Welcome back for PART 2 of our discussion on Self-Control. If you missed PART 1 you can catch it [HERE].
So, last week we came to the realization that self-control involves controlling one’s “self” using willpower – the ability to choose. But we have yet to define just what, “self” is. We’ll be going there in this week’s post so get ready to soak up this Game I have for you!
If I asked you to write your name on a piece of paper then pointed at it and asked you who wrote it, your response would be something like, “Me, I wrote it,” or, “I wrote it.”
And if I asked you whose name that was on the paper, you would probably answer, “That’s my name,” or, “The name's mine.”
All of these responses are a sense of identity, meaning you are claiming the name is yours and you wrote it, no one else did and the name belongs to you. You completely identify with your name; you don’t put a separation there. Rarely would anyone ever respond with something like, “That’s the name I was given.”
We identify with things that we feel belong to us, such as: your shirt, your pants, your home, your car, your phone, your time, your job, your child, your parents, etc. You would say, “That's mine!”
When someone or something separates you from something, you say that you no longer have possession of it. Such as, “I lost my job,” or, “Someone stole my phone,” or, “I misplaced my house keys,” The sense of possession and identity are still prevalent.
But here’s a quirk in human nature, we often (not always) DON’T take possession of “negative” qualities. You will very seldom (if ever) hear someone say, “I’m making myself angry,” or, “I’m going to do myself wrong today.”
Instead you’re more likely to hear, “You’re making me angry,” or, “You’re doing me wrong today!”
What happened to the sense of identity? What happened to the possession? What happened to “me”, or “I”? We usually don’t claim things that we feel are “bad” or “negative” unless we’re looking for pity from someone else or looking for an ear to hear us. You’ll hear someone say, “Just my luck!” when something doesn't go their way, but why? Because they want to be heard, they want sympathy – everyone wants to be heard. Social media is a testament to this part of human nature.
This brings us to: Me, Myself, and I – your own personal trinity.
Anything that you identify with, you feel belongs to you (possession). But are these things yours? You will say that your girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband is yours, but are they really? You can’t truly possess another human being, can you?
And if this person you love leaves the relationship, you would say, “They left me,” as if the only thing that mattered was you and what you felt you lost.
When you are stripped of all your external “possessions” you are left with little to identify with. When you are stripped of all thoughts, opinions, ideas, dreams, goals and aspirations that come from external sources, you are left with little that isn't the real you. Your… Me, Myself and I. The power of just what you are – your “self”.
This real you has willpower. The ability to choose between options. In fact, if you literally had no other possession in the World, nothing to identify with, you would still have this ability. The power to say, “Me. I choose this for myself.” (Me, Myself and I).
If you’re still with me, I want you to think a moment about how potent that is. Realize how we take this for granted. You have a power within in you that is constantly at your disposal but you don’t look at it as a power because you weren't taught to. It just seems “normal” and mundane.
If someone has the potential to limit your options they can limit your choices. This in turn limits your willpower to a certain degree. On the opposite side of that coin, if someone gives you so many options that it takes you a long time to make a clear decision, this also limits your willpower to a certain degree. The reason is because you would weigh each decision as to what is right for you and what is wrong for you. Some people would never end up making a concrete decision.
So you can see the problem when someone says, “Live your passion!” You have so many things to weigh against each other that many people get lost. They back down from such a huge mental undertaking. If you’re like most people, you have a lot of passions (the average person has well over 20) – how do you determine just 1 to live by? Is it right to choose just 1 to live by? It becomes confusion. Peep Game on that. This is how some people lead you around to where they want you to be. Anyway… back to our discussion.
So you have the power of will. The ability to choose options and this is part of your real “self”. The self that no one “gave” you or “made” you into. And this “self” requires control. Because without control, no definite decision is made and there is no direction of power.
Think of it like letting a car run down the street without a driver. That car isn't going much of anywhere and it won’t take long until it wrecks. Are you the driver of your vehicle? Or do you just sit back and wait for the wreck to happen?
We’re not done yet! In next week’s post we’ll bring all this together as we uncover the power of patience and why this form of self-control is necessary.
Until next time, keep it moving (drive that vehicle)…
For PART 3 click [HERE]
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