Self-control is defined as "control of oneself" or the "ability to master one's desires and impulses. Interestingly, self-control is actually perceived in a number of ways. Philosophically speaking self-control could be described as the exertion of one's own will. Psychologically, self-control usually refers to a personís self-perception, belief system, as well as the ability to set boundaries on their own behavior. Among some scientific communities, the issue seems to be whether or not what we perceive as "normal" (and hence the standard that the person lacking self-control violates) is truly an accurate setting to work with. Most people assume that self-control is healthier than impulsiveness. However, this has to be compared to each personís value system. For example, some communities may demand stringent behavior as regards sexual morality. Other communities will hold that generosity and pacifism are more important than law. Then some communities will stress that allegiance to a mission is what is truly righteous. Which of the communities has the highest standard of morality?
Knowing what you know about these various communities, how can you determine if a member truly loses self-control and if itís harmful to their well being? The answer is not a dogmatic one; itís simply that if the member chooses to adhere to a belief system (or desires to live in only one of the communities) then their level of self-control must be in accordance with the communityís. This way, they feel no personal guilt nor does he offend other members of the community. Now how does this apply in a professional context, specifically, to one individual?
Self-Control for Self Improvement
If you are a self-starting businessperson or have an artistically driven mind, then you may not feel as if you belong to any community. Your concern is not with morals but with success. So how does the concept of self-control fit into this equation? First understand that everyone has a system of belief. Nobody truly believes in nothing; otherwise that person would live entirely on animalistic instinct. All human beings (even the slow ones that repeatedly get ticketed for drunk driving) have logical thought processes. Hence, we all have a system of belief. Before you analyze what self-control means to you, you must first analyze what you believe. You are your own community and you set the guidelines as to what is right or wrong, productive or unproductive.
Letís say that you have a plan to become successful in your career. This is the mission of your self-contained community. Therefore, any thoughts or actions that run contrary to your mission must be extinguished. This is not to suggest that fascism or communism in real life is right or wrong. After all, when you are discussing government you must take into account the lives of many, as opposed to just one. However, when you are a self-starter, then you are in charge of all your faculties and must have them work for you, not independently of you. Sometimes people do require rigid structure in their life in order to get things done. If you are naturally inclined to take it easy, if you tend to procrastinate, or if you are easily distracted from completing a simple goal, then these are disruptive factors in your community. You must work to maintain self-control to meet the standard that you have set for yourself.
Taking Back Control
If you find that procrastinating slows down your mission, or that watching television alters your set schedule, then you may have to use coercive techniques in order to train your body and mind. Science supports this theory, as even some highly intelligent people have been shown to lack motivation, especially when it comes to certain tasks. If you are a creative type that despises logistical or mathematic work, or a convergent thinker who has trouble thinking outside the box, then this can be challenging to your mission. You may have to exercise self-control, ensuring that you do not drift away to other time-consuming hobbies or even resort to shelving the project indefinitely.
Self-control doesnít necessarily mean resisting something that is "wrong"; rather, it refers to taking steps to control oneís own tendencies if they are observed to be counterproductive. If you want to learn the quality of self-control, first decide what your mission is and what would be the best way to learn positive qualities. It may help you to slow down your "intake" or "output" (whatever the problem is) rather than to quit suddenly. Donít underestimate the value of enlisting others to help you. When you are accountable to someone else, it helps. You may have to sacrifice certain things that you enjoy, whether it is time-consuming gadgets, hobbies or types of food and drink. Once you determine to follow your goal through you must make necessary changes. Last but not least, remember to analyze your results and find room for improvement. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. It is about making progress in life that brings us the success we want and deserve.