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Self-control has two components:
Self-control plays a key role in our lives, keeping us sane and alive, as we don’t give in to things that may be harmful now or in the future. It involves resilience, tolerance, patience, time and effort investment and deliberate practice.
While it’s obvious we need to exhibit a certain amount of self-control while choosing what we put in our bodies, that is not the whole story.
If we educate our bodies and learn about nutrition, longevity and how our individual bodies function, we could be eating a lot healthier.
There is a lot of stuff available for us to do that makes us feel better instantly. Watching TV, going to the beach, drinking alcohol, smoking, and almost every other activity that seems pleasurable to us, giving us temporary pleasure in a jiffy. When we keep doing that, the long term effects are bad, and we feel older, weaker, sicker, while not having any achievement in our lives.
This is a natural process of a slow movement towards disorder, is also the second law of thermodynamics, called Entropy.
If we do not rest, recover, rebuild, adapt, and restore ourselves using self-control, the natural law of entropy (things and systems naturally move towards disorder) takes over our lives and we start to deteriorate.
This deterioration is so slow that it is unnoticeable. We need to invest in ourselves on a daily basis, even if we are not able to see any improvement.
We need to have a singular drive or pursuit that motivates us in our every breath. Shallow pursuits like some materialistic desires cannot make us demonstrate self-control for long.
If we are completely committed to a high pursuit, it won’t be difficult to exercise self-control.
A system is a set of habits, behaviours and productivity hacks that help us stay consistent and productive. One has to practice self-control by picking a direction and sticking with it, making our long-term goals our focus.
Example: If the long-term goal is being a public speaker, the system can be, taking classes, training people, reading and exercising on a daily basis, using self-control to stay on track.
If we look into our daily routine, we will find that a lot is being done by us just to minimize and manage our stress. We wind up our ‘springs’ so much by our commitments and work pressure that we have to unwind by taking vacations and buying stuff.
Another way is to not let that much stress creep into you in the first place. As a moderate amount of stress is good for you, you can practice self-control and design your life the way it does not accumulate that much stress. It’s better than coping up with stress.
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People with high hope have a good number of difficult, challenging goals, and a good scorecard of achievement.
They have lower rates of anxiety and depression and greater happiness. They cope well with problems that consume the rest of the world.
Instead of wishful thinking, we need to know what we want (specific goals), and have the drive and passion to go towards it (agency) and should be able to generate methods and devices to achieve what we want (pathways).
When we do a sum total of these three, we get hope: Hope= Goals + Agency + Pathways