Self-Control

PelicanMaintaining 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 our 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 learning more and more to control our emotions, desires, and actions. We must acquire sufficient self control to master managing ourselves.

    It requires that we must see ourselves objectively. It is easy for us to view the actions of others and critique them on their actions, attitudes and performance. As a supervisor or manager, we must evaluate the performance of an employee. Military officers are responsible for holding those underneath them accountable to the high standards of the military. Parents have an awesome responsibility of teaching, guiding and instructing their children. Each of us is 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 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 relinquished this responsibility when we became adults. We must become our own parent and require of ourselves whatever 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 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 working and ongoing framework, we are on the path to personal growth and development.  Those who fail to do this, have little or no sense of direction or control over their actions.  Self control means observing, controlling and correcting ourselves as we live through each day.  We are self-controlling and self-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 incrementally, a little at a time.

Challenge: Are you a good manager and supervisor to yourself? On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you perform this task? Do you meet your expectations? Are you growing and getting better? Can you set down with yourself and honestly evaluate where you are? If so, that is great. You have a process that works and you are growing. If you cannot, stop where you are, establish some expectations and start practicing more self control.

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)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

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 who have developed “self control” to any degree seem to have their lives headed in the right direction. Those who have failed to do so struggle to keep up with the demands of life. Life controls them rather than their being in control of themselves. Those who truly want to take self control issues to the highest level ask God to help them. In our own strength, we can only go so far. In God’s strength we are enabled and empowered to grow.

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

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