Many people believe that we are born with determination and those that succeed are simply the fortunate ones who are born with an abundant supply. But if you ask any successful person they will tell you they were not born with more determination; they always found a way to harness and use what they have more effectively.
Before you go to sleep, make some basic decisions about what you will do tomorrow, such as what you will wear, what you will eat for lunch, and the route you will take to work. It is easier to pack a healthy lunch the night before than to decide what you are going to have with a hot dog vendor parked in front of your workplace. Stick to your schedule and at the end of the day close your eyes for a few minutes and take in how good you feel to be in charge of your day. Getting into the habit of planning your day in advance will remove your easiest decisions from the table, making it easier to avoid getting sidetracked and wasting time and energy on small, unimportant things.
The most difficult duties will not get easier the more we fret about them or put them off.
Being a role model for teenagers
We will only waste energy that would be better spent by just digging in. Get after the hardest job right away while you are still fresh and have the energy. Research has shown that our minds are sharpest in the morning and that is when we should tackle the tough jobs. Real emergencies will come up and we have to deal with them. The majority of situations that do come up to distract us are not emergencies and do not require us to respond right away. Many of these situations will resolve themselves on their own with time.
Responding to these requests immediately will only set you up to receive more. By not responding, you are sending a message that you are a strong-willed, focused person who is very busy and over time you will be bothered less by trivial, time-wasting matters. Take a quick break when working on something if you feel your energy fading. Take a brisk walk, run, stretch, or do whatever creates results for you to take a brief retreat from the work and regenerate.
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You will come back to your task with renewed vigor and a sharper mental focus. There were Morrissey acolytes, and even a couple of ersatz hippies, one of whom had decorated his Adidas holdall with a drawing of the complex front cover of Gong's album Camembert Electrique: And I seem to recall there were dozens of psychobillies, the dimly remembered 80s youth cult that opted for a cartoonish marriage of punk and rockabilly. That may be my memory suggesting they were more numerous than in reality, simply because they looked so striking, your average psychobilly having contrived to attain a look that was simultaneously utterly ridiculous and disquietingly hard and menacing.
I definitely remember one of them turning up on non-uniform day wearing a giant banana costume and Doc Martens, presumably in tribute to psychobilly heroes King Kurt's then-recent single Banana Banana. It was fairly obvious who was who and what was what. You didn't have to be an expert in the finely nuanced semiotics of teenage dress codes to work out that the bloke with the vertiginous dyed quiff walking around dressed as a banana probably wasn't cut from the same subcultural cloth as the bespectacled cardigan-wearer carrying a copy of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.
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And that was just my school. Beyond its gates, style magazines were always reporting on weirder, more arcane youth cults: In the late 80s and early 90s, the music weeklies were always being accused of trying to invent youth cults for their own nefarious ends: In , however, the only real teenage cults visible to an outsider, displaying their allegiances by their manner of dress, seem to be metalheads and emos.
The former feels like the most deathless youth movement of all, still recruiting new young converts long after being a mod or skinhead has become almost exclusively the province of the middle-aged. The latter seems to have co-opted elements of most of the other spectacular subcultures — goth, metal, punk and indie — under one catch-all term. In the mid-noughties, it even managed to provoke a flicker of old-fashioned folk devil outrage when the Daily Mail proclaimed it the Dangerous Cult Of Teen Suicide.
But that's about it. Something has clearly changed, and over the past week, I've listened to a lot of hypotheses as to why, of varying degrees of plausibility. A sociologist at the University of Sussex, Dr Kevin White, tells me he thinks it has something to do with Britain's changing class structure.
Elswehere, there's a rather grumpy "tsk-kids-today" theory that teenagers are now so satiated by the plethora of entertainment on offer that they don't feel the need to rebel through dress or ritual — and a deeply depressing one that people are too worried about their futures in the current financial climate to be creative.
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And I've had a long and fascinating conversation with historian David Fowler, author of the acclaimed book Youth Culture in Modern Britain , who has an intriguing, if controversial, theory that subcultures such as hippy and punk had very little to do with the actual teenagers who participated in them — "They were consumers … they were sort of puppets" — and were instead informed and controlled by a slightly older, university-educated generation.
Today, the lack of anything equivalent to the radical student movements of the 60s that fed into both the hippy movement and punk means a lack of ideas trickling down into pop culture. Meanwhile, Dr Ruth Adams of King's College London thinks it might be linked to the speed at which "the cycle of production and consumption" now moves.
Find the good stuff, faster — from books to YouTube.
When I was a teenager, you had to make more commitment to music and fashion, because it took more of a financial investment. I had a pair of gothy stiletto boots, which lasted me for years: I had to make a sort of commitment to looking like that, because I wasn't going to get another pair of alternative shoes any time soon, so I had to think about which ones I wanted.
Now, it's all a bit more blurry, the semiotic signs are not quite as hard-edged as they used to be. But the most straightforward, prosaic theory is that, as with virtually every area of popular culture, it's been radically altered by the advent of the internet: You don't have to invest in a teddy boy's drape suit or a T-shirt from Seditionaries. Once you start examining subcultures online, things become blurred and confusing, compounded by the fact that a lot of online subcultures seem to come cloaked in layers of knowing irony.
In search of latterday youth subcultures, I'm pointed in various directions by various people, but I invariably can't work out whether what I'm looking at is meant to be serious or a joke: There's plenty of stuff that seems weird and striking and creative out there, but there's something oddly self-conscious and non-committal about it: Is a Tumblr star such as Molly Soda — an American year-old with dyed hair and a septum piercing, whose website is a curious mix of nostalgic imagery from the early days of the internet, glittery My Little Pony kitsch, softcore porn and photos of her pulling faces and occasionally exposing herself, and who recently seems to have translated her online fame into a visual-art career an eight-hour video of her reading the contents of her email inbox was recently sold by Phillips in New York — at the head of a subculture?
On the one hand, it's a little hard to put your finger on what she does or stands for. On the other, she certainly has acolytes, who dress like her and imitate her Tumblr's aesthetic indeed, she has them in such profusion, that they're parodied on another Tumblr called Molly Soda Try-Hards. Furthermore, her influence appears to be affecting mainstream culture: And then there's seapunk , a movement that started out as a joke on Twitter, turned into a Facebook page, then gained traction to the point where it became a real-life scene, with a seapunk "look" that involved dyeing your hair turquoise, seapunk club nights and seapunk music.
In any case, I'm too late. One of seapunk's supposed core members, Zombelle, apparently declared the movement dead when pop stars started cottoning on to it, which perhaps tells you something about subcultures in They catch people's imagination, get appropriated by mainstream culture then die away: