The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – Final Part

7 habits

In the previous issue we discussed your personal bank account (PBA) of deeds and how three different types of small deposits can eventually enrich you in the long run. Now we will discuss the remaining three ways of meaningful deposits to build your (PBA). Similarly an opposite action would end up in withdrawal from your (PBA).

PBA Deposits

  • Keep promises made to yourself
  • Initiate little acts of kindness for others
  • Handle yourself gently
  • Be honest with yourself and others
  • Renew yourself
  • Let your talents bloom

PBA Withdrawals

  • Break personal promises
  • Be a loner and keep to yourself
  • Beat yourself up
  • Be dishonest with yourself and others
  • Wear yourself out
  • Neglect your talents

Be honest with yourself and others

Honesty begins with self. When ever we lie or cheat it makes us unsure of ourselves. It casts a heavy shadow on our heart and is an immediate withdrawal from our (PBA). As they say you can’t do wrong and feel right.

Have you been fake or dishonest with your parents, friends or at work? We know that we all have a tendency to impress others even if we have to act phony. Next time be yourself and you will feel a lot more wholesome. It takes strength and courage to be honest with yourself as well as others.

Sean Covey shares a story of a teenager called Jeff. Jeff was smarter in mathematics than his other friends. He came up with an idea to start charging them for every test he helped them cheat on. Initially, he felt great making money and helping his friends get good grades. Later, he realized he hadn’t really been helping them at all. If they didn’t learn now, it would just get tougher down the road for them. So he quit his game and took a brave stand by being honest with himself and his friends. It was hard but it was the right choice, which served everyone’s best interests.

Honesty may not be a trend anymore. You will find people get ahead in life by cheating and lying. But remember – every act of honesty is a deposit into your (PBA) and will build strength eventually, because your heart will be pure.

You may begin by not exaggerating or embellishing your point of views. Or next time when your parents ask you to tell them about something, just factually narrate the complete story without misleading them or deliberately leaving out some information.

Renew yourself

We all think that only medicines and magazine subscriptions expire. Wrong! As human beings, we also sometimes feel low and need a place of refuge to re-energize our mind, body and soul. If we do not learn to relax and renew ourselves occasionally, we tend to lose the zest for life.

How you can do it depends on your daily routine. Some people like to relax by writing in a journal, painting, playing a sport, going to the gym, etc. Some like to retreat to a quiet place for some quiet thinking in their homes, such as in their bedrooms, terrace or the basement. Some like to head outdoors to a favourite spot, such as a park, garden, river-side, etc.

I know a teenager, who used to keep hitting his tennis ball on a particular wall to relieve tension and after half an hour of playing ball, he felt de-stressed and renewed.

Of course, if you can build a habit of listening to a soothing Qirat by one of your favourite Qaris, it works like watering a wilted flower. When done, you’re in full bloom!

So next time you end up in an argument with your parents or friends or are simply worried about something try to slip in to your favourite place of refuge and re-collect your thoughts and emotions. Once you have renewed yourself, you will feel much better, Insha’Allah. And that will work as a deposit in your (PBA)!

Decide on a fun activity and do it today. If you feel lethargic go out for a walk or run.

Let your talents bloom

Allah (swt) has gifted talents to every single human being on this Earth. Even people with certain disorders such as Dyslexia or Autism are greatly gifted and intelligent. The key is to tap into your talents and draw on the best. Try figuring out what pleases you most and what skill you are inspired to polish?

And if you haven’t figured out fantastic ways to make deposits into your (PBA) yet, try to find special interest and then develop it. Nothing is more rewarding. And we don’t need to be stereo-typical and traditional about it. Why just think of being a writer or an athlete? You can be good at anything and carve a niche for yourself.

Talents come in different packages. They are all about self-expression. One can be a great collector of leaves, exhibit leadership skills, be a patient listener to others, write backwards, etc. Don’t ever think that it sounds silly or small. People, who have believed in their ideas and pursued their dreams, are the ones who have ever achieved anything. Most importantly they found joy and an identity for themselves. Stuff they did or made equally benefited others, too.

Make a list of talents you want to develop this year and how to achieve them. Secondly, list the name of people you admire the most for their talents and maybe try finding out how they got there!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – Part 6

Jan 11 - 7 habits teenagers

Principle-Centred – The Real Thing

In the past issues, we have discussed numerous centres that have time and again failed. One wonders whether there is a centre that actually works. Yes there is! It is being principle-centered. I know it sounds boring, but here is another way of looking at it.

We are all aware of the effects of gravity. Throw a ball up and it comes down. It’s a natural law or principle. This is one of the many principles that rule the physical world. Also, there are other principles that govern the human world.

What are principles?

  • Principles aren’t religious.
  • They aren’t Pakistani or Somali.
  • They aren’t mine or yours.
  • They aren’t up for discussion.
  • They apply equally to everyone – rich or poor, king or peasant, male or female.
  • They can’t be bought or sold.
  • If you live by them, you will excel.
  • If you break them, you will fail.

A few examples of principles are: love, honesty, service, respect, gratitude, hard work, loyalty, responsibility, integrity, justice and moderation. If anyone knows our Prophet (sa) well, he would think that Sean Covey was actually describing the Prophet’s (sa) way of life.

Consider just one of the examples of the aforementioned principles, like hard work. The principle of hard work never fails. As long as you have paid the price by investing time and effort into something, you will eventually succeed. Someone might whiz past you without putting any or much effort but, in the long run, as they say: “you can fool someone all the time but you can’t fool everyone all the time”. At some stage in life, incompetent people, who might have acquired status or recognition wrongfully, are exposed. This is mainly because they are neither trained nor experienced to deal with the challenges required for a particular job.

A very apt example could be of politicians. Someone, who has studied commerce, is handed over a ministry of science and technology. How will he fare? It could be anyone’s guess. However, if someone has studied and excelled in his/her field of education by hard work, he/she is likely to meet the challenges posed by his/her career, because he/she has paid the price to excel in that particular field.

Principles Never Fail

It takes faith to live by principles. In today’s age of rampant evil and quick fix solutions, one might feel like a sucker watching others get ahead in life by manipulation and corruption. What we don’t see is the doomed end of such people who break away from principles.

Cecil B. DeMille, the director of movie “The Ten Commandments”, stated: “It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.”

You will see that it eventually catches up to every wrong-doer, and the faker ultimately pays a penalty for breaking principles. How many liars and frauds do you know, who have earned anyone’s love, respect and friendship? And what kind of a life are they leading, in spite of having wealth and success? A guilty conscience seldom lets anyone live in peace.

What can principles do for you? According to Sean Covey, the benefits of principles are:

  • They will never talk behind your back.
  • They will never desert you.
  • They don’t suffer career-ending injuries.
  • They don’t have favourites based on gender, wealth or looks.

“A principle-centered life is simply the most stable, immovable, unshakable foundation you can build upon, and we all need one of those.”

Decide today to make principles your life-centre or paradigm. Whenever you land in a fix, ask yourself which principle will fit the key-hole? If you are feeling worn out and beaten up, maybe you need to apply the principle of balance. If you find people suspecting you, maybe it is the principle of honesty that will resolve the issue. In the following story by Walter MacPeek, we find the principle of loyalty being the driving force:

‘Two brothers, who were French soldiers in the same company, fought against the Germans. One of them was shot, while the other escaped. The one who was sound requested his commanding officer to go back and get his wounded brother. The officer politely explained that his brother was probably dead and that there was no point risking his own life.

After much pleading, the soldier was granted permission to bring back his wounded brother. When he did bring him back safely, he died just then. The commander said: ‘I told you that you were going to get nothing out of this. Your brother just died anyway.’ The soldier replied: ‘No sir, you are wrong. I got what I wanted. When I went back for him and picked him up in my arms, he said: ‘I knew you would come back for me.’ I did what was expected of me.’

Insha’Allah, in the upcoming issues, we will find out what each of the seven habits are connected and what powers these habits have. Be on the look-out.

What are habits?

Take them, train them, and be firm with them;

Your habits will place the world at your feet.

Be easy with them and they will destroy you.

So form them wisely!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – Part 5

Jan 11 - 7 habits teenagers

Paradigms of Life

Sean Covey explains that just as we have paradigms (perceptions) of ourselves and others, we also have paradigms of the world in general. We can find out what our life centres around by asking ourselves the following questions (as we did in our previous articles):

  1. What do I think about the most?
  2. What do I spend most of my time doing?
  3. Who or what is the driving force of my life?

Some popular life-centres for teenagers will follow. They all have certain good points, but they are also incomplete in one way or the other, as will be discussed.

