As a mother of a four year old boy, I have become an expert in super heroes. Like most boys his age, my son is fascinated with all things super. It’s an intriguing world. In that fictional world, something happens to a normal human and he or she becomes equipped with powers to fight evil and safeguard good. A superhero may adopt a secret identity to protect friends and family from becoming targets of his or her enemies.
Self control is a super power and which is available to everyone. It takes a strength of character and a determination to uphold values. Most people are too lazy to cultivate this super power, however.
Self control is difficult. It is also crucial to success in both our personal and professional lives. Self control requires the realization that one’s needs don’t supercede anyone else’s. Additionally, every action has consequences that involve long term impact. Self control is a one shot deal because in real life, there are no do-overs.
Daily life presents many opportunities to exercise self control. Consider driving, for example. When driving, we are often tempted to exceed the speed limit and break the rules of the road because we are in a hurry. Giving into that temptation reflects a notion that my needs are more important than those of everyone else on the road or that I am not bound by the rules of others because I am somehow exempt.
Anger is an emotion that can overwhelm us in such a way that we lose self control. Consider a two year old’s temper tantrum. Young children aren’t able to control their anger and resort to kicking, screaming and crying out of frustration for not getting their way. Many adults behave similarly when they don’t exercise self control. When we are enraged, it’s easy to lose sight that there are more people in the world than me and their concerns and emotions also deserve consideration.
Dealing with difficult people tests our patience in a way that requires the highest level of self control. Confrontation might be our first reaction when we are faced with someone who seems to deliberately provoke us. Our first response might be to lash out or say nothing. But this is where self control is very important. Self control requires us to direct the conversation to a fruitful end. This takes time, analysis and restraint which may seem very much like super hero qualities.
In conclusion, self restraint is a super power. Thankfully it is a resource we are all capable of cultivating.