The character is the sum of habits. If these are good, we call the man a man of good character; if bad, we despise him as a bad or a wicked man. Young men should form good habits for habits once formed have a permanent hold on us, and it is not easy to shake them off afterwards. Habit is second nature, therefore good habits should be formed in youth, which may stand us in good stead in the practical struggles of life.
Truthfulness, honesty punctuality, dutifulness, charity, love, kindness, respectfulness, and obedience to parents and elders are the characteristics of noblemen, and these should be assiduously cultivated.
Effort is required in the beginning to form a habit, but with patience and perseverance, we succeed in the end. Little children find it difficult to rise early in the morning, attend school, and fix their attention on their lessons, but with repeated efforts, the thing becomes easy. Association with good men and study of good books have great influence in the formation of our character and habits.
Good habits help us in the work of life. An action takes less time and is more easily and satisfactorily performed if we are habituated to it. Certain habits are easy to form, especially bad habits, others require continued effort and frequent repetition.
While we should repeat good actions at regular and proper intervals to make them a part of our nature, we should with equal care shun bad ones. The best way to get rid of bad habit is not to indulge in them. when the time for their gratifications comes. For instance, if a student is addicted to smoking, is inclined to be lazy, or to tell lies, he should see that when the time comes for him to indulge in that bad habit, he stands firm, resists the temptation and says ‘No.’ If he denies gratification to his low desires in this way, he will find that no such temptation will come across his path to trouble him.
Habits can be easily formed up to the age of twenty five, hence young men should take special pains to train themselves in good and righteous habits.