, and eventually provides the financial freedom to never feel trapped somewhere we don’t want to be.

The root-cause of the guilt and fear that so many of us are far too familiar with goes back to our early childhood. Raising children is a huge sacrifice for parents. We realized this as kids, and absorbed the sense of being a burden. Hopefully, your parents or guardians welcomed and supported you and your feelings, needs, desires and dreams — not just your survival. But the feeling of guilt, even if it was deep-rooted and not quite conscious, still was there.

As children, we depended on our parents/guardians. We were vulnerable. So we learned, by default, to fear losing our parents’ love and support. We don’t want to feel too much, need too much, say too much or do too much. It’s early on in our lives that we develop this impulse to self-censor.

We don’t need to fear being rejected and abandoned as adults just because we feared being rejected and abandoned as children. We now can have greater self-awareness, or at least a desire to cultivate self-awareness.

To do so, we can develop a few simple habits to start to learn how to think we are right — that our feelings, desires, and thoughts are OK, not blameworthy. Here are five …

1. Welcome everything about yourself.

Everything. What you think, feel, desire, need and dream. Plant your feet firmly in the present without making it wrong or rejecting it out of fear. Try slow, deep breathing through your nose to help with this process significantly. Make it a meditation!

2. Establish an affirming mantra.

You might consider, “It is my birthright to be healthy, happy, fulfilled and valued. My feelings, needs, desires and dreams matter.”

3. Forgive yourself. No matter what.

So you may have judged yourself, or felt wrong, guilty, bad or overall negative in the past — for things great and small. But forgive yourself regardless. Forgive yourself for holding yourself back and causing yourself so much pain, but don’t dwell on it. You are now letting yourself live an authentic and fulfilling life that you love now.

4. Find your courage (it’s there).

It’s in there, you just need to tap into it and use it! Find the courage to speak and act based on your true feelings, needs and goals in every moment and situation — even if you’re scared. It will energize and inspire you.

5. Give yourself permission.

Rather than betraying yourself because you fear feeling guilt, hurting others, or losing love, really allow yourself each day to be true to yourself and only engage in relationships, situations, work, and activities that make you feel good, alive and well. Your life should feel no other way.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend and leave a comment below. Thanks!

1. Mbg: Stop Blaming yourself all the time

Believe in yourself

By Azugbene Solomon

Learning how to believe in yourself will open up endless possibilities in your life. At times you may find this difficult to do. The truth is that we’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to doubt ourselves. We must retrain ourselves to get rid of our fears and self-doubt in order to build self-esteem and self-confidence.

Everything you have in your life is a result of your belief in yourself and the belief that it’s possible.

Here are the four most important steps to learning how to believe in yourself. Practice them and you’ll be amazed at the results:

  • Believe it’s possible. Believe that you can do it regardless of what anyone says or where you are in life.
  • Visualize it. Think about exactly what your life would look like if you had already achieved your dream.
  • Act as if. Always act in a way that is consistent with where you want to go.
  • Take action towards your goals. Do not let fear stop you, nothing happens in life until you take action.

In order to believe in yourself, you first have to believe that what you want is possible.

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But what we now know is that instead, we respond to what the brain — based on previous experience — expects to happen next.

In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument; it can deliver literally everything you want through the power of positive expectation.

This is the importance of always holding a positive expectation that what you want is going to happen. It is simply a choice and a discipline of the mind.

The ability to believe in yourself can change your life.

Just think:

What difference would it make in your life if you had an absolutely unshakable confidence in your ability to achieve anything you really put your mind to?

What would you want and wish and hope for?

What would you dare to dream if you believed in yourself with such deep conviction that you had no fears of failure whatsoever?

How to Believe in Yourself
Most people start off with little or low self-confidence, but as a result of their own efforts, they become bold and brave and outgoing. And we’ve discovered that if you do the same things that other self-confident men and women do, you, too, will experience the same feelings and get the same results.

The key is to be true to yourself, to be true to the very best that is in you, and to live your life consistent with your highest values and aspirations. This is the only way to truly learn how to believe in yourself.

Take some time to think about who you are and what you believe in and what is important to you.

If you want to change your life by becoming an author, believe that you can do it. The hardest step in that journey is finding the confidence to learn how to write a book. Once you get a hold of a proven system to plan, produce, and publish your work, the larger goal becomes easier to attain.

By believing in yourself, you will find the courage to take immediate action on your goals. And this, as you may know, is the key to success!

I encourage you to never compromise your integrity by trying to be or say or feel something that is not true for you.

And – more importantly – never compromise your potential to grow due to self-limiting doubts. Instead, embrace your confidence and believe in yourself because you really can do anything you put your mind to.

Tell Yourself You Have Confidence and Believe It
Repeat affirmations such as “I believe in myself” every day.

Your thoughts become words and your words become your actions. If you continue to tell yourself that you believe in yourself, eventually you really will believe in yourself.

It’s that simple.

Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are—not as you might be, or as someone else thinks you should be—and know that, taking everything into consideration, you are a pretty good person.

After all, we all have our own talents, skills, and abilities that make us extraordinary.

No one, including yourself, has any idea of your capabilities or of what you might ultimately do or become. Perhaps the hardest thing to do in life is to accept how extraordinary you really can be, believe in yourself, and then to incorporate this awareness into your attitude and personality.

Understanding the 5 Levels of Personality

You can imagine your personality by thinking of a target with concentric rings. Your personality is made up of five rings, starting from the center with your values and radiating outward to the next circle, your beliefs and values in life.

1. Believe In Yourself
Your values in life determine your beliefs, about yourself and the world around you.

If you have positive values, such as love, compassion, and generosity, you will believe that people in your world are deserving of these values and you will treat them accordingly. When you believe in yourself and chose to be a good person you will find yourself to be more positive and successful in life.

2. Set Expectations And Know Your Values In Life
Your beliefs, in turn, determine the third ring of your personality, your expectations. If you have positive values, you will believe yourself to be a good person.

If you believe in yourself to be a good person, you will expect good things to happen to you. If you expect good things to happen to you, you will be positive cheerful, and future-oriented. You will look for the good in other people and situations.

3. Attitude: Expect Good Things To Happen
The fourth level of your personality, determined by your expectations, is your attitude.Your attitude will be an outward manifestation or reflection of your values, beliefs, and expectations.

For example, if your value is that this is a good world to live in and your belief is that you are going to be very successful in life, you will expect that everything that happens to you is helping you in some way.

As a result, you will have a positive mental attitude toward other people and they will respond positively toward you.

You will be a more cheerful and optimistic person. You will be someone who others want to work with and for, buy from and sell to, and generally help to be more successful.

4. Be A Good Person Through Your Actions
The fifth ring, or level of life, is your actions. Your actions on the outside will ultimately be a reflection of your innermost values, beliefs, and expectations on the inside. This is why what you achieve in life and work will be determined more by what is going on inside of you than by any other factor.

5. Action Exercise
Make a list of your three to five most important values in life today.

What do you really believe in and stand for? What are your values in life? What qualities are you best known for among the people who know you? What do you consider the most important values guiding your relationships with others in your life?

Thank you for reading this article about finding your values in life and learning to believe in yourself. Remember to expect good things to happen and work hard towards your goals so that you will find yourself living a happy and successful life.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend and leave a comment below. Thanks!

1. Brian Tracy: How to Believe in Yourself and Boost Your Self-Confidence

2. Jack Canfield: Maximizing Your Potential