A lot of people I know always seem to have a problem with Self-Control or lack thereof I should say. So today I thought I would share my, Six Secrets of Self-Control. But before I begin Let's take a look at the definition of Self-Control from the Oxford Dictionary.
oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/self-control The ability to control oneself, in particular, one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult/stressful situations:
How to Take Control in Your Life
Forgiveness of Self and Others (My First Secret)
Years ago, if my memory serves me correctly, I was in my late twenties or early thirties when I started on this Quest or Journey of mine. I realized I held a lot of animosity towards people who had done me wrong or treated me badly in the past from school and throughout the years growing up. Especially if I ran into one of these people somewhere.
Here is exactly what happened. I was in town one day and ran into someone who treated me badly in school years ago, and I realized I still could not stand this person. Needless to say, I was upset and in a bad mood for the rest of the day and no matter what; I couldn't get this person out of my mind.
How many times has this happened to you? I saw how badly this affected me, and I didn't like it one bit. It ruined my whole day. So, I said to myself out loud; NO MORE! No more will I ever let anyone ruin a perfectly good day. When the weekend came, I decided to work on this issue, and this is how I fixed the problem.
I spent the weekend by myself without any distractions whatsoever; I took pen and paper in hand and wrote down every single person I could think of who treated me poorly in some way including family members. Then I sat there on my sofa and looked deep within myself and Forgave each and every one of them.
Then I sat there on my couch and thought about everyone I have mistreated over the years and wrote that list of names down; then looked down deep within myself, and asked each and every one of them to forgive me for mistreating them. And lastly; I forgave myself!
Some people will say you are supposed to ask for forgiveness in person, and that may be true. All I know is when I forgave the people for doing me wrong; then asked for forgiveness, in return from people I; had hurt, and forgiving myself; I did it all from my Heart and Soul.
It must have worked for me; because I can run into one of these people in town today and it doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I can talk to them and carry on a conversation. One of the things I have noticed now when talking to one of these people who have wronged me in the past is it's almost like you can see a cloud of guilt; leave their face in relief. It's as if they know in their Heart; they have; been; forgiven.
A Spiritual Connection ( My Second Secret)
There are so many different Religions, and I don't claim to know which one is correct, So that being said I don't pretend to be a Religious Person. But I am a very Spiritual Person, and I believe in a Creator of all things. I think the one thing we all have in common is we are all trying to get to the same place. Without trying to step on anyone's Religious or Spiritual beliefs whatever they may be; you need a secure connection.
You need to be able to go within yourself and connect to the part of you that holds all the answers to your questions. Whether you call it your Spirit, or your Soul, it doesn't matter what you call it. It is your direct link to the Creator and for every problem, and Question you have in Life the solution is there if you have an excellent connection and are willing to listen.
I am going to leave this subject with what I have already stated above because I do not want to offend anyone's beliefs, and you have every right to believe whatever it is you choose. So, moving on!
Negative Emotions (My Third Secret)
In my opinion, the first place to start is to get in touch with your Emotions especially the Negative ones. I am only going to talk about a few Negative Emotions. You could take one Emotion each month and not necessarily try to eliminate them but get in touch with the feeling, so you know when you are experiencing that particular emotion, then you can learn to control it instead of it controlling you.
I know easier said than done. A lot of people have trouble taking a deep look at their inner self and connecting with their spirit. I will do my best to help you by explaining how I did this myself. The first step I took was to go somewhere by myself without any distractions. No cell phones, no tv, no music, and no people around. This type of Meditation is just between You, Your Spirit, and Our Creator and no one else.
Anger and Powerless
Let's start off with Anger. WHEN YOU ALLOW someone to make you Mad or Angry at that very precise moment, You have Lost Control over your Emotions and in essence you gave that person POWER OVER YOU. Now I don't know how you feel about this but me personally I am not giving anyone Power over me.
