As a taekwondo teacher, I love the fact one of the tenets (building blocks) of this great martial art is self-control. Even the bible says you will know a Christian by their fruits, and one of these fruits is also self-control.
In the last two weeks, we have looked into making better to do lists (click here), and how to not procrastinate (click here). However, without discipline and self-control you will find it pretty hard to accomplish any of these things, or more importantly, do them constantly.
The meaning of self-control is probably obvious but it helps to look at definitions. Self-discipline is where you choose to do what you are meant to do, above what you want to do. Whereas self-control is being able to control oneself, desires, emotions, actions, and even thoughts when times are good and especially in difficult times and conflicts. You need the discipline to work on your self-control or you need self-control to be disciplined; they are not the same thing.
Fredericks Burg stated ‘Self-control is a discipline in the face of pressure from an immediate urge, desire or compulsion. Self-control relates to delaying immediate gratification of the sense. Its struggle is the conflict between intellectual knowing and emotional desiring’.
I have found although I am naturally peaceful, I can also be harsh with words, it’s like I have an immediate urge to reply to a message that I feel the person needs to hear my side. However, with good discipline, I have learned to delete my first response (most of the time anyway) and remember this person is not my enemy, and I am too busy to go back down to these juvenile arguments. Therefore, I fight my initial urges and try to use my words to bring more peace than aggression, also using a more calm tone even when communicating by text.
Discipline is also important for completing tasks. In last week’s article, I noted the different types of procrastinators (click here). I noticed I am the creative procrastinator, who always keeps coming with new ideas and may not finish the previous one. Discipline is key.
So how do we become a disciplined person and have self-control: –
1) Change your perceptions about what you are able to do by believing in yourself, starting your day with positive affirmations.
2) Desire and willpower are essential for manifesting our dreams and forming new habits. You need to want to change badly enough that you dare not give up.
3) Make a commitment and be committed by writing out a plan to stay committed by looking at it daily (just a reminder stuck up where you will see it as you start your day).
4) Be intentional, and plan to do the difficult things and the things you should do not the things you want to do. It is very easy to watch Netflix all day but if you look back 10 years from now what could you have achieved with that time instead? Look at making better to-do list to help (click here)
5) Self-control requires mental balance and a holistic well-being approach (spiritual, physical, and emotional growth). Who do you put your trust in? Who is your guiding light? Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating for long health and exercising enough so you can be able to have the fruits of self-control? Are you happy, joyful, and grateful? Are you doing all you can to bring peace, joy, and harmony to life?
Remember the above is not a small task, and it is not about an overnight transformation, but it is achievable and you will achieve success. You can tell you are on your way by seeing if you display the below traits of a disciplined person: –
1) They work at developing good habits.
2) They avoid temptation.
3) They commit and stick to routines to help.
4) They take care of themselves and form good boundaries.
5) They have clear goals and objectives separate from their to-do lists.
6) They do the difficult things, letting their mind overrule their emotion.
7) They don’t wait till it feels right to do what is right, or must be done.
8) They have good vision, and think about deadlines, and the ultimate reward of staying disciplined.
Have you got any examples of things you have done to improve your self-discipline and self-control?