Sport/hobby-centred

We often witness people building their identity around being an outstanding sportsperson, only to suffer a severe injury; or around an outstanding career only to find out that someone outshines them. In such cases, the poor soul is left to rebuild from scratch. Similarly, many other interests or pastimes, such as theatres, clubs, etc., are based on unstable grounds. If one performs greatly in a particular play or event, it is most stressful to continue maintaining the same performance each time one puts his foot on the stage or in the club.

A wise man once said: “In a game, everyone cannot be a winner. There will be losers, too. And they are human beings. As long as one gives his/her 100 per cent, leave the rest to Allah (swt). It is for Him to decide who crosses the finishing line first.”

Hero-centred

It is very common for the youth to centre their lives on famous celebrities, movies stars, sportsmen, politicians, rock stars, etc. They will even be able to tell you what their favourite personality has for breakfast! But if the same celebrity dies, ends up in prison or does something impulsively ridiculous, where will the fans go? They will feel embarrassed, angry and disappointed. As is the case of every person in the limelight: “What goes up, comes down.” And one day people do forget them, too. We have endless stories of the fans of Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, etc., who spent their lives in their favourite celebrity’s shadow, even after they were gone. So hero-worship is certainly a vulnerable and fragile centre.

Enemy-centred

Sometimes our entire life revolves around hating a particular person, group or an ideology. Just as an antagonist in a movie wants to take revenge from the protagonist, the aim of some people in life is just to make the lives of others miserable. All the positive energy and creativity turns into evil genius and is passed on to others like a fatal epidemic. They stoop to any level just to settle scores. Such ideologies are usually a by-product of hanging out with gangs or the result of broken homes or maybe, very low self-worth. This indeed is a warped centre. Not to mention how very detrimental it is to one’s faith and extremely heavy on one’s heart. Imagine carrying around so much venom inside one’s heart.

Work-centred

Workaholism is a sickness that generally afflicts people after they have crossed their teenagehood. But sometimes it can strike the young as well. One feels the need to have more money, cars, status and recognition. This obsession prevents the person from

enjoying what he already has, and drives him/her to greater ambitions. This further leads the person to be burned out from too much work and may deprive him/her of sound health and steady mind. Because there is no moderation in life and one is just slaving day in and day out, eventually it tends to make one very unhappy and dead beat.

Self-centred

This is a very common centre nowadays. This perception makes a person resistant to putting the mirror down. Sean Covey explains it: “One thinks that the world revolves around you and your problems. This often results in being so worried about your own condition that you’re oblivious to the walking wounded all around you.” One’s life begins with “my ugly pimple, my dead cell phone, my bad grade…” Get the picture? The list goes on and on.

So what will ultimately provide us with the stability we need in life? All the life-centres that we have discussed in this and our previous issues have proved to be shaky and uncertain. Sean Covey is not suggesting that we should quit being ambitious or passionate about people and stuff we believe in. What he warns against is that we should not rely on a life-line that may give out anytime without warning.

In the next part we will discuss the real thing – the actual centre that we should all try to acquire for guaranteed success, Insha’Allah.

So be on the lookout for our upcoming article.

What are habits?

They are not a machine, though they work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human.

They may be run for profit or run for ruin – it makes no difference to them.

So form them wisely!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – Part 4

Jan 11 - 7 habits teenagers

Paradigms of Life

Sean Covey explains that just as we have paradigms (perceptions) about ourselves and others, we also have paradigms about the world in general. They are the spectacles, through which we see the world around us. We can find out what the focal point of our life is by asking ourselves the following questions (as we did in our previous article):

  1. What do I think about the most?
  2. What do I spend most of my time doing?
  3. Who or what is the driving force of my life?

As discussed earlier, some of the more popular life-center’s for teenagers were friends and materialistic stuff. Now, we will talk about some other centers of life.

They all have certain good points, but they are also incomplete in one way or the other. We will prove this one by one.

Fiancé/spouse-centred

Getting married and falling in love is the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone. Islam encourages Nikah and considers it to be half of an individual’s Deen. But it also talks about strengthening relationships by merging the positives qualities of two partners into a companionship, which will further provide a strong foundation for their future family.

But love struck as we are sometimes, the love of our life weakens rather than strengthens us. For example, if your fiancé or spouse is in a bad mood or is having a rough day and happens to snap at you, you’ll always react! How? Either by snapping back, crying bitterly or putting on a fiercer mood.

Believe it or not, if you become emotionally dependant on your partner, you will actually become unattractive to him/her. Whatever role you assume, whether, it is that of a pitiful victim or a charged bull, you will put off your partner.

