I’ve talked about discipline here before, but I am a firm believer that this is the cornerstone of achieving anything worthwhile in your life. Before I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I had no self control. I couldn’t control my temper, I was easily frustrated by tasks that I believed I should have been able to do and I would quit or give up and I was lazy.
Since then, I’ve come to realize a few things about myself and about how we should act if we want to get anywhere close to satisfaction- or success- with our lives. One of the most important things I’ve come to learn is that If you can’t learn to control yourself, you will be controlled by others. These others can be people, circumstances, bad or good situations that you find yourself in.
First off, there are some thing we have no control over. That much we can know for certain. You’re never going to make someone change their mind unless they genuinely want to for themselves, you’re never going be able to change things that have happened or know what is going to happen. That said, it is important that we focus on what we can control: ourselves. Self control, is crucial for helping us to develop traits and habits that will lead us to success. Without it, we are at the whim of so much.
Without the ability to moderate ourselves, to control our own actions. We are surrendering (to an extent) our own agency. Agency is a word often used in philosophy when discussing free will and morality; as moral agents, we are able to discern right from wrong, good from bad and figure out what path of action ought to be taken in any given situation. By neglecting self control, we neglect our own agency and our ability to advocate for ourselves, thereby handing over over the reigns to external factors that can leave us moving like a ship without an anchor.
It is important to remember that there are really only precious few moments in our life where we are fully in control of everything going on around us. In these moments, your ability to express self control will be the determining factor in whether you make a potentially life changing decision that works our for the better or worse. We cannot control the outcomes if we cannot control ourselves.
Many people become victim to circumstance because they relinquish their ability to control themselves. The victim mentality is one of the quickest ways to diagnose a fixed mindset; a person who has allowed themselves to continuously fall into the role of victim has not carpe’d the diem…
If you do not develop self control, you will learn quickly that the universe/fate/life will constantly make you the victim in your own life story.