The journey to find oneself is often one of the most difficult and yet rewarding endeavors. In this episode, we will explore how self-identity has changed over time as society evolved into an increasingly interconnected world.
“The Self-Control Kingship” Its Kingship and Majesty come from self-control. Jordan, William George, 1905
“I am as God created me,” a guy frequently says when he fails in life. He proudly declares himself a “self-made guy” when he succeeds. Man is born into this world as a potential, not as a certainty. The biggest foe of man is himself. Man is a creature of circumstances when he is weak; when he is strong, he is the creator of circumstances. Whether someone is a victim or a victor is primarily determined by him.
Man is never really magnificent for what he is, but rather for what he can be. Man is just wandering through the years until he is fully filled with the knowledge of the grandeur of his possibilities, until the glow of awareness of his privilege to live the life entrusted to him, as an individual life for which he is personally accountable comes to him…
He sees how he might achieve his kingdom by self-control with this widening, invigorating vision of life. And the self-control shown at both the most spectacular moments in history and the most mundane aspects of everyday life is same in type and quality, varied only in degree. This power is within man’s grasp if he wills it; all he has to do is pay the price.
Self-control is one of the most important characteristics that distinguishes humans from other animals. He is the only animal capable of moral conquest or battle.
Every stride forward in the world’s development has been a new “control.” It has been a journey from the tyranny of a reality to its comprehension and mastery. For millennia, man has feared the flash of lightning; now he recognizes it as electricity, a power he has controlled and made his slave. The million stages of electrical innovation are just representations of our ability to regulate a powerful force. Self-control, however, is the most important of all “controls.”
Man is either a King or a slave at any given time in his life. He is a slave as soon as he gives in to a bad hunger, to any human weakness; as soon as he falls prostrate in hopeless submission to any circumstance, to any surroundings, to any failure. He is a King when he smashes human frailty, dominates warring components within himself, and re-creates a new self from the sin and foolishness of his past. He is a wise King who rules over himself. Except for Alexander, who conquered the whole globe. He was the Emperor of the Earth, yet he was a slave to his own desires.
We are envious of other people’s goods and wish we had them. When we wish we had Queen Victoria’s crown or Emperor William’s self-satisfaction, we experience this in a hazy, dreamlike sense with no idea of genuine accomplishment. However, there are moments when we get enraged, rage at the unfair distribution of life’s beautiful things, and then revert to a dismal fatalistic acceptance of our predicament.
We are envious of others’ achievement when we should be emulating the approach that led to their accomplishment. We marvel at Sandow’s physical growth, but we forget that as a baby and youngster, he was so frail that there was little possibility of his life being saved…
We close our eyes to the hundreds of examples of the world’s accomplishments, whether mental, moral, physical, financial, or spiritual, in which the big end success sprang from a far weaker and worse starting than our own.
If a guy is willing, he may develop self-control. He can’t hope to get it without making little, increasing energy expenditures over a lengthy period of time. In her interactions with individuals, Nature is a firm believer in the payment plan. No man is so impoverished that he cannot begin to pay for what he desires, and Nature saves and collects every modest, individual contribution he makes as a reserve fund for him in his hour of need.
Nature reserves the patience man expends in facing the little challenges of his everyday existence as a marvelous reserve for him at a life crisis. The mental, bodily, and moral energy he expends on a daily basis in good deeds is all saved for him by Nature and transmuted into strength. Nature never takes full payment in cash for anything; this would be a betrayal of the poor and weak.
Nature only recognizes the increasing installment plan. A man cannot form or break a habit in a single minute. It is an issue of growth and development. However, man may begin to form or abandon any habit at any time. This perspective on character development should be a powerful motivator for everyone who really seeks and is determined to live life to the fullest.
Self-control may be acquired in the same way that a weak muscle can be strengthened by doing little exercises every day. Let us do a few unpleasant actions each day as simple moral gymnastics exercises, the completion of which will aid us in quick action in our hour of need. The exercises can be as simple as dropping an intensely interesting book at the most thrilling page of the story; jumping out of bed at the first sign of waking; walking home when perfectly capable but tempted to drive; talking to an unpleasant person and attempting to make the conversation pleasant. These daily moral discipline exercises will have a miraculous tonic impact on man’s whole moral constitution.
Self-control in the little things is the only way to achieve self-control in the big things. He must research himself to find the chink in his armor, the part inside him that hinders him from achieving his greatest potential. This is the trait with which he should begin his self-control training. Is it selfishness, vanity, cowardice, morbidity, temper, sloth, concern, mind-wandering, or a lack of purpose? Whatever shape human frailty takes in the mask of life, he must find it. He must therefore live each day as though his whole life had been compressed into the one day in front of him. He should live that day as if it were his last day, the only day remaining for him to assert all that is best in him, the only day left for him to overcome all that is worst in him, with no pointless sorrow for the past and no meaningless concern for the future. At each little manifestation from moment to moment, he must conquer the weak aspect within him. Then each moment must be a win for it or for him. Will he be King or will he be a slave? It is up to him to decide.