A sign, which tells you that your relationship lacks inner strength, is when you are constantly falling into mood swings and ruining your and other people’s day after a fight with your fiancé or spouse.

In situations such as these, Islam teaches us not to over-react; rather, the best course of action is to stay silent. Counseling and communication can happen later, when both parties are in a calm and sane mind frame. It’s about finding inner strength, so that when your partner sinks, you try to save him/her, by staying afloat and helping him/her swim back to the shore, too!

School/college-centred

We all have known someone in our classroom, who was always comparing his/her marks with the smart kids of the class. And if he/she happened to fail to live up to his/her own expectations, or that of the teacher’s, he/she would sulk, lament or break into fury.

Among teenagers, centering one’s life on school or college is most common. As Sean Covey puts it; “Our education is vital to our future and should be a top priority. But we must be careful not to let it take over our lives. School-centred teenagers often become so obsessed with getting good marks that they forget that the real purpose of school is to learn.”

They work harder than required and shut the world out of their lives. This turns them into nerds or bookworms. By the time they have graduated from school/college and stepped into a more serious phase of their life, they realize that they had missed the chance to have fun.

Ambitious and responsible students balance their academic achievements with a more relaxed outlook on life. They stay at the top of their class without losing their sense of enjoyment. A person’s true worth can hardly be measured by his/her exam results. Trust me; you will still retain your abilities and character in spite of an occasional average grade in class.

Parent-centred

Allah (swt) has ordained children to love and respect their parents numerous times in the Quran. It goes without saying that we owe our life and all the wonderful things that have come with it to them, their sacrifices and care.

But, as good Muslims, we are also advised to be moderates. We should seek ultimate pleasure of the Lord (swt). In fact, parents are not to be obeyed, if they encourage their kids to turn to disbelief.

Similarly, some parents become paranoid for their children and impassioned with their own dreams and ambitions for them. Their kids willingly or unwillingly live a life of their parent’s choice, never being able to blossom into the people they would like to be and with the potential Allah (swt) gifted them.

I have heard tearful stories of kids who spent their lives trying to seek their parent’s approval. But no matter how hard they worked, they just could not live up to their expectations, maybe because the parents themselves didn’t realize that their expectations of the kids were wrong.

Eventually, when the kids detached themselves of their parents’ misguided expectations, they discovered their own potential and direction. Indeed, they proved far more successful and made their parents proud.

It is important to be honest with oneself and parents. Initially, it is very tough, but when you believe in your own goodness and capabilities granted to you by Allah (swt), you discover your own value. You work with all your zeal and succeed. This eventually earns you your parents’ love and approval, too.

In the next part, we will discuss in detail the remaining paradigms of life and the ways they impact us.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – Part 3

Jan 11 - 7 habits teenagers

Paradigms of others

Sean Covey shared a classical example of a paradigm shift in the following anecdote taken from the Reader’s Digest and contributed by Dan P. Greyling:

A lady, who was returning to South Africa from a long stay in Europe, had some time to spend at the Heathrow airport. She bought herself a cup of coffee and a small packet of biscuits. Laden with the luggage, she headed for an unoccupied table. While she was reading the morning newspaper, she sensed someone else helping himself to her packet of biscuits.

Fuming she ignored it and took a biscuit herself. The neatly dressed young man, who had joined her at the table, also took the next biscuit and quietly sat munching it. She still didn’t bother scolding him.

When they were down to the very last biscuit in the packet, he broke the biscuit in two, pushed a half across to her, ate the other half and left. Just then the lady’s flight was announced and she got up to catch it. Still bewildered at the audacity of the young man, she opened her purse to retrieve her ticket. Inside her purse, she saw a packet of biscuits. She had actually been eating his biscuits, having forgotten to take out hers from the purse.

Imagine her embarrassment which was just a few seconds earlier, a feeling of anger towards the stranger. What does this tell us? The way we perceive others can actually be inaccurate, incomplete or totally wrong. Don’t we judge others with our limited point of views and even fewer facts? We are simply not interested in looking at the other side of the picture. We can hardly wait before we have formed rigid opinions, labelled others or passed judgements against them.

In contrast, we should be open-minded and have the courage to change our paradigms, once we have discovered the truth. We should always consider new information, ideas and changes. It is just as if we are throwing away an old pair of glasses and replacing them with new spectacles with more accurate lenses.

