Stillness, can you enjoy it?
Or to be happy do you need to constantly eat snacks or drink brew?
I’ve recently become very disciplined with my diet. One significant change I’ve made is that I restrict myself to eating only fruit after 7:00 PM.
While fulfilling the above was initially difficult, the joy of experiencing myself consistently living up to my own rule is unparalleled. The joy of self-mastery!
There is nothing in life as satisfying as making a rule for yourself and fulfilling it independent of the temptation to be swayed otherwise. Certainly, my fulfillment of this rule provides me far greater satisfaction than even the most delicious midnight snack ever could.
The key to eating healthy is enjoying the time you’re not eating at least as much as the time that you are!
There is always a paradox in changing your habits: Your initial efforts can feel like self-inflicted pain. But if you persist in choosing the self-talk that produces the behaviors you want, you’ll ultimately experience an unparalleled sense of accomplishment.
Self-Talk Gives You Discipline or Takes it Away
Self-talk is what we say to ourselves whether or not we’re aware of it. Choosing your self-talk wisely is the key ingredient to having self-mastery.
Here’s an example of self-talk in action:
A woman training for the Olympics wakes up at 6:00 AM to begin her training. At first she says to herself, “I really don’t feel like training today; I’m so damn tired!”
But moments later she upgrades her self-talk to: “Getting the gold medal is my ultimate goal, and if I’m to have any chance at getting it, I have to get up immediately to train!” As a result of her upgrading her self-talk, she gets out of bed and trains hard the entire day.
Through wise self-talk you can get yourself to do what you want to do over what you feel like doing, which is what champions do! People who reach high spiritual levels also do this.
Added Benefit of Conquering Yourself
I feel most human when I’m master over myself. Humanity should be held to a much higher standard than animals! Animals act on instinct. Humans have the power of choice. When we’re tempted in one direction, we can will ourselves to go another.
Animals can’t do the above.
The more your life reflects what you want to do over what you feel like doing, the more positive your self-image is.
Authentic self-esteem doesn’t come from being a fish moved by random ocean currents. Real self-esteem is generated when we make a commitment to living our life in ways we want over ways we feel.
Examples of why people opt not to conquer themselves:
Very few people want to be lazy. The only reason they continue to be lazy is because they submit to how they feel like being.
Very few people want to constantly think negative thoughts. The only reason they continue to incessantly think negative thoughts is because they submit to how they feel like being.
Very few people want to have a temper problem. The only reason they continue to have a bad tempter is because they submit to how they feel like being.
Can you imagine the effect of constantly doing what you feel like doing over what you want to do can have on your self-esteem?
It’s not good.
Why We’re So Attached to Our Habits
The reason people over eat or smoke is to change their state. All addictions are the result of a desire to change state. If you could get the same satisfaction with sitting in a field under a canopy of stars as you could with eating three hamburgers, you could then opt for sitting under the stars instead of gorging yourself with food to positively change your state. Changing your state with the former would be much healthier than with the latter.
Developing the ability to feel a sense of peace and awe in the simple moments will significantly help you overcome bad habits. And increasing your self-mastery makes you feel more alive.
The more human you feel, the more alive you feel. As mentioned earlier, you will never feel more human than when you do what you want to do over what you feel like doing.
The more self-mastery you attain, the more each moment seems to sparkle with value. With self-mastery your behavior is not the result of nature; it’s the result of choice.
What would be more exhilarating, sitting in the back seat of a jet ski while someone else rides it, or being behind the controls riding anywhere you truly want?
When you attain advanced levels of self-mastery, even mundane moments have more depth and quality.
Self-mastery provides a constant sense of accomplishment.
Tonight, when I go outside after 7 p.m. knowing I will stick to my rule of restricting myself to eating only fruit, I can look up at the vast sky with its endless stars and say with confidence,
“I am my own master.”
Bamboo Forest is a professional email life coach and the founder of Tick Tock Timer