Self-discipline is important
If we have self-discipline, we will be able to say no to instant rewards so that we can get something better or more important in future.
Self-discipline gives us the power to stick to our decisions, so we do not change our mind too often.
It stops us from being tempted by bad habits or giving in to laziness. This means we can reach our goals.
Many people believe self-discipline takes the fun out of life. But actually the things we can achieve by using this skill can make us feel happier, more confident and stronger.
On the other hand, a lack of self-discipline can lead us into trouble.
We may have arguments with our family if we do not keep our promises or do not complete our school work. We may have health problems if we cannot resist eating the wrong things.
As we become older, we need self-discipline to say no to bad habits like smoking.
Amina Bibi, California School
We can rise above physical problems
I am impressed by Australian preacher Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms and no legs. He bravely gets on stage and smiles as he tells people he is not ashamed of being disabled but proud of it.
I admire him so much because he showed people he could do more than most people.
His motto, Give Up Get Up, has really inspired me and helped me deal with problems in my life.
He is brave, intelligent and confident.
Nick is less fortunate than us, but we are much poorer than him in many ways.
He proved the only poor people are those who give up on life.
This is an important lesson - especially now the world is going through a financial crisis.
I will apply his attitude to life.
People still cannot resist a bargain
Since the beginning of the economic troubles, Hongkongers have been spending less.
But when I went to a big department store in Sha Tin recently, the place was so packed I could not even walk.
Most of the customers bought items such as Japanese milk powder and bed sheets, which were now on sale. I bought some winter clothes and some snacks.
To my surprise, when people see a bargain they are still willing to spend.
I hope this will help boost the economy.
Katherine Wong, St Rose of Lima's College
Making sure we are not all losers
Children have to compete from the moment they are born.
At six months old, their parents may enter them in crawling competitions. When they are two years old, they may have to take part in walking competitions.
At kindergarten there may be dressing competitions, painting competitions and handwriting competitions.
To get a place in a good primary school they have to compete with other children. The same thing happens when it's time to go to secondary school and university.
And when they are adults there is strong competition for good jobs.
Competition exists all the way through life.
One of the dangers with this is we only judge children and adults on how well they do in these contests. But it is unfair to treat winners and losers differently.
To avoid this happening, we should see competition as a positive thing.
Seeing the success of good competitors can inspire us to work harder.
Jennifer Lau, Hang Seng School of Commerce
Why young people commit crime
Most teenagers like to think in new ways and want to do things differently from their parents.
In a city like Hong Kong, teenagers can easily go astray and join gangs.
They may feel they have to commit crimes to keep their friendship with other members of the gang.
I think teenagers go astray because parents are often busy working and cannot spend a lot of time with them.
Without the warmth and love of their family, teenagers may not want to stay at home.
Instead, they seek love and friendship outside and this can lead them into trouble.
Matt, Wong Man Hin Chinese Foundation Secondary School
How to become a useful person
Teamwork is very important in the modern world we live in.
We need to learn to be team players if we want to succeed.
Firstly, just because you may not be a genius does not mean you cannot come up with ideas or help in group activities.
If you are brave enough to say what you are thinking, your ideas might not work but hearing them might make other members of the team think of something that will be successful.
If you do not speak out, your teammates will not be inspired. So taking that first step helps the team.
Secondly, if you do think you are a genius, try not to be arrogant.
You can try to become the leader of your group.
You can also help your teammates who are nervous about talking by sharing your ideas with them.
It is important to show you are humble.
It's not difficult to be a useful person. You just need the courage to take the first step in every situation and you must try your best to help others.
If you only help by passing a pen, you are already helping.
Angel Cheung Cheuk Man, Pooi To Middle School