We consider ourselves to be an expert on what others feel and think. If someone is rude to us, we automatically assume he/she hates us. If someone is trying to avoid us, we feel there is something fishy going on. We are always ready to jump to conclusions.

This is the way we handle all our relationships. We never bother to see the other person’s point of view. We never take our time to understand why a person behaves in a certain manner. Our messed up paradigms never let us give others the benefit of the doubt or an allowance that maybe the other person might just be having a rough day.

Don’t most teenagers think of adults as old-fashioned and out-dated losers? On the contrary, don’t most adults consider teenagers to be pompous, spoilt brats? They both never try to understand each other. They are only looking at things from their perspective. How can we ever be successful and happy with such narrow outlooks towards others?

Paradigms of life

Sean Covey explains that just as we have paradigms about ourselves and others, we also have paradigms about the world in general. We can find out what our life revolves around, by asking ourselves the following questions:

  1. What do I think the most about?
  2. What do I spend my time doing the most?
  3. Who or what is the driving force of my life?

Some of the more popular life-centres for teenagers include: friends, materialistic stuff, school, parents, sports/hobbies, and heroes, enemies, self and work.

They all have certain good points, but they are also incomplete in one way or the other. We will prove this one by one:

1) Friend-centred

Belonging to a great group of friends is simply the best thing that can ever happen to you. Similarly, being an outcast or feeling misfit is the worse imaginable plight one can go through, especially in his/her teenage years.

Friends are important, but do not build your life on them. It is an unstable foundation. Why? Occasionally, they prove to be fickle. They have their own mood swings. They can be fake or sometimes backbite. Old pals can also develop new friendships and forget yours.

Most importantly, at times, one compromises his/her identity just to be accepted as part of a popular or particular gang. It undermines your self-respect and breaks the standards that you have set for yourself. It also means to keep on changing your values to accommodate your friends.

It might seem impossible now, but a day will come when your friends won’t mean the world to you. After school, when you start your practical life with numerous challenges, the same friends will be the last thing on your mind. You will still meet them and associate with them but it will be seldom.

So make as many friends as you would like to but do not make them the centre of your life.

2) Material-centred

Think about this saying: “If who I am is what I have and what I have is lost, then who am I?” (Anonymous)

Sometimes, we see the world through the lens of possessions or material stuff. The materialistic world around us feeds us the message that you are worth anything only if you own the fastest car, the latest stereo system, the coolest mobile phone, the best hairstyle, the trendiest outfits, etc. Sometimes, possessions also come in the form of titles and accomplishments, such as head boy or girl, team captain, class monitor, prefect, lead in the play, etc.

Although it is fine to be ambitious and seek pleasure in enjoying one’s achievements, one should not centre one’s life on things. Why? Mainly because they have no lasting value in this changing world. Our confidence needs to come from within and not from outside.

You might have noticed that some people get confidence from their possessions. If they do not have the latest model of gizmo to flash or had to go in public with unwashed hair, they would lament for weeks upon such failure. They also judge others the same way. Their friends are only those who either believe in materialism as well or keep flattering them for their uncompromising attitude towards things.

Being material-centred can make you unhappy easily. It should never be the focal point of your life if you wish to be a confident and satisfied young adult!

In the upcoming issue we will discuss the remaining paradigms of life in detail and the ways in which they impact us.

What are habits?

They can easily be managed – only, you must be firm with them.

Show them exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons, they will do it automatically.

So form them wisely.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers – 1

Vol 6 - Issue 3 Seven Habits

The Warm-up

Sean Covey did a great service writing his book titled “The 7 habits of highly effective teenagers!” I don’t care about the over two million copies sold. What engaged me was the truth and sincerity it held for a retired teenager such as me. If only I could have had this publication, while I was the impulsive, emotionally charged and blatantly smug teenager I was then. I wouldn’t have had so many regrets. Qadar’Allah! It’s never too late to learn a few good lessons in life for old disasters such as me. (Allah (swt) always pulls me out of despair.)

So, coming back to you! If you are anything like a regular teenager, you might be thinking any of the following:

  1. Here comes another lecture. I can surely skip this one.
  2. My set of trials is unique! How can anyone even come close to understanding them?
  3. Advice? I know better.
  4. I am what I am. Take it or leave it! Nobody is gonna change me.
  5. I’ll only give it a try if it works like a magic potion. No sweating involved!

