Self Control

Self Control:  maintaining control of one’s emotions, desires, or one’s own will

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Seneca

Prudent, cautious self-control is wisdom’s root. Robert Burns

The most important attribute of man as a moral being is the faculty of self-control. Herbert Spencer


    Developing more self control is an absolute must if we are to make any significant progress toward becoming a better person. Continuous personal growth and development requires we learn more and more to control our emotions, desires, and actions. We must acquire sufficient self control to manage ourselves.

    It requires us to see ourselves objectively. It is easy for us to view the actions of others and critique them on their actions, attitudes and performance.  As supervisors or managers, we must evaluate the performance of our employees. Military officers are responsible for holding those underneath them accountable to the high standards of the military. Parents have the responsibility of teaching and guiding their children. Similarly, each of us has become responsible for evaluating and critiquing ourselves from the time we get up in the morning until we close our eyes at night. We must hold ourselves accountable.

    Everyone needs to be managed on some type of basis. As adults we are responsible for holding ourselves accountable to whatever requirements we have placed upon ourselves. Some of us are doing a “lousy” job of this. Most of us need to do better than we are doing. The adage; “if it’s going to be it’s up to me” is appropriate. If we do not hold ourselves accountable to high standards of expectation and behavior; then no one will. Our parents gave us this responsibility when we became adults. We must become our own parent and require of ourselves what it takes for us to function properly as an adult. Having and maintaining proper self control is the foundation for developing and functioning as growth-oriented individuals. We will never make very much progress until we are able to practice self control over our thoughts and actions.  

   Self control has at least three elements to it; defined expectations, an objective evaluation process, and an active accountability process.  With this as a framework, we are on the path to personal growth and development.  Those who are failing to do this, have little or no sense of direction and little control over their actions.  Self control means we are observing, controlling and correcting ourselves as we approach each day.  We are self-controlling and correcting as we go. We are always “works in progress” and will never attain perfection. The idea is to maintain self control and to keep growing a little at a time.

Challenge: Are you a good manager and supervisor of yourself? How well do you perform at this? Are you meeting your expectations? Are you growing and getting better? Can you sit down and honestly evaluate yourself? If you can do these things, it is wonderful. You have a process that is working and you are growing. If you cannot, stop where you are, establish some expectations and start practicing more self control over yourself.

Wisdom: You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens

to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy

Spiritual: (NIV)

His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Matthew 6:13

Let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 1 Thessalonians 5:6

Those having developed “self control” are more likely headed in the right direction. Those failing to do so may really struggle to keep up with life’s demands. Life controls them rather than their controlling life. Some take self control issues to the next level and seek God’s help to keep them on the right track. What it takes to master life is perhaps more than we can master on our own. We need God’s help if we really want to take on this task.

Prayer:  Help me to be better at being kind, polite, unselfish, patient, and well-mannered today and every day.

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