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Self Control

When you are self employed you need a tough boss.

Self control is one of the most important attributes that you will need to succeed. Successful people control their own lives and to a large extent the lives of others. In order to do this they practice self control.

We are so used to being controlled by other people and circumstances that our own control gets neglected. Growing up we have parents, teachers and other adults controlling our actions and giving us direction. Many people carry this into their adult lives, their actions are governed by employers, spouses, peers, other people and their childhood training.

There is nothing wrong with allowing other people to control you, in fact it is necessary in a civilized community. However you must still be in control of their control, in other words you should never just blindly accept what they want you to do. There is more on this in Self Improvement.


I remember while growing up the only advice about getting ahead was, get an education, find a job and work hard. This is alright but it is also incomplete. With this advice most people end up working 40 hours a week for most of their lives and then retiring, usually with far less than they wanted. I have always considered this to be a soul destroying way to spend a life.

The majority of successful people are self employed, they have their own companies. Even when they work for other people it is their choice. For example a successful movie star decides whether they will accept a part in a film or not.

Let us take another look at the advice for getting ahead. Get an education: That is right, to be successful you will need to learn everything you can about the field you are getting into. Find a job: Almost right, find something you want to do and then create the job. Work hard: Definitely right, success takes a lot of work to achieve, but also work smart. Do not put a lot of effort into actions that do not move towards your goal. How to set Goals.

How does self control fit into this? Obviously the working hard part will take self control. There are times when you have to overcome your own inertia, procrastination, you have to push yourself to start taking the first few steps.

Sometimes you may want to do something more pleasurable, play some games, lay in the sun and so on. There is nothing wrong with doing those things after you have done your work. I usually ask myself if I deserve a break, if I do then I can lay in the sun with a clear conscience. If you set up your business doing something you enjoy, and you should, then the work is not so hard.

Decisions, Decisions

You will find that most people feel uncomfortable about making a decision. We have been trained to follow other peoples directions. It even gets down to simple daily actions. "What do you want for supper?" "I don't know what do you want for supper?" or "What tie should I wear?". You get the picture.

Most people will not make a decision without getting someone else's approval. It seems comfortable doing what other people want, that way you can't be wrong. That assumes that the other people are better at being right than you are. Again this is a lack of self control.

It is YOUR life, make your own decisions. It may be difficult at first but try making a few decisions without someone else's input. Then do it. That's pretty bold.

Living Other People's Lives

I surprised myself a few years ago. I had the audacity to stop and ask myself "Is this what I want to do?" This made me review my life. It was a shock to realize that most of the things that I had done were things that other people had expected me to do, or I thought they wanted me to do. This is an action you may want to try yourself. You will probably find, as I did, that you have been following other peoples ideas without even knowing.

These will be from parents, friends and even advertising agencies. A common example of this is drinking, it is accepted that drinking alcohol is the sociable thing to do, it is somehow manly and so on. I realized  that I don't even like alcohol particularly, so now I may have an occasional glass of wine on a special occasion. I can still be very sociable without it. I don't need a new high powered car to impress anyone, I just need to get where I am going.

It seems like a lot of addictions start as a need to please other people, an attempt to fit in with the crowd. Smoking, drinking, drugs and so on, if you look back you will probably find that you did not really enjoy them at all, it was the camaraderie, sense of belonging that you found pleasant.

I am not trying to judge or knock anybody here, if you want to do something then do it, just make sure it is what YOU want to do. Self control. Read Unlock the Passion to help find out what it is that you really want.

"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself." From the song 'Garden party' by Ricky Nelson.

When most people talk about self control they mean controlling your emotions, and that is important too. You can learn to control your emotions, it can sometimes be as easy as counting to ten before you react. I will have more on that in another page.

All of this comes down to learning more about yourself, taking control of your life. When you learn true self control, your life will be much more pleasant because you will be doing what you want to do and knowing why you are doing it.

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