This is Part Two of my series about self control. I recommend reading Self Control | Part One before you tackle this one…
Nobody's great because of what or who they are.
Success comes as a result of what they have become. A big part of self control is knowing yourself and your own ambitions. It takes discovering your unique talents, and how you can apply them. Unless you take the time for your look inside yourself, the possibilities of your life will never take root. Much like an untended flower garden, weeds come up and ultimately choke out everything else beautiful.
It’s the paradox that Charles Dickens talked about in the opening lines of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” –CHARLES DICKENS
Do you appreciate how wonderful your life is? When you do, you'll have the authority to act; to design your own special spot here on Earth. You have a one-of-a-kind life. You're the only one accountable for it. Have confidence… the invisible hands of your Creator and the support of your Tribe will be there to help you you achieve more than you ever believed possible.
Without this self-awareness, you'll probably just pass the time here… right up to the time when the disappointment of inaction floods your mind with all the regret and sadness of “If I had only…”
Some things must be believed before they can be seen. To design the life we want takes time and effort. Often a lot of it. How often have you said you need time away from your daily routine? Don’t we all need time alone so we can go up into the mountains of spiritual thought. You won't get these insights while doing anything else… and it is not easy… but it must be done.
It's important to get away from the world in order to receive the strength to live in it. While away, realize that we are each important to our Creator and to the world. You are not insignificant. Embrace that certainty. It’s time to strip away the unnecessary. When that's done, it’s possible to look at the problems of everyday living with a free and clear mind.
One person can change the world. Why not you? The thing is… those successful people, they’re not all that different than you, but they have self control. To make our mark, aim for less of the “I am a small and insignificant part of the universe” kind of thinking. Aim for more of these kind of thoughts; “I am a great human soul with unlimited and amazing possibilities.” This kind of thinking will expand your horizons to envision the possibilities you can create.
The way to your greatness is self-mastery. Here I'll call it self-control.
In the most remarkable events in history and in the smallest events of our daily lives, your own self control is the secret sauce for any lasting success. The process is exactly the same in both cases. It only varies by degree. Any person can achieve self control IF they are willing to pay a price.
People have the ability to control themselves. OK. Most people… One problem is many humans have no self control. Some people just rely on their animal instinct. They tend to live by the seat of their pants… without any real plans. Their thinking is shallow at best. Their logic is the logic of their own DNA. Any real critical thinking is left for others to do. Know anyone like that?
Humans, all of us, own the gift of free will. The ability to choose what we do and how to do it. We are the only creatures on Earth with the power to have a moral dilemma or conquest.
Every step of scientific progress in the world has been about control. It has been about abandoning superstitions and myths in favor of understanding. At every step forward, we gain mastery of a “fact”. For example, once it was thought that man could never fly, much less travel to the moon and back, but passionate people with self control discovered how to do it. Now all flight is taken for granted.
Lightning used to be a scary, terrible thing for people. Until one day someone realized it’s electricity. Next we figured out how to use electricity to improve life. Now, we only think about electricity when we can't have it. The millions of inventions using electricity are evidence of the human mind’s own power to master mighty forces.
The thing is there are lots of examples about how men and women have used their creativity, their intellect, and their own self control to make exciting new things that eventually become the new normal.
This post is continued in Part Three where you'll find examples of how a mindset self control pays off…
Image courtesy of Gary (gdbjr) via flickr.com | http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdbjr/