Tough and turbulent times are like seasons, they come and go. However, when we are in those tumultuous times, we feel the torrential rains of the situation pouring down furiously on us that it becomes really frustrating at times. We can experience frustrating times in our workplaces. We can experience turbulent times in our relationships with our friends and loved ones. You could experience turbulent times on a project that you are working on. Rough and tumultuous times comes in many shades and forms. However, these situations if not managed efficiently could make us blow our tops. In whatever shade these troublesome times come, the onus still lies on us to control the narrative of the situation, and not let the circumstance control us. No matter what life throws at us, we remain the sole authors of our own life stories.
We control the narrative of our future. Every action that we take is a sentence in the story of our lives. The collective aggregation of how we react to good or bad situations that we encounter become the individual sentences that make up the story of our lives. It is therefore imperative that we remain cognizant of our daily actions. We need to think before we act. It is not always wise to sow an act when under the stimulation of negative emotions. We need to become cooler, calmer, and more collected before acting in any circumstance. When an action is perpetrated, it is out of the bags of our lives with ensuing consequences. We must be careful to tell the tales of our lives. There is a Sage called Life. He is looking at your actions every second, every minute, every hour, every day, through all your years. Be in control. Properly manage the situations that form the sentences of your life. Don’t act irrationally in extreme conditions. Write a good story. Become the next Bestseller. Become the best you. Kelechi Agom-Eze, the founder of the “I Encourage Somebody” YouTube Channel gives some great highlights on how we should manage intense situations and circumstances.
“Don’t act irrationally in extreme conditions. Write a good story. Become the next Bestseller. Become the best you.”
There are times that we face very annoying situations. Trust me, everyone reading this can testify of at least one time when someone almost made us blow our gasket. How we react under those incongruous conditions of pressure can and could make a whole world of difference, all things being equal. Kelechi advocates in her video that there are times that we really need to assess a situation and walk away from it before the circumstance begins to control us negatively. Sometimes, walking away from a grave situation does not make us a weakling, sometimes it places us on a pedestal of strength. Walking away at times will help us refocus and redirect our thoughts and energies that will help us re-engage the situation that we are facing more tactfully. This will avail us the opportunity to put ourselves in a position of strength to tackle the condition and come out victorious at the end of the day. Sometimes, when we make decisions in haste in a heated situation, we most times end up making the wrong decision. This is the best time to go into a “woosah” moment and control the situation.
Therefore, it is vital to engage the power of self-control. I am encouraging you to make a conscious effort to control yourself when you face harsh situations that could bring out your worst side of your personality. As earlier mentioned, all your actions are the sentences that form the story of your life. Leo Tolstoy once said that “There never has been, and cannot be, a good life, without self-control.” Self-control is an art. Learn it. Become the Rembrandt van Rijn of self-control. Become sensitive. Become perceptive. Master the shadow and light of self-control; learn it and let it become your reality. Paint the perfect Mona Lisa of self-control. Become the certified genius of self-control. An anonymous writer once said that “If you learn self-control, you can master anything.” Another anonymous writer also said that “Control yourself or someone else will control you.” It is a challenging task, but those who master this art form gain mastery of the situations that define the narrative of their lives. So, I know many of you reading will be asking, ‘How do I control me?’ How do you go about controlling yourself?
“Self-control is an art. Learn it. Become the Rembrandt van Rijn of self-control. Become sensitive. Become perceptive. Master the shadow and light of self-control; learn it and let it become your reality. Paint the perfect Mona Lisa of self-control. Become the certified genius of self-control.”
Five Pillars of Self-Control
First, make a conscious effort to control your words. The words that you speak are the gateway to your soul. This is in perfect concord with the what a Francis de Sales said that “Our words are a constant index of the state of our souls.” (Paraphrased). Your words carry a lot of weight. What we say has the unction to can build people up or even destroy them. Our words can be a life-giving eclair that is sweet to the soul. On the contrary, our words can also be deadly cyanide that can poison and destroy the soul. The words that we speak can motivate a multitude towards positive or negative acts. For instance, when you say things from a happy disposition, you can pronounce health and life into others. On the contrary, when you say things out of anger, trust me, you could end up saying things that you will end up regretting. We must be deliberate to watch the words that we speak in every situation that we find ourselves. This is the first act of controlling ourselves.