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." By Lao Tzu
Because Life is about choices you can choose to get Mad or Angry about something that was said; or you can choose to either laugh about it or walk away the choice is always up to you as to what Emotion you decide to use.
If you do not believe you are in Control of your Emotions, then I suggest you get a pen and paper and right down the peoples names who are and then ask yourself; why am I letting these people control me or have power over me? By answering that question; only then will you be able to take control in your Life.
Do not misunderstand me. It is okay to feel anger just do not let someone else dictate or decide when you do.
Worry and Stress
Now let's talk about the Emotions Worry and Stress. Here is how I chose to control them instead of them controlling me. First off I know because women are Nurtures and have that Maternal Instinct this is probably harder to a point for you; than it is for us men because we worry about different things.
Worry and Stress are probably two of the most Detrimental Emotions to our Health the other being the foods we eat, but we will talk about foods later on. Make a list of all the things you Worry about and Stress over such as; Our Children, Jobs, Money, Bills, Etc.
Our kids are probably the hardest not worry about because we want the best for them, and we don't want to see them make the same mistakes in life; we made. Once they reach young adulthood we need to step back and let them make their mistakes in life, this is what will help them to grow into the person; they will become.
Again do not misunderstand me. Yes, our children need guidance. Despite what we think they should do when they reach a certain age, it is out of our hands the only thing we can do at this point is to be there for moral support. But if we want our children to be independent we have to let them make their mistakes.
Here is how I handled my two boys when they got older. Every time they decided something they wanted to do in life I would sit them down at the table, and I would remind them Life is about Choices and Consequences. So we would sit at the table and discuss what their options were and the possible implications for each choice, and then after the discussion, I let them make their decision. We need to teach our children how to think not what to think.
Here is what I do when I find myself starting to Worry and Stress out over something. I keep this thought in the forefront of my mind. So get your list and ask yourself these questions. Is it within my power to be able to change this situation? If the answer is yes, then figure out how to change it. If the answer is no, then turn it over to Our Creator because there is no sense Worrying about something that is not within your power to control or change.
Well, I could continue with each Emotion and how I have dealt with them in my life, but this post would be several pages long, and I don't want to bore you to death. But if you are reading this post and have a particular Emotion you would like me to discuss leave me a comment, and I will write a post about it. I am here for you.
The book I would recomend reading is The Power of Positive Thinking By: Norman Vincent Peale
Let's move along to my Fourth Secret of Self-Control, which is taking control of our spending habits.
Spending Habits (My Fourth Secret)
We all have our vices we spend money on, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as our obligations, are met, and the bills, are paid. After all, we work for a living and are entitled to some enjoyment in life. The only time I see our spending habits becoming a problem is when we spend money on things we don't need and not taking care of our obligations first.
I see people all the time in stores buying fifty to a hundred dollars worth of scratch off Lottery Tickets at a time. I am not saying there is anything wrong with buying some tickets, but if you are spending that kind of money, then you have a problem and more than likely you are not taking care of your responsibilities. So, therefore, if that is the case you are out of Control.
I also see people all the time especially the younger ones get their paycheck on Thursday or Friday and be broke come Monday and wanting to borrow money. What I have observed with them is this. I see them come to work with a bag full of McDonalds, Burgher King, Wendy's or some other fast food place. Then they go out at lunch time and do the same thing and also after work.
Now, I know theses places aren't cheap to eat at but, you are getting Cheap Food; if you want to call it that. Especially, when you are buying three meals a day you can figure they are spending at least $25.00 a day eating out or $125.00 a week not counting the weekends. If you add the weekends, you are looking at $175.00 to $200.00 a week.
I like to eat as well as the next person, but if one person is spending this much money every week eating out. I could buy enough groceries with that amount of money to last me 3 or 4 weeks. Now I am not putting anyone down because I used to be one of these people and I was broke all the time. I got tired of being broke, so I decided to do something about it.
