The key to happiness is self-mastery but many of us find it hard to maintain self-control; sometimes we complain that we can’t resist temptation whether lack of willpower like eating too much or staying up late, or the temptation of something more powerful such as gambling, or cheating in our relationships.
But the truth is, everyone has the ability to control themselves and to move in the direction that they want go.
The “locus of control” is a theory in personal psychology that refers to the extent to which an individual believes that they can control events that affects them and is conceptualized by them as either external or internal.
Your external locus of control may consist of the people you love, as they advise you on how to live your life.
But your internal locus of control is more valuable as you learn how to develop it, because in doing so you learn to maintain control over your emotions, decisions, and overall wellbeing. Remember, the key to happiness is self- mastery.
So how do you achieve self-mastery?
Well here are a few of the ten ways Ken Wert suggest in his article “10 Practical Ways to develop Self-Mastery.”
10 Simple Ways to become your own Master
1. Go on a budget. The self-discipline needed for living by a budget can help develop self-mastery. Believe me, I know.
2. Develop a talent that requires daily practice. The commitment to a consistent and regular practice schedule needed to improve and develop a talent, again, builds inner resolve and strength that can help overcome the pull of surrender in other areas of your life.
3. Fast. Fasting a meal or two or more (get your doctors clearance first) can help develop deep reservoirs of self-control and self-mastery. The physical desire for food, the hunger to be satisfied, will be weakened over time, becoming subservient to a higher part of you. Buddhist monks regularly fast for purification purposes and for clearing their minds. Hindus fast to better concentrate during meditation. Fasting can help you build bigger, stronger self-mastery muscles as well.
4. Meditate. The ability to calm the mind, clearing it of thought also builds self-mastery. It requires focus and practice and discipline.
5. Pray. Similar to meditation, prayer requires focusing the mind as well, keeping your thoughts from drifting, staying present, addressing Deity. While you’re there, you might as well throw in a request for improved mastery over whatever issue is of most concern.
6. Exercise. Running, walking, cycling, hiking, playing a sport, martial arts, any kind of regular workout builds inner strength. Our resolve to act in the face of the urge to sit, to rest, to watch TV, to take the path of least resistance, can be a great source of inner mastery. Continue Reading here
They truly are simple aren’t they?
With a little time, discipline and consciousness you can become the master of your own soul. Self-mastery is like a muscle. To develop it, you have to work on it and practice it every day. The task may seem a bit daunting at first, but remember that through self-mastery, you can achieve genuine happiness and experience the joy of life that is your birth right.
Outside forces of life happening may continue to creep in and cloud your judgment, but as long as you remain conscious you can prevent them from entering and taking root in your psyche.
Just think of yourself as a boat. A boat will not sink unless it lets the outside pressure of the water to seep in. You have the key to happiness in self-mastery, and so you will find it easy to ignore the negative outside forces trying to storm their way into your life.