Mastering self-control

Mastering self-control

In a hectic and confusing world, it is very difficult to find the time or the wherewithal to locate one’s purpose — the central mission of my life. Self-control is a central tenet to any journey of discovery. Control of the emotions allows for reflective and introspective thought to be presented. This is especially true for the young or the young-at-heart. How do we focus on life itself and its meaning? What is my quest in life? These are telling questions, most assuredly. Existence itself is filled with anxiety and pain.

It is to be noted that this has always been the case. I am not unique. Since time immemorial, we have been searching for the Holy Grail (1) of consciousness, to understand our relationship with God, Gaia, or the Universe. Reality, invariably, is puzzling and quixotic for the thinking person. For many, unfortunately, — feeling overwhelmed — there is a deep desire to shroud these questions in nonsensical and pointless tasks, or mind-altering substances. This is magnified in our present digital age. In contemporary society, we are beset with perplexing imagery that clouds our perception. Fear runs rampant in the land!

The iconic question is thus posed: “How do I stay lucid and have access to the universal truths (2) of life?” There are two conflicting responses. The one is, you don’t, life is simple drudgery interlaced with an occasional bout of happiness – there are no universal truths, no answers. The other is, that through inner work, all can be achieved. I can find peace, joy, and fulfillment in my life. It’s a relatively simple choice, I would say. Then why are the vast majority of people unhappy? (3) Is it because we are cowards and afraid — fearful of the consequences – terrified of the unknown? This cannot be the case. We are simply browbeaten into submission and acquiescence.

The secret is to stay in control and just begin the journey, as you would define it – in other words, act! Ignore the white noise (4) that constantly threatens to envelop you, stop, and focus on the existent world and its beauty. This will calm your inner demons, your fears, and apprehensions. The individual possesses the answer to life’s inner secrets. All answers lie within you!

This sounds entirely ethereal and exotic, but in fact, it is an age-old remedy to the confusion and perplexity of existence. Take control of your life — whatever that means to you — place the past in context, acknowledge the present, and pray for the future.  

Henry David Thoreau (5) leaves us with a thought:: We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. … To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. (Parts of this essay were first published in 2019)

A closing thought: I once attended a yoga conference in India. The yogi noted that when I wake in the morning, I have self-control. I can determine whether it is going to be a good day or a bad day. This is regardless of my external reality. I determine my reality each and every day.

To sum up: This week, we spoke about self-control and staying focused on the world around us.

To be noted:  From William Wordsworth (6): Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.

Just for fun: 

For reflection: 

This week, on your curious trek, please reflect on how you can hone your own sense of self-control.

Every day look for something magical and beautiful.

Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!

Quote: Learn to look, truly look at the beautiful world around you.



2) 12 Universal Truths That Will Change Your Life for the Better

3) Britons feeling far less satisfied with life, official data shows

4) How Background Noise is Secretly Killing You

5) Henry David Thoreau

6)  William Wordsworth