This week, the main thing that I learned about is what it means to have mastered the self. In most dictionaries, the definition is simple. “self-control.” I don’t believe that this can be simplified so much though. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it this way, “the power to control one’s actions, impulses, or emotions.” That is a lot closer than the first, but still a far cry from what I have come to think it to mean.
Selfgrowth.com I think is the best source for understanding this word. “Self Mastery, alone, sounds like a selfish term; but if you cannot help yourself, you will have limited ability to help others. Self mastery is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental, and spiritual health. In other words, to be the best you can be.”
There’s a lot more to it though, so I definitely encourage anyone and everyone to check out the site here.
To be the best you can be means to stop making up excuses. In order to master the self, we must be aware of the self and not stand in our own way in terms of development. We need to know our dreams and desires, know our weaknesses and pitfalls, then do everything to become the best version of our self.
This week as I studied for my classes, I found myself growing frustrated with myself and with my lack of knowing where I am headed. But as I read a talk assigned to me for class, I caught myself. In the talk “Success is Gauged by Self-Mastery” by N. Eldon Tanner, a quote is given from da Vinci. He said, “the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. … And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”
Focusing in on our failures does not equate to progress or change. Focusing in on positive change does that. We must be aware of our shortcomings, but then have the willpower to propel us forward. It is this power that allows us to do the hard things. Because, lets face it, life isn’t easy. It wasn’t meant to be. If it were, college would be free and change would be easy. It is through the struggle that we realize our strength. It is through the realization of that strength that we obtain the courage to do hard things again. We must start in order to come out victorious in the end. If we did so, how glorious our lives would be!