Researchers have debated this topic for a while. In the beginning, self-esteem was believed to be the important factor determining one’s success in life. But recently, at least according to the books I read and the online classes I take, mastering self-control leads the way to success. I guess most of us have heard about the famous marshmallow experiment and how it predicted success in later life.
Below are some of the potential long-term benefits of self-control I’ve learned about over the years from various sources:
- Children and adults with good self-control may get better grades at school or uni.
- Adults with good self-control may earn higher salaries at work.
- People who master self-control may have more stable and lasting relationships.
- People with good self-control tend to be happier.
- People with good self-control may enjoy better mental and physical health and live longer.
If you’d like to dive deeper into the many benefits of self-control and the research supporting those benefits, please check out what Positive Psychology has to say on the subject.
Now, let’s talk about how one can improve self-control. First, you have to have standards of how you’d like to be based on your goals. And your goals need to be realistic and non-conflicting. You need to know what you want from life. Once you set up your standards, you need to develop a system to keep track of your behaviors. And lastly, you need to be able to have sufficient willpower and also possess the ability to adapt to circumstances.
If you’ve always been the person with amazing self-control skills, keep on what you’ve been doing. If not, you can always master these skills with practice. Research shows us that we humans are extremely resilient beings, and we can develop new skills at any point in our lives. In your life, think about people whom you admire and find successful. How do they practice self-control? Which of the techniques can you apply to your own life moving forward and become better at self-control?