To see a man beaten not by a better opponent, but by himself is a tragedy.
You ever wonder what differentiates us from our ancient ancestors and the rest of the animal kingdom? It's our large prefrontal cortex, and its ability to subdue our impulses in order to achieve longer-term goals. Instead of reciprocating to the paramount inclination, it provides us the ability to plan, and improvise, evaluate alternative actions and often enough, avoid doing things we'll later regret.
This exceptional ability to exert self-control is typically called Willpower, and it's the trait that makes us different from all the other primitive beings. It is what allows us to direct our attention, and it underlies all kinds of achievement.
There has been serious deliberation as to whether or not Self-control is a finite resource. No doubt, exercising willpower makes heavy demands on your mentality, notably on reserves of glucose levels, the brain's preferred fuel, creating ego depletion.
It's one reason people are more apt to reach for a cigarette when they're feeling stressed. It satisfies the ego, the rebel within but it doesn’t always go like this.
I say the things I shouldn’t say, buy the bottle of perfume, though I have two new ones already on the dressing table.
But instead of following every whim—every time—I’m working on building my self-control. Turns out you can actually do this, and the more self-control you have, the less edgy and reactive you’ll be.
I always reach out for a can of soda, whenever something triggers my panic button. Sometimes I do reach for the extra slice and end up feeling too full and sick.
Easier said than done, self control is very hard to achieve. There is not one of these men whom he hath not tempted into this affair by some bait or other. Those born great are able to do this by prerogative; you and I may succeed to it by skill.
Your will is quintessential, and a necessity to avoid yourself from inclining towards the temptations, as when you're in my shoes at times these lures can cost you your life.
More often than later, we find ourselves standing at a diversion, and we have the make a call.
It can be as teensy little as having to make a certain food choice, and spans upto whether or not committing a crime and going to jail for the rest of your life.
In order to control myself, I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.
Having a condition like diabetes at age 7 can't really be considered as a dream come true.
It's rather hard to explain to a child that eating sweets or drinking soda can put them to sleep forever, and expecting them to oblige.
Often I gave in to eating chocolates, candies and all sorts of edible carbohydrates, that made me happy profoundly, even though I used to end up sick afterwards.
It was rather hard for my parents, to make me understand how giving in to these simple choices is affecting my life. bit by bit in unexplained ways.
I think when we are young, we are credited to make a lot of mistakes, be it hurting someone to make yourself feel better, to simply stealing something just because we cannot afford it.
It all feels justified in the moment.
I came across documentaries of several people, imprisoned just because they didn't have any self control when it came to doing the right thing, and instead they chose to throw their lives away.
Doing the right thing is not always easy.
It took me a number of complications, to finally apprehend the value of having self control because sometimes it is a bit too late to change things around, and you are left with pity and regret, neither one of which makes your life any easier.
I have been a part of a Diabetes support group, and I regularly come across people talking about their struggles with getting a hold of their desire to avoid eating things that are bad for health.
Not going too far, I've seen my father struggle to avoid having sweets he love. It's more common than we can imagine.
I think as humans we need a motivation, a push to do everything in life and I think this is the reason for some people, who keep self-introspection, constantly evolving to get to a place where they finally attain a control on their mind.
Your mind is a terrible master, but an excellent slave.
I'd assume it's rather hard to be in control at times, when your life doesn't rely on the immediate decisions, and on the contrary, avoidance fuels anxiety. That’s because when you avoid something you fear, you do not give yourself the chance to verify if the fear is justified. When you want self mastery, you need to identify your fears and set about strategies for conquering your fears you're going to make. I highly doubt these small changes will make an alarming effect on your tomorrow, but it shapes your character in a long run, makes you the master of your mind, and sets you apart from the mass who are still surviving as slaves.
Recently I have gained weight and believe me, it is a struggle to lose these few pounds.
I tend to find my motivation every day. I try to workout, eat well and then comes a day when it just doesn't matters anymore.
I give in to my temptations, eat all the junk I can and then get sick and then go back to find that motivation again. I guess that's why they call it the cycle of life.
Many around us fight battles that we don't know about, be it chronic illness, excessive weight, an addiction, mental illness, disability. These ordinary people pose as the real heroes who do not give up and keep themselves focused with that extraordinary will to stay alive and not lose hope. That right there is self control at its finest example.
My motivation is people willing to fight every single day with an invisible enemy while hiding their fears and pain from their loved ones so that they cannot end up being the reason of someone's tears.
So, the next time you feel like lighting up a cigarette, do ask yourself, who would you like to become? What do you want to have, do, or create? What do you want to earn and contribute?
I ask myself these questions everyday.
I hope you do too.