No person is free who is not master of themselves.
Self-discipline and self-control aren’t easy ~ these admirable character traits are not something we are born with, and usually most people don’t really develop self-discipline and self-control until they are well into adulthood. Some sad people never learn any real self-discipline and self-control at all. They are doomed to live meaningless, unfulfilled, unhappy, and unenlightened existences.
The exercise of self-discipline and self-control is difficult and complicated, needing willpower, flexibility, and judgement. To live fully rewarding lives we must continually be completely honest with ourselves, yet at times withhold the whole truth from others. To be free of disappointment, pain, and suffering we must assume total responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. It’s no good breaking our abstinence from alcohol or cigarettes just because some other people seem to having a good time smoking and drinking. That is just giving the power to control our lives to others whose own judgement is very suspect.
We must also have the self-discipline and self-control to reject responsibility that is not truly ours. I am not my brother’s keeper, nor are you responsible for what your sister does with her life.
True self-discipline and real self-control means being organised and efficient, living wisely, and living in balance and harmony with yourself and the Cosmos.
A key part of this is the ability to delay gratification ~ don’t always stop at the pub on the way home from work, don’t always get angry when questioned, and don’t always eat that last sandwich even when you are not hungry. Keep an eye on the future, think about what your actions are going to mean tomorrow, next week, next year. Do you want to be an angry and overweight alcoholic? Well, by the sound of it that’s where you’ll be heading if you don’t learn some self-discipline and self-control.
Let hunger sharpen your awareness. Abstain liquor and frivolous recreation, which dull the mind and weaken the body. ~ Laura Joh Rowland.
It’s all about replacing bad and self-destructive habits with good habits that will enhance your life in the longer term. Instead of stopping off at the pub on the way home from work, three or four times a week, go to the gym instead. You won’t get the immediate buzz of getting drunk, but you will get the long-term buzz of being a fitter, healthier, much better person.
Either I’m lucky, or I have a lot of willpower, because I seem to have more than my share of self-discipline and self-control ~ (and even I self-destruct from time to time). I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t pick up cheap women in bars for meaningless sex. I’m fit and healthy, I walk at least 5 miles every day, exercise, and I do yoga. My weight is right where it should be, my blood work is excellent, and my heart is strong. I don’t go to work at all, and yet I’m wealthy enough to do what I like when I like.
And nobody has ever given me one damn thing. Everything I have I have earned for myself through hard work, self-discipline, and self-control.
The answer is easy. Stop pissing your life away like a fool, and start really living instead. Replace your bad and self-destructive habits with good habits that will enhance your life in the longer term.
If I can do it, anyone can.