If there is one thing a minimalist seeks it is power. While this might seem strange, it actually makes total sense. Also it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. After all, ultimately that is what every human being on the planet seeks. Power to change the world, power to protect the ones they love, power to bring themselves and others happiness. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with wanting power.
The problem is, power is hard to achieve. Many people try claiming it through money, fame, or command over others. But these types of power are fleeting and not always achievable by everyone (or used to the benefit of others). But there is a power that everyone can access. It can influence how others see you, give you the tools you need to succeed, and shape your life in a positive direction; it is the power of self control.
In a world where your attention is being drawn every which way and there are so many temptations everywhere, it is hard to develop self control. The culture in America (and many other places) is heavily influenced by people’s lack of self control. Today’s consumer culture is geared towards the idea of “the new shiny”, that one thing you must have in order to be happy. A lot food today is laden with fat and sugar and things that may give us a rush of good feelings, but in the long run leave us unhealthy. Today’s youth are very easily able to drink heavily, smoke, use drugs, etc. I know because I am one. This epidemic has even reached our government (or did it start there?) with the massive debt based spending that is used for programs that don’t work or aid that goes to people that hate us.
So how do you combat this lack of self control that has seemingly swept our nation? Well the bad news is that no one can. At least not on their own. If more and more people began to reign in the whims, and “feel good” actions that seem to rule in so many lives today, then I think that change would be inevitable. Just as decay starts out small, so to must positive growth.
So how exactly does one begin to practice self control? It is easy to say it needs to happen, but much harder to achieve. It takes a dedicated movement towards the return to self control and discipline in order to accomplish something. This is true in both a personal and societal sense.
- In order to build your self control, it takes a can do attitude.
- Remind yourself that you are aiming for a goal much bigger than that rush of feeling good, or the momentary satisfaction you may get from giving in.
- Remove yourself from temptations (or vice-versa). If you know that a certain situation or thing causes you to lose your self control, then do your utmost to distance yourself from that temptation. It may lead to some awkwardness or discomfort, but it is better in the long run.
- To achieve power over yourself it takes discipline and the ability to fight through hardships. You must be dedicated to change.
Whatever your reason for achieving power over yourself, whether it be eating healthier, reigning in your spending, or becoming a better student, it should be the light at the end of the tunnel for you. Place that goal in your mind and you will be surprised how much you can overcome. You will not only reach your goal, but in the process, you will learn more about yourself and become the confident, disciplined person you were meant to be.