On May 8, 2012
Self-Control: the battlefields where logic is outnumbered by emotions and desires.
It seems most people face a life-long war over self-control.
The battles about Self-Control happen on 2 fronts:
- The Desires Front: where short-term 'pain' fights & struggles with long-term gain
- The Emotions Front: where Logic alone and surrounded must face Emotions
The Desires Front
I am going to make this personal...I am going to talk about chocolate ice cream. I desire that. I desire it on scorching-hot summer days. And, I desire it on bitter-cold winter days. And, I desire it on many days in-between. I also desire healthy arteries and 36" belts. So, the battle lines get drawn. I can have and enjoy the chocolate ice cream today...or...I can have and enjoy good health in the future. Now, I know I could choose a compromise where I limit the amount of chocolate ice cream I eat; however, it is very hard for me to do that because I'm dealing with (1) chocolate and (2) ice cream. Self-control is the battlefield. Logic is surrounded by conflicting desires for and against chocolate ice cream.
The Emotions Front
One example: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me
. I remember my parents teaching me that when I was a child. And, I believe I understood the underlying message. However, it took me a number of decades to be able to conquer my emotions to the point where I felt comfortable writing The Joys of Thick Skin & a Thin Skull
. The logic is sound: there is no reason why criticism should cause injury or trigger negative emotions. Yet, for some people, likely for most people, it does. And, some people are born with, or develop at an early age, a natural tendency to experience the emotion of anger when they are criticized. I know that's the way I was. Self-control is the battlefield. Logic faces, its Goliath, Emotions