Last week, we started a discussion on 8 vital habits that are best learned early in life. Missed it? Click on the link below to catch up (Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you).
Today, our list gets 4 new entries. Enjoy!
#5. THE ABILITY TO DELAY GRATIFICATION.
This habit will literally save your life. Which would you rather have – what you want NOW or what you want MOST? They’re rarely the same. Habit #1 was about saying no to others when you need to. This is about saying no to yourself.
The temptation to live impulsively is very strong when we’re young; we want to know how that feels and we want to know now. There’s this thirst for adventure and new experiences that sometimes pushes us to the edge of stupid decisions. If we don’t learn to restrain ourselves early enough, we may end up becoming fully irresponsible and impulsive, lacking in judgement and not thinking through the consequences of our decisions as older people. That’s not a pretty picture, is it?
#6. THE ABILITY TO STAND ALONE/GO AGAINST THE CROWD.
The herd mentality is no myth.
Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items – Wikipedia
You are different. You know it. But have you accepted it? Have you made that decision to live out your difference even if it means not conforming to popular opinion?
[Caveat: I’m talking about being different within the context of ethical, legal and biblically approved behaviour]
Are your decisions affected more by what you think others expect of you or what you know within that you must do? When you need to make a choice, do you find yourself fixated on “what will people say?” You need to break that habit. And now is the perfect time to do it.
#7. THE ABILITY TO TAKE ACTION WHILE STILL AFRAID.
Oh my, this is a life-changer! Seizing opportunities will often involve risk and a certain level of uncertainty (pun intended). As a young person, now is the best time to learn to do it afraid. Generally speaking, the older we get, the more we tend to be cautious and wait for more green lights before taking action.
Developing the courage to act while still afraid is simple but not easy. When you get to that point where fear causes you to freeze, where you’re seriously thinking about turning back or standing still, just take one more step. Do one more thing. Make one more attempt. You may be super-scared with a dry mouth, sickly stomach and a pounding heart – but just MAKE A MOVE. Trust me, the first time is the hardest.
WONDERING HOW THIS WORKS IN REAL LIFE? READ MY PERSONAL, TRUE LIFE STORY THROWING YOURSELF IN THE WAY OF SUCCESS
#8. THE ABILITY TO QUESTION YOUR BELIEFS AND CHALLENGE YOUR FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTIONS.
What do you believe about life and yourself? Where exactly did you get that from? Do you have a clear idea of the underpinning truths that make up your belief system? Or have you simply swallowed what mummy or daddy or the preacher said?
If you live long enough, events will come up that will challenge everything you’ve known to be true. In today’s society, every core belief we once accepted without reservation is being challenged. From faith to family to sexuality, there are no sacred cows – everything is getting called up for scrutiny.
If you’ve built your beliefs on someone else’s opinions and experiences rather than your personal convictions and discoveries, you’ll find your faith torn to shreds. You’ll find you’re unable to defend or explain your convictions clearly and sensibly; and if you can’t defend it, why should anyone else buy into it?
To stand strong in the face of life’s adversities and pointed questions, take the time NOW to thoroughly understand the beliefs you hold. If you find that you’ve been living on second-hand ideas or hand-me-down opinions, put in the time to do your own thinking and questioning and discover truths for yourself. Believe me, in today’s culture, you’ll need it sooner than you think.
So there you have it. My short list of habits best developed when you’re young. My question from last week still stands – looking at this list, which habits would you say you’ve mastered and which seems most difficult to practice?
In writing this two-part post, some other habits came to mind but I had to keep this concise. What did I leave out? Are there other habits you believe young people are better off mastering now? Add your voice to the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments section. Let’s do this.
Live by Design.
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