Being “controlling” has a negative vibe these days and appropriately so in the context of a personal relationship. As a result, the concept of “control” has fallen out of favor in a broader context with many and that is unfortunate because SELF-control is a very powerful skill to cultivate and master.
Self-control keeps you from sabotaging yourself. It is so easy to undermine your own progress, so easy to throw away ground gained, trust built up, relationships nurtured… in just a few brief moments of turbulent anger, momentarily lashing out and demolishing in seconds what took patience and ages of effort to achieve.
Persons with good self-control:
- Are not tempted by the siren song of instant gratification, they do not throw away what they want most for what they want now.
- They never make permanent decisions based upon short term emotions, they know that “Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness” and a good night’s sleep does wonders for one’s spirits.
- Pause however long it takes in that space between stimulus and response to bring wisdom into play.
Few things will get you into trouble faster and deeper at life’s critical junctures than a lack of self-control. The ability to “master your moods”, to practice impulse control is foundational to living the good life, to designing your best life, to living smart.
“No man is free who is not master of himself.” – Epictetus
“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” – Confucius
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” – Proverbs 14:29
“Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.” – Seneca
“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Lao Tzu
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier