Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. Burn Philips

How big of a role does self-control play in our lives? We need to control our actions, thoughts, money, the words we say, and how we say them. We are watching the celebration of a woman’s life that was all about self-control. I am reading that Prime Ministers that met with her weekly had no idea what her politics were.

Queen Elizabeth was above petty politics because she was the Queen and met with each Prime Minister no matter what party was in. To have lived a scandal-free life reigning for seventy years she must have had immense self-control. She was an example of someone exercising great self-control throughout her life as she performed the duties of a monarch.

We may not be kings and queens of a realm but we are kings and queens of our lives and households. The more self-control we exercise the better our lives will be. We may use other words to describe self-control such as willpower, discipline, and determination. The true definition of self-control is to control one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. We subdue our impulses in order to achieve longer-term goals.

There are signs that our self-control is slipping. We become agitated, irritable, and impatient, have difficulty concentrating, and unwanted thoughts come into our minds.

Self-control is an area where practice makes perfect. The more we practice self-control the better we get at it. We can replace bad habits with rewarding or positive behaviors. We need to take care of ourselves by eating well, sleeping well, and getting enough exercise to have the energy to practice self-control.

We can look back on our lives and see where self-control or a lack of it changed the direction of our lives. If we use self-control when it comes to money when opportunities arise we will have the means to take advantage of them. Our relationships will be better if we don’t say the first thing that pops into our minds. If we are careful what we say about other people we will not be embarrassed when it comes around to the person we were gossiping about.

We were brought up with, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is very hard to live by, especially with the vitriol that is being put out in the media. But, what if we practice not saying anything about anybody that is not positive? Maybe we can acknowledge, “I don’t think that’s the best way to do things,” and leave it at that. As I write this I wonder if I could actually do this, even for a day.

With self-discipline, most anything is possible. Theodore Roosevelt

We have lost a great example of how to conduct ourselves in the world. This might mean we need to find other examples of good conduct, and even aspire to be good examples ourselves.

Now that I am a grandma I can see that not saying anything is a virtue. People need to figure out their own lives, make their own decisions, and chart their own course. They have their own thoughts and opinions that differ from ours and that has to be okay. Arguing with them will not change their mind; in fact, it may make their position become more rigid as they feel they must defend it. If we can be an example of living with dignity and grace, choosing the right thing over the easy, exhibiting self-control, and even though we will not do it perfectly we will be an example to our children and grandchildren.

We will show our children and grandchildren it is possible to live with dignity and grace, it is possible to see the best in people, and it is possible to take a longer view and subdue our impulses to make the future better. We often regret words said in haste, actions we take without thinking, and habits that don’t help us get what we want. The more we develop self-control the better our lives will be and we will be more of an example to others.

Telling others to control themselves doesn’t work, but controlling ourselves is where our power lies.

Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage. Thucydides

A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering. Dalai Lama

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those who read my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.