Chapter 8. Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to make decisions about how and when we express our thoughts and feelings, and which of our impulses to act on.

Control means you take 100 percent responsibility for doing everything you can to generate an outcome. It does not mean you have 100 percent control. No one has that much control over life.

Bad things happen and they happen a lot. You can't alter the course of the storm. You can only maneuver through it in such a way that allows you and those you love to survive and then thrive when the storm passes.

Self-control is about driving your own brain as you would a car.

You think of where you want to go.

You head out in that direction.

Stuff happens along the way (like detours and road construction).

You either wait for the road to open (next year) or take a detour now.

You check to see if you're getting there using the new route.

You get there.

You achieved your destination because of self-control.

In the last 20 years, self-control or self-regulation has become a hot topic of scientific study. Social scientists are exploring what it takes to be in control of the self. We are learning more and more about what works and what does not.

So why do people find themselves completely unable to reroute their plans and control or direct their frustrations toward changing their behaviors to get to their destination? Why do they seem to prefer to just get somewhere, which is right next to nowhere? It's because they never learned to self-regulate. ...

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