The way I got Control of how I was spending my money was by buying a notepad, and every time money was spent, on something; I wrote it down. If you do this for at least a month or two, you should have a pretty clear picture of where your money is going. Then take the list and organize it into categories such as Eating out, Gas (joy riding), Shopping, Lottery, ETC.
What I learned from this was; it has never been about how much money you make it's what you do with it that counts. Because if you can't learn to manage your money let's say on 10 dollars and hour making 15 or 20 dollars an hour is not going to make any difference because you will still be broke if you don't get control of your spending habits. So spend it wisely!
Eating Healthy (My Fith Secret)
I know how easy it is these days to get off work and stop at some Fast Food Joint (They make it so Easy and Convenient for us!) and pick something up to eat on your way home because you are tired and don't feel like cooking. But the trouble with that is, it is not real food so your Health Declines. You are so tired and fatigued all of the time, and you don't know why.
I will tell you why! It is because your body is not getting the Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients it needs to perform at optimal levels. I started eating Organic Foods in my late twenties early thirties. Since I started eating Organic Foods I have more energy, and can out work most 20 and 30-year-olds; I am almost 52, and they have trouble keeping up with me.
They are always drinking these Energy Drinks but yet never seem to have any Energy. I have people younger and older coming up to me all the time asking me; What my Secret is? How do you have so much Energy? So I tell them I eat Organic Foods. Then I get the response from the older people saying I can't afford that it costs too much.
My response is always the same! I ask them how much did your last visit to the Doctors Office cost you, and the prescriptions he/she gave you? What Medications are you taking? What Health Issues do you have? How much does all of it cost you a year? When you take all of this into consideration Eating Healthy comes out a lot cheaper. I am not on any kinds of Medications, in fact, I haven't been sick or to a Doctor in over 30 years. So, in conclusion, take Control of your Eating Habits because a lot of your Health Issues would, go away.
Read or Listen to Motivational/Inspirational Stories (My Sixth Secret)
I have been reading or listening to motivational and inspirational books and stories for almost 32 years now. I am always trying to become a better person. I am very intuned with my Mind, Body, and Spirit. The one negative aspect is if you learn to master the six secrets of self-control especially your emotions.
People will tend to underestimate you. (Example) I run 2nd shift where I work and because of me being laid back and always seem to be so calm and in control of my emotions especially anger the Leaders on 1st shift think I am too easy on my employees. But I always end up getting the jobs done with a lot fewer workers. Why is that you might ask?
I learned a long time ago you do not have to be a D- CK to get people to work for you. I tell all of my new employees from the start what I expect out of them then I treat them with respect. If one of my workers begins to underestimate me and starts slacking in their job duties, I have a talk with them.
If it continues, I will have a second talk with them but a little firmer and let them know if it happens again I will either write them up or fire them. Trust me when I tell you it is not one of my most favorite things to do. But people need to learn not to mistake kindness for weakness because I have no problem firing someone if I have to.
I treat my employees the same way I treated my boys growing up. I will talk to them once, twice, but the third time there will be consequences. I gave you this example just to make you aware if you do take Control of your Emotions; People are going to start Underestimating you and Mistake Kindness and Gentleness for Weakness.
That, being said, is their biggest mistake because even though it takes a lot to make someone who is in control of there Emotions mad, Yes; you can make them angry. That is if you continue to keep pushing their buttons, but you're; not going to like what you get.
One thing to always keep, in mind. Is everyone has an Opinion; it doesn't make them right or wrong it's just their Opinion and what their Opinion of you is, doesn't matter. The only thing that should matter is how you feel about yourself. Your Heart Knows the Truth, and there is no point in trying to convince someone else. Let people believe whatever they want that is there, right; and don't Stress, Worry, or loose any sleep over it.
If you enjoyed this post, or even if you didn’t; please leave a comment good or bad, I would enjoy reading them; or if you have a question or a topic that you would like to discuss. I would enjoy that as well.
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Sincerely Dale (Life Coach)