Toy Smith said, "Self control (discipline) is the fire by which talent becomes ability". We have the potential and abilities needed to do great things. However, life challenges can cause us to focus on what we can’t do instead of what we can. To overcome this huge distraction we must execute self-control. Gordon MacDonald says that, "when we are afraid of discipline we do the minimum but when we are unafraid of control (discipline) we have no problem doing the maximum". To achieve the next level of success for our lives we must be willing to control ourselves.
1. Thinking – Our minds are powerful. What we think can become our reality. So controlling our thoughts is key to getting to the places we desire. This doesn't come easy when our thoughts are negative about ourselves. If we don't believe it, then we probably won't do it. This doesn't mean that it's impossible, but it does mean that our thoughts are making it impossible for it to be a reality for us.
Work on having controlled thoughts by only allowing thoughts that produce success to linger around. Separate your negative thoughts from the positive ones. This doesn't mean that you ignore reality but it means that you control the thoughts you allow to develop. Be thought controlled to achieve the success you desire.
2. Emotions – We are emotional creatures, full of feelings. When we get up in the morning our feelings and emotions are usually what we think about first, for example: I'm tired, I'm sleepy, I'm thirsty, or I don't feel good. John Maxwell says that we can either master them or be mastered by them. To master them does not mean that we over look them and act as if they don’t exist but it does mean that we will not allow our feelings and emotions to drive and push us to do things that we don’t want.
Put your feelings and emotions in their place by mastering (controlling) them. When you feel a certain way, think through that feeling or emotion to the end before acting on it. Ask yourself, "What would happen if I acted the way I feel or allowed this feeling to tell me what to do". If you see the outcome is not successful, push it out with positive ones. Continue to control your emotions.
3. Actions – We have heard the phase, "Actions speak louder than words". Simply put, it’s easier to judge what is being done instead of what is being said. But we must not stop with just knowing that. We must work at each moment to align our words and our actions to achieve success in our future.
Let your actions meet your verbal obligations or sentiments. Control your words. Be honest with yourself first. Know what you are talking about before you open your mouth if not keep your mouth closed. Words are meaningless without the actions to support them but beautiful when they are supported by loving actions. Select your words wisely and remember few are needed when your actions are speaking.
Summary – To live a controlled life for success - "Think" instead of reacting, "Process emotions" instead of losing them, "Act out positive desires" instead of just talking about them. Don't make permanent mistakes because of temporary feelings. Live controlled!