A country doesn’t descend from one of the wealthiest, freest countries in the world to a broke, tyrannical, semi-literate Third World dictatorship with a diluted gene pool overnight. A healthy, muscular man doesn’t become an obese, sweaty blob in one day. And your car’s engine won’t suddenly seize up. Likewise, these situations can sometimes be reversed. Ever heard of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”

A good example of daily deterioration is the way Canadian television news reporters and those they interview are allowing their English to decline to the level of American English, making up works off the cuff, confusing their past tense verbs, dropping their G’s (“The fire sweeped across the town, but we are copin’ well,”) while their written grammar is equally atrocious “If your going’ to San Francisco.” Day by day.

I see how people are affected by the friends they choose. Some will lead to you into perversion and moral decay, unhealthy eating habits, crime, and physical self abuse through drugs, alcohol, nicotine and lack of exercise and the ripple effect that it has, while others will inspire you to increase your wealth and spiritual growth. Some with help you up while others will drag you down. Even our spouses can have a very positive or powerfully negative effect. The fact is it starts with small choices: one marijuana joint, one blue movie, one date with a slut, one chocolate a day.

But there is good news. Just as we can allow our situation to weaken, devolve, and decay by tiny, regular, consistent choices, we can change direction. They turn a slacker into a lean, mean, fighting machine: it’s called Army Bootcamp. You can reverse your deterioration, be it language, the people you associate with, your physical state, your education, and your financial position. We can turn dissolution and degeneration around.

We can regenerate our spiritual lives, starting with a single decision. We can change direction in any area of our lives by choice. We are free agents, and, knowing every area of our lives affects every other area, it is possible to change our lives dramatically, and many people have done so. It’s seldom too late.

The easiest and most effective way to turn one’s life around is by changing the people we associate with, by choosing those who are where we want to be, those we wish to emulate, those we admire for their integrity, decency, success, and abilities in any or every area of life, and removing the losers, quitters, parasites, and slouches from our lives, even if it means moving away to another city. Even if they’re family. Because they will sabotage your success as sure as day follows night. They will resent your prosperity and achievement, even your happiness.

Find a mentor in each area of life if necessary and ask for help, remembering that nobody is perfect, nobody knows everything, we all make mistakes, and nobody has mastered every area of life. The areas are: Spiritual, Physical, Family, Social, Friendships, Business or Career, and Financial. You could add Education. Start with the way you dress and groom yourself and your diet and exersize.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com