1. Debt Since we are in America, we must look at the primary means of setback for most Americans. America is designed for all adults to be in debt for most, if not all, of their lives. If you are over 18 and do not understand this concept then you may be headed for trouble. When you turn 18 you are bombarded with credit card offers because the corporate machine says you MUST have them. All your young life you were told to get a "good" education, so the lure of overpaying for college is another noose waiting for you to stick your neck in. $50,000 of student loan debt later and you are the classic Government Slave. Debt to the government or to the mega corporations MUST be avoided at all costs. Debt is a freedom killer, as most of your money from your hard work goes to pay the Corporate Slave Master. Your money should be spent on you and your family, not interest payments to the bank.

2. Contracts Right behind Debt is the dreaded long-term Contract. A 30 years debt contract just to own a house. A 15 years student loan debt contract to pay for 4 years of education. The lifetime commitment of marriage to someone you can’t stand. If you have a great marriage, you are the luckiest person out there and God bless you. If your marriage sucks, you are in big trouble. Make the wrong life partner choice and a lifetime of alimony payments follow you after your unfortunate divorce. I believe in marriage 100%, but just choose wisely.

3. Jail Jail or prison not only restrict your physical freedom, but in America you lose much more than your ability to move around. Felons lose their right to vote, have a hard time getting the jobs they want, lose their youth to the prison system and depending on the prison environment often undergo mental tortures and reconditioning that make you worse of a human being than when you went in. Gang affiliation and racism is almost a requirement to survive in most jails. If you are not careful you can go in as a peaceful man and come out a savage.

4. Brainwashing Television, radio, billboards and all the other forms of advertising serve to turn the masses into a group of brainwashed individuals willing to buy whatever the corporations tell us to buy. TV is not for you to enjoy the show, it is for the mega-corporation to brainwash you with their advertising. The constant drone of "Buy my product!", "Buy my product!", "Buy my product!" reverberates for 20 minutes of every hour that you are watching the "Idiot Box”. Mindless TV shows sap your energy and root you to the couch to make sure you get the full effect of the media brainwashing. At least with the radio you can be mobile and engage your other senses. Do not let the TV sap your energy and motivation. Use the Internet to get the news and watch your shows. The Internet is the last truly free form of communication and YOU get to control what you see.

5. Bad People Here we are talking about the liars, criminals, haters and any other negative people that you come into DIRECT contact with. Muammar Gaddafi is a bad person, but unless you’re a soldier he has little or no impact on your life. No, here we are talking about the thug who steals your wallet right after payday, or the jerk who fires you because he wants to give the job to his nephew. Avoiding bad people is the key to your successful life. Spend some time trying to identify these people and stay away from them at all costs. NEVER give bad people control in your life.

6. Stupid People Okay we know this is subjective, but try to avoid people who say stupid things to frustrate you or do stupid tings to derail you. These types are different than Bad People as they are not malicious. These people are just stupid and your great life does not have time for stupidity.

7. Acts of God There are always things that come up in a person’s life that they cannot control. The hurricane that blows your house away, or the car crash that kills or maims a family member are things that are simply out of your control. With all things related to these calamities of life, just know that God has a plan and these things were not your doing. Just keep going and proceed to number 8.

8 Lack of Faith No matter what your religious persuasion or even if you have none, faith is the key to a great life. Most things you attain and most relationships you value require faith. You don’t know if the marriage will work but you have faith in your love for your partner. You cannot see the steps to the successful business, but if you never start the business it is guaranteed that you will never see success. Have faith in what you cannot see and believe in the path you are on.

9 Fear So far the burden has been on others for you not having a great life. Now it is time to look inward. If you can avoid items 1 through 6 and have been blessed to avoid number 7 you should have very few external obstacles. Many people however do not life their ultimate life not because of other people, but because of their own fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, and even fear of success all have significant power to hold you back from your perfect you. Look your fear in the face and beat it down. You can be scared but just do it anyway. Once you succeed, the main thing you were scared of will seem silly.

10. Laziness Without motivation to “just do it” nothing will ever be accomplished. Faith without works is dead. You must put in the work to get the result, be it marriage, business, athletics or your favorite hobby. If you are a lazy person you will certainly fall victim to Debt, Contracts, and Brainwashing because you will be too lazy to fight them. The rest of the list is also squarely in your future.

I am not a psychologist, nor am I a lawyer. I’m not a financial analyst or a self-help guru. I’m just a man with some life experiences that I want to share with you that may help you through. This post is meant to start the conversation, not end it. Please add to this list so others may benefit from your life experience. Everybody has something to offer.

Author's Bio: 

Team Afro writes for AfroDaddy.com, the premiere self-help website for African Americans to learn tools to survive and prosper. To read more articles for black men, please visit the website.