A lot of talk surrounds habits that are “good”—activities that you should implement into your life. Meditation, weight lifting, reading, and drinking sufficient amounts of water are a few that immediately come to mind. And these are all things that every man should do.
However, it’s equally important to acknowledge the existence of any bad habits that you may have. And we all have bad habits. I am going to offer you a list of common bad habits shared by men everywhere in a moment, but first I want to define exactly what makes something “bad,” because honestly it can mean something completely different to all of us.
In my opinion a bad habit is something that “takes” more from your life than it “gives.” And this definition can apply more generally than to habits. For example, a bad friendship would be one that “takes” more than it “gives”—a friend whose bullshit causes you more anxiety and stress than spending time with him makes up for in advice and camaraderie. The same goes for a girlfriend, a family member, or even a job.
You should periodically analyze your life and closely examine anything that may be “taking” more than it “gives.” Everything from your diet to your job to your relationships are fair game. Anything that fits this criteria should be removed from your life ASAP.
And often the things that you’re afraid to examine are the ones that need to be looked at the most. Relationships will always be this way, for example. Whether it’s your best friend who’s trying to pull you down with him or your girlfriend who’s causing you endless anxiety, they’re never easy to cut off. Even if you logically know that it’s unhealthy for your growth and development, there are emotions involved and this can make ending it seem almost impossible.
With that being said, here are six basic habits that are easy to identify, almost always bad for your development, and somewhat easy to remedy. They’re all positive habits, meaning I didn’t include things like NOT lifting weights or NOT reading books. Those are things you should START doing, but this list focuses on things you should STOP doing.
1. Watching Porn
From erectile dysfunction to social anxiety and lowered sex drive, the reported costs of masturbating to internet porn are numerous. And what are the benefits? Instant sexual release and learning about sex are the only two I can think of. And you can achieve the first without having to watch porn. At the end of the day, this bad habit can only “take” more than it can “give,” so stop making excuses and cut it off.
2. Eating Shitty Food
Shitty foods mean something different to each of us. I’m lactose intolerant so milk and cheese are shitty for me. Bread, pasta, and other gluten products are shitty for a Celiac. You need to determine what foods cause you bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or general lethargy and then stop eating them. It’s like putting regular gas in a Ferrari—it might run but it’s destroying the inside of the engine. Some foods that fuck everybody up equally include fried foods and foods high in artificial sugars.
3. Playing Video Games
Video games are addictive because they give you a false sense of growth. You start to identify leveling up your WoW character with actually growing and developing your self. Your neurotransmitters and dopamine levels become intrinsically tied to your progress in a virtual world instead of the real world. Sure, if you only play video games for a couple hours a week to blow off some steam, they might be “giving” more than they “take,” but this is rare—most people get addicted to this shit.
4. Watching TV Shows
This is similar to video games. While you won’t experience personal growth by watching 20 episodes straight of Lost or whatever the popular show today is, you will start to live in an alternate reality. And that’s what it is, at the end of the day—an escape from reality. And again, this is good in small doses. I get lost in Game of Thrones once a year. But you don’t want to be that guy who watches every show and talks about the characters like they’re his real friends and coworkers. Live your life, my friend.
5. Browsing The Internet
I don’t think I need to convince you of this. Endlessly browsing sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit is basically crumpling your free time up and throwing it in the fucking garbage can.
6. Living With Your Parents
This isn’t something that you do, like the other items on this list, but it undoubtedly “takes” more than it “gives.” You’ll never be fully independent until you’re living in your own apartment or house, paying your own bills, and scheduling your own day. Yes, there’s something to be said for helping your parents out, but you don’t need to live with them to accomplish this. When living alone your mindset will be different, and it will manifest itself directly though how you think, act, and feel about yourself.