The Art of Self-Control | Motivational Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of inspirational fashion and gift ideas. Visit them online at Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from How to Develop Your Will Power by Clare Tree Major, published in 1920.

SELF-CONTROL is emotional control. Like all forces inherent in human nature, the emotional forces work equally thoroughly in either direction, as builders or as destroyers. You are, whether you like it or not, dealing with forces, with laws, with energy, which must expend themselves, must carry out their predestined mission — forces as blind and as inevitable as the forces of electricity or the laws of gravitation.

You must either be hurled to destruction by them, or you must control and use them. You cannot escape them. They are part of your nature. The more vital and intense your nature, the greater your possibilities of power. The fact that you are awake enough to be interested in self-development is sufficient proof of your own possibility of superseding in development the masses which make up the great average class of humanity.

Make your great emotional forces serve you. The secret of happiness is bound up in their control. The first emotion to present itself to your mind in self- examination is often Anger. Anger is almost invariably the outgrowth of Fear, fear of injury to one’s self or to someone or something belonging to you. It is grounded largely on Irritation.

If you allow yourself to develop a more or less permanent mood of irritation, you have an excellent breeding ground for more frequent and violent outbursts of anger. Nothing can be so destructive to you or to your success in life as this attitude.

Anger distorts your judgment, prejudices your decisions. In indulging it you are simply making a whip for your own back. If you are in danger from indulging in this kind of lack of self-control, you should very deliberately and fairly go over in your mind every occasion you can remember where anger has injured you, where it has lost you a friend, where it has prejudiced a business decision, where it has injured you in the minds of acquaintances.

Realize how much it has cost you in unhappiness to indulge in this vice. When you have thoroughly counted the cost and found how great an enemy to progress your anger has been, then call out all the energy of your will power to suppress this monster. Realize that you cannot afford to throw away your energy in such a way that it injures instead of helps you.

If you want to buy a car, or a house, or any other thing which means the expenditure of a fair amount of money, you know you cannot afford to constantly throw away smaller sums on useless things. Money cannot be spent twice. You cannot buy the useless things and the house or car with the same money. It is so with your energy. It cannot serve you, if you cast it away on injurious fits of anger.

Destroy anger at its foundation. Cultivate a permanent mood of equanimity, of tolerance of the opinions of others. Tell yourself that every person has the inalienable right to their own life, their own opinions, their own method of development. Try to see the other person’s point of view and to discover whether or not there is something in it that may enlighten you…..

Read The Entire Essay in Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons

50 Inspirational Life Lessons