Second, make a concerted effort to control your actions. Our actions are the very letters of the alphabet that constitute the various words that become the sentences of our lives. The process of doing an act is the process of forming the word that defines the situation. For instance, when you help an elderly person cross the street, your action is developing the word “assist.” When you are inspiring people by what you say or do, you are formulating the word “motivate.” When you take what is not yours, your action is creating the word “steal.” Hence, we can confidently say that our activities form the building blocks of the sentence of our lives. We become what we do. What we do defines our existence. As the saying goes, “Action speaks louder than the voice.” Do not behave irrationally in the face of heated situations. We must cautiously watch our actions. Our actions are what gives us accolades or denunciations in life. In other to cultivate the mastery of self-control, we must, therefore, watch our all our daily actions. Our actions eventually become our habits. This is one of the great wisdom of writing an acceptable and winning narrative of our lives.
Third, endeavor to control your thoughts. Our thoughts are the aquifers that supply and re-supply our actions. Our deep-seated-thinking form the nucleus of our activities. Our thoughts sculpt and fashion what we eventually do. René Descartes’ famous philosophical proposition was “I think, therefore I am,” translated from the Latin words, “Cogito ergo sum.” An unknown author once said that “Our thoughts can help us more than doctors and harm us more than brickbats.” Our thoughts are powerful. They possess the power to help us in the situations of life. Our thoughts if channeled wrongly can also hurt us. For instance, in challenging circumstances, you could be prone to embracing a negative outlook that can lead you to spiral downwards into the cesspool of bitterness that could cripple your will to achieve and be a better person. Stay away from the dark side of Darth Vader-like thoughts and anger. In the process of developing the art of self-control, we must learn to control how we think. In the words of Mark Twain, “Life does not consist essentially—or even largely—of facts and happenings. It consists largely of the hurricane of thoughts that are forever blowing through one’s mind.” (Paraphrased).
Fourth, in learning to control yourself, be careful of who you keep around you as a company. Human beings are social creatures. As we interact with one another, we begin to imbibe qualities from one another consciously and unconsciously via the principle of social diffusion. When we make it a habit of hanging around the wise, we gradually start inculcating the wise attributes of those that are wise. When we make it a habit of hanging around the foolish, we slowly commence instilling the stupid traits of those that are senseless. As we socialize with one another, there is a comingling and diffusion of behaviors by association. We become who we follow. We become who we associate with. The acts of those that we follow find ways of diffusing into our very lives. There is power in association. The prevailing associative attributes are the agents that are responsible for creating the culture of societies. Napoleon Hill once said that “Ponder twice before you say anything. The reason being that your words and sway will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” (Paraphrased). When you team up with like minds that believe in the power of self-control, there is every tendency that you will learn the art of self-control yourself. On the other hand, when you synergize yourself with people who do not control themselves, you may end up behaving like them also. Remember the Yiddish Proverb that says, “One rotten apple spoils the other.” There is an inherent power in the company that we keep.
Finally, make controlling yourself a habit. Your habit is who you eventually become. Your mannerism will ultimately form your personality. Your personality will eventually shape your life purpose. In the art of learning self-control, you must make this art a custom as you learn to earn from the proceeds and benefits that it offers. An unknown author once said that “Good habits are difficult to procure but easy to live with. On the contrary, harmful or bad habits are easy to acquire but hard to live with.” (Paraphrased). Acquiring the art of self-control is not a piece of cake. It involves you putting in the time and effort to do so. However, when you do, life becomes easy. Another unknown Author also said that “First we build our habits; then our habits builds us.” Build the habit of self-control. Master yourself. Master your words. Master your actions. Master your thoughts. Master the art of the right company that will in-turn influence you to become the best you possible. Make all the above facts in this article a habit, and they will in-turn, build the best you ever. A Charles Reade once said that we should “Sow an act, and you will harvest a habit. Sow a habit, and you produce a character. Sow a character, and you will realize a destiny.” (Paraphrased). In all your getting and acquisitions, get self-control.
So, say it to yourself, “I Control Me.” When you are in that not so favorable circumstance, say it to yourself “I Control Me.” When you are being edged on to become a negative you—walk away if you must. Speak to yourself and what you assert will eventually become your reality. Control your words. Do not say things that you will end up regretting. Remember, when that word flies out of your mouth, you cannot retrieve it back. It is potent and can build or destroy. Hence, it might just be better to walk away, cool yourself down and then speak with wisdom and knowledge to address your hurt. As already stipulated, control and watch your actions, thoughts, company and make this process habitual as you move forward towards becoming a better you. Do not be hasty to react when under negative pressure. Never allow your circumstance to control you, but always be in charge of your circumstance. Napoleon Hill in his landmark Bestseller, Think and Grow Rich, said “You are the boss of your own fate. You can influence, guide and regulate your own ambiance. You can fashion your life into what you want it to be.” (Paraphrased). So, influence, direct and control the narrative and shape your destiny—I Control Me.