Self-control is perhaps one of the most less talked of virtues in self-development. I mean everyone subtly knows about it but that is it.
Nothing else. In so doing, many people would encourage others to have self-control without any clear way of achieving this important virtue of our life.
Think about it, every day, we face various issues and challenges that require our actions. From a confrontation, an abuse, an offense to a craving for something, self-control plays itself evident in our lives. In one instance, some people will easily fall prey to impulsive buying every time they pass by the stores while others will always resort to having a smoke every time a certain time clocks. Some people have a way of reacting violently to situations without ever recounting their real intent.
So, what causes the drive in all these people?
To understand this, it’s vital to understand that human life is filled with issues that present a natural attachment or drive. Everybody in one way or another gets attracted to certain things they like and those they don’t. While we often run and try to fulfill our needs of those we like and disregard those we don’t like, we become elements of reaction.
So, is reaction the issue?
Think about it again, our lives are parallel to every other life. Meaning that when we live, others live as well, and just as we value our lives, others value theirs as well. This literally means that we are solely responsible for our emotions, behavior and such. Take for instance a case of dual lane road. Every car on the road moves on its lane and is never competing with the other. The cars moving on their own lanes may mean one thing; whether one decided to drive slowly or fast does not and should not interfere with the other driver. You can still chose to travel at your pace. This is called response. You are creating your action and pace.
This is not as many people imagine it to be. Often, one driver’s speed on the road may force many others to speed along, or the slow pace of another cab may make one honk at them for no apparent reason. This attitude in life is the response-related mindset.
This mindset will go after everything it attracts, good or bad.
Is there any danger of this?
Of course yes! First, if you keep buying everything that pleases you, very soon you can’t track your expenditure and you end up having a truck full of junk. If you go dating every beautiful girl you see then you become a promiscuous element. If are attracted to anyone offering a good deal with good cash, then you become prone to corrupt activities.
Therefore, what’s needed?
Self-control is the ability to delay reaction in order to initiate a new response. To withhold judgment before making a move and to stay sober just a little bit.
But how is this possible?
Of course not many people have this trait and absolute discipline is needed to develop it. However, what many people never tell is the easy way of cultivating a responsive personality through meditation and mindfulness.
Meditation, the ancient tradition has an effect of slowing down the brain activity to evaluate and analyze a situation. A person who is mindful will be aware of the connection between, thought, speech and action. The congruence between these three parts of human component is a product of meditation. As great meditators claim, many people wade through life with little or no knowledge of their thoughts, speech or actions. Instead of living life, they let life leave them behind. Perhaps it’s time we tried meditation as a way to enhance self-control and direction in our lives.