Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Planting Trees - Self Control

Self-Control ... I've been thinking about it the past few days since it was the topic of the Blog Carnival this week. You'd think since I'm thinking about self-control, I would self-control myself to get a blog post written. But no, I only thought about self control, but didn't actually practice it.

Now it's 10AM on Blog Carnival Day and I'm writing. Getting blog posts written has been a challenge for me recently. I'm writing the last few chapters of my memoir (yes!) and I can't seem to pull myself out of that to update here. Which I'm okay with because I know it's just for a season and yet I miss the connection with this world. 
(waving to you like a long-lost friend)  

Self-control makes me think about all the things I want to do, but have a hard time getting done. And I came up with this definition: 
Self-Control ... it's what separates the accomplished from the unaccomplished.

That's it - there's no magic formula, no secret key, no power drink. Self-control is doing the same thing constantly over a period of time that causes you to accomplish something you desire ... whether that's growing beautiful flowers, eating healthy, running a marathon, having an organized office or writing a book. 

According to Jonah Lehrer self-control is a muscle that responds to exercise or lack thereof. So if you want self-control to accomplish big things, start with the small things. For an organized office - pick up one thing in your office every day and put it away. Every. Day. If you are lying in bed and remember you forget that day, get up and go do it. Don't justify it by saying you'll put away two things tomorrow ... because then your self-control muscle was not be exercised that day. 

The best day to plant a tree was 25 years ago - the second best day is today. - Chinese Proverb
Beautiful tree near a friend's house

What tree do you need to begin to plant today to have the strength, fruit and beauty you want in the future? 

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Bridget Chumbly. Go to One Word at A Time to read more posts about Self-Control.

7 comments:

Janet Lyn said...

Really great post, Janet. Very thought-provoking.
I especially like the Chinese proverb about tree-planting because it reminds us and challenges me that it's not too late to start NOW on things I've put off or meant to do or need to do.
Gives hope to those among us who are easily distracted or have too much to do.

katdish said...

Great post! At the end of the day excuses are just that - excuses. We make time for what matters most, which can be very telling.

Glynn said...

I love the picture of self-control as a muscle -- to be used and exercised or allowed to atrophy. Good post, Janet.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Great post -- and I love your quote on accomplished and unaccomplished.

Love the Chinese proverb too!

thanks for the inspiration

Bridget Chumbley said...

Self-Control ... it's what separates the accomplished from the unaccomplished.

Excuses really are just excuses... I'm guilty of this too often.

Great definition and thoughts, Janet.

Duane Scott said...

I like this approach. Self-control is a muscle. Interesting thoughts! I'll remember them :)

caryjo said...

Your definition is exactly correct in terms of what I go through, too. Writing blogs, writing books, writing short stories [Grandma Cary stories], cleaning house, working in the yard, keeping relationships in place, and on and on. I think I will copy your definition and pin it on the curtain over my desk. You just nailed me in the right way at the right time. Thanks.