Well, your suspicion and skepticism is respected. But you would agree that for anything to work for you, you need to give it a shot wholeheartedly. Otherwise, it’s just not fair to you or any strategy advised.

For teenagers, life is no more a play ground. In fact, it’s a jungle out there. You might be familiar with some of the struggles faced today globally by the youth. Believe me – you are not alone:

  • I feel as if I am tied to a clock. School, homework, friends, social commitments! It just goes on…
  • I am all the time reminded that if I were smarter, prettier, richer, I would be happier.
  • Nothing works for me. I just feel out of control.
  • My parents seem to nag about almost everything and just do not understand me.
  • I know I do stuff that I shouldn’t be doing, but I can’t say no to my friends.
  • I am overweight and have given up a million diet plans. I just don’t have the will power to change, though I want to!
  • I get moody and depressed every now and then.
  • I am afraid I can’t get the grades I need to get me into a decent university or college.

This is not a movie that ends after a bucket of popcorn. We are talking about real life here. And to handle real life challenges, we need a set of strong tools to help us deal with them effectively. Well, this is what Sean Covey offers. It has been briefly laid down here and is open to discussion in our upcoming issues in greater detail:

  1. Be proactive: It’s your life. Take responsibility for it. You owe it to yourself!
  2. Begin with the end in mind: Ask yourself: what is the mission and goal of my life?
  3. Put first things first: Be wise and prioritize. Begin with the most important things.
  4. Think win-win: Strive for universal success. It’s far more delightful to share triumph, rather than just bask in glory, in solitude.
  5. First, seek to understand; then, to be understood: Use your ears more often than your tongue. Listen to people sincerely.
  6. Synergize: Be a team player. Work together for greater achievements.
  7. Sharpen the saw: Renew and improvise on a regular basis. Constant learning is the greatest way of life!

Another Angle

Sean Covey’s diagram of a tree will aptly help you understand the power ofthe seven habits of highly effective teens

  • These habits build on one another. The first three habits that form the roots of the tree are related to victory on a personal basis. They deal with self mastery. Our plan of action must begin with private victory on a personal level.
  • The next three habits bring success in the public arena, forming the trunk of the tree. They are all about relationship building and team work.
  • The last habit, which represents the fruit and greenery of the tree, is the habit of renewal. This habit feeds all the other six habits.

The above mentioned habits are sequential in nature, and for optimum benefit must follow the sequence suggested by the author. Also, they might just seem ordinary, but in order to assess their real power, we can look at them from another angle. This will tell us, what these habits are not. So the following are the opposites – the reverse of an effective teenager!

Seven habits of highly defective teenagers:

Habit 1: React

This is like playing the blame game. When something goes wrong in life, blame the parents, teachers, relatives, neighbours, system, government, even strangers. Think like a victim, who has no control over anything, hence, take no responsibility. Act like an animal, who eats when hungry. Do wrong, in spite of knowing it is wrong.

Habit 2: Begin with no end in mind

Do not believe in a plan. Avoid goals at all costs. Live for the moment. Eat, drink, party, be merry, get wasted. Today is all that you have, and who has seen tomorrow? For tomorrow may never come. You just may die today. So make the most of it. Live for instant gratifications.

Habit 3: Put first things last

Whatever matters most, delay it as much as possible. Do stuff that can be done later, or better off not being done at all, such as chatting on the phone endlessly, watching TV like a couch potato, lounging around, etc. Always put off your homework until tomorrow, cram in studying for your exams right the night before.

Habit 4: Think win-lose

Always look at life as a vicious competition. Anyone, who even comes close to overtaking you in the rat race, is your staunch enemy. They are all out there to get you. Try to beat them, and if you can’t, try to drag them down with you. No one else should win at any cost.

Habit 5: Seek first to talk, and then pretend to listen

Consider taking your birth right. Always ensure that you dominate the conversation with anyone. Begin it and end it with you having the final say. Only after others have heard your views loud and clear, pretend to listen to them. While they talk, look distracted, nod occasionally not taking their views seriously.

Habit 6: Don’t cooperate

Be your own island. Worship your own ideas and think of others as weird, because they are different. Since they are different, what is the point of getting along with them? Do not believe in team work. That’s for the weak people, who wish to survive on other people’s creativity.

Habit 7: Wear yourself out

Be so occupied with your life, that you never find time to improve yourself. Do not believe in changing for the better. Don’t learn anything new. Avoid anything that may sound healthy for the body or inspiring for the soul. Stay away from exercise, good books, nature, etc.