We begin to learn self-control as children when we learn to respond to “no” and a host of other do’s and don’ts. This process continues to develop throughout maturation into adulthood. As we mature, self-control becomes the will within us to do what we know is right. It controls our behavior. Despite its importance, self-control is a difficult concept for many to grasp. As humans, we are inclined to act on our emotions and desires for instant gratification rather than doing what is best in the long-run. This can include acting on impulse, giving in to temptations or indulging in other self-destructive behaviors, abusive relationships or drug and alcohol abuse. A lack of self-control in your daily life will eventually catch up with you if it hasn’t already.
Self-control starts when you recognize the importance of resisting temptation. However, as your desires develop, you may cease to heed those no’s and do not’s as you should. Self-control is that trait that will keep you in the right lane. It will cause you to heed those warning signs and avoid doing things that will hurt you in the long run. How many men love their families but may put it all on the line when faced with the temptation of another woman? Self-control allows a real man to maintain his composure and avoid that fling. A man is able to resist because he knows what he values most: preserving his family and all he and his wife have built.
Suppose that you wanted a certain pair of tennis shoes but did not have the money to buy them. A man without self-control may stoop to steal to get what he wants, or spend money allocated for something more important. You must resist that urge. Practice self-control and remain honorable. Criminal behaviors as such can jeopardize your future.
In the sections of this chapter, we will explore the different aspects of self-control and various consequences that can occur when you fail to practice it. You will discover how the wonderful power of self-control keeps you on the right path.