A Word on Self Control

Self control is the ability to mentally detach yourself from the present moment enough that you don’t do dumb crap you regret.

Sometimes I literally envision stepping outside my body, taking a good look at myself, and examining my raging emotions. I turn them over and over like a guys in his 20’s twists and turns a potential engagement ring.  “Hmmm, how odd” I think to myself, “I’m literally reacting physically to this. Heart rate is rising. Hands feel cold and clammy. Fight or flight instinct is taking over.”

Next, I attempt to talk myself off the ledge. “Okay Brett, how about you just take a deep breath right now? I wonder if you’ll remember this moment 5 years from now? Unlikely. Is it possible that you’re over-blowing this right now? Likely.  Alrighty pal, just take a deep breath, chill, and think of something happy.  Puppies are a good choice, think of puppies.”

Now at this point I don’t feel great but my world is no longer in a death spiral. I might even attempt a weak smile, laugh, and say something obvious like, “Well, this sucks.”

Usually, within 1-2 hours I think back on the moment and thank the gods I didn’t go where my emotions were trying to drag me.

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4 Responses to “A Word on Self Control”

  1. Josh Tilford says:

    Brett, what a valuable practice. I see the positive results in your life. I definitely want to keep training my mind on this one. But dang, sometimes the moment screams, “You’re going to implode, quite literally, if you don’t give in!”

  2. Meagan says:

    All I have to say to this: Ugh.

  3. Brett says:

    @josh: Thanks man. Glad it was helpful.

    @Meagan: haha fair enough :) Thanks for chiming in!

  4. Josiah Platt says:

    I’m going to tattoo this post on the inside of my eyelids.

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