What happens to the undisciplined child? The kid who always got his way, who does he grow up to be?
Every day when we encounter the jerk who cuts us off on the road and the co-worker who gives you attitude because of their personal problems, that’s them.
We’ve all had the cashier who justifies their nastiness because they haven’t had their smoke break yet or anyone for that matter who selfishly lashes out when they don’t get their way… we all know that kid.
Similarly, the same goes for the individuals who just can’t seem to help themselves. The alcohol and drug abuser in denial, your good friend with a deplorable diet, or the ones who have yet to grasp the concept of personal hygiene?
These traits all belong to that kid who grew up without yet mastering themselves.
Even within ourselves, there are internal battles that we may be going through — valid ones at that — which make us sensitive, irritable, self-destructive and sometimes just not pleasant to be around.
That is why it’s important, especially in these moments in particular to master ourselves.
That means being able to have the utmost handle and responsibility of your emotions, actions, and self-care.
Being a man is all about accepting complete responsibility for yourself. And there are simply too many “men” walking around that have not truly learned the art of self-mastery.
It’s an ongoing journey and it’s a process that never really stops, but it’s most apparent in the way we treat others and the way we treat ourselves.
How You Treat Others
I could never be a babysitter, at least not for toddlers and adolescents. They’re too needy and too young to understand that the world does not revolve around them.
However, as I meander through life I tend to find grown toddlers all around me. The problem with children who always got their way growing up is that they never learn how to deny themselves.
The mother who lets their kid go outside to play without cleaning up after himself is raising the roommate who doesn’t clean up after himself.
The father who was never around to teach their son about respect and to treat others, no matter how different, indirectly is raising a child who will treat people he does not understand horribly.
The family that does not enforce emotion management is letting a loose cannon out into the world, causing damage whenever they lose their grip.
If we were to act on every human impulse, the world would be in shambles. Marriages would never work, politics would be far worse than what they are now, and no one would be able to live with one another.
That’s why we learn patience, moderation, and forgiveness.
There are people I encounter every day who I fundamentally disagree with that, because I have mastered myself, I deal with in a civil manner regardless.
Someone else shouldn’t have to suffer because of what’s not going right in your life. Toddlers who don’t get their way have temper tantrums, and when that behavior isn’t curtailed it manifests into grown men flipping you off in traffic or other immature, impulsive behavior.
If we want to experience success in life we must learn to deal with people we do not get along with and treat them with respect.
It’s a part of self-control that takes a great deal of maturity and resolve, but is something that we can begin practicing at this very moment.
How You Treat Yourself
We’re our own worst enemy. Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing between us and where we want to go in life is our inability to say no to ourselves.
I know very capable, talented individuals with amazing visions that have not been able to even scratch the surface of accomplishing them because they can’t get up early enough for the job, or they can’t shut out the world for a couple of weeks to study, or they don’t want run to shed that extra weight.
The last thing you want to be is a prisoner to yourself. You want to be able to do everything you say you’re going to do without the pushback from your own will.
I don’t think people take the easy route because it’s easy, I think people take the easy route because they haven’t mastered themselves enough to endure the hardship of what’s best for them.
Good sleeping habits, eating well, being active, meditating, and other good self-care habits all require dedication. Unfortunately, we don’t naturally want to adopt those practices.
I know that I always want to stay up late as possible (without suffering fatigue), eat the greasiest of food (without gaining weight), and indulge in every recreational substance (without limiting productivity) and still see positive results.
But life does not work that way.
Mastering yourself means taking care of yourself, it means learning about your body and regulating it properly. It also means being responsible for your own well-being.
If you look at those weight-loss success stories, they’re so full of triumph and liberation. They’re cases where someone finally said no to their natural instinct to eat and decided that they were in control of their body, not their hunger.
The same goes for sex, drugs and whatever else addiction that may have plagued them in the past.
Whether it’s in the way you treat others or in the way you treat yourself, life just starts becoming easier when we regain control over what we do and why we do it. When we master who we are, no one and nothing has power over us.