Does learning self-control early on make you more likely to be a well-functioning adult?
It’s time to jog your memory. We’re taking it all the way back to Elementary or Middle school…yes, those memories. For some you might not have to think back too far and for others it may have been a while since those carefree good old days skipping through the halls carrying your tin lunchbox with your favorite character or your brown paper sack.
Ok let me stop, I’m telling my age.Back in the day, we started the school day with the pledge of allegiance, a song and a moment of silence.
Then the teacher began her lessons until someone stopped the progress. Do you remember what happened in school when a student was misbehaving or causing a disruption in the classroom?
That student was removed, told to go to the hallway or the principal’s office
I’m sure the teacher did everything he/she could to maintain order. The teacher’s focus was on the climate of the classroom.
The teacher didn’t want the temperament of the rogue student to distract or affect the other students, but why?
The teacher knew the student lacked discipline and needed additional guidance, structure and training.
It’s the same situation in the workplace; only these students are now human employees and the teacher is now the manager.
With so many life situations, work projects and deadlines over the years, you might have to put your brain into overdrive to tap into those childhood memories.
Take a few moments and think about some of your childhood classmates or friends. Do any of them remind you of your employees or co-workers?
Yeah I know we are adults now but some of us have flourished more and made amazing accomplishments while others haven’t changed much at all. Sarah is still slow as molasses or better yet she always gets marked as needs improvement under ‘Sense of Urgency’ on her performance feedback.
Touchy Feel-y Doug still loves the ladies and is probably one incident away from being accused of sexual harassment. Then there is quiet Don, talking Tara and the list could go on and on.
Research Proves It
No matter what each person’s characterized as; social science studies show through research that improving self-control early in childhood would positively improve a person’s health, wealth and public safety experience into adulthood (Moffitt, et al. 2011).
“Self-controlled individuals are more adept than their impulsive counterparts at regulating their behavioral, emotional, and intentional impulses to achieve long-term goals,” (Duckworth 2011).
Despite a person’s personal or traumatic experience that was never addressed in their childhood; they can still adopt strategies to practice discipline in order to redefine their undesirable behaviors into a more progressive and positive outcome.
Self is defined as “a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality”(Dictionary.com 2019) and Control can be summarized as a “guide or influence what a person or machine does”.
So conclusively to control one’s self is simply influencing the individuality. Aristotle was once asked for the secret to self-control.
He simply said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
A person’s individuality is made up of so many subjective instances that affect our habits.
A few of the more common instances are a person’s nature, will, character, personal interest and ego. Goals, confidence, access to resources, environment and the company you keep dominate your ability to take the risks to adapt new habits.
You define what you want in life whether it’s for the present or near future is imperative to write your narrative.
To have purpose is to set goals and work towards them. To set a goal, you must have a vision to give one’s self a roadmap toward your destination.
To gain confidence is being aware of your abilities and believing that those abilities can move you toward your destination.
Utilizing resources, educating yourself, networking with others or mastering a new skill is the beginning recipe to boosting your self-esteem; this is pivotal step to reaching milestones in your progress.
Monitoring the places you visit or the people that influence you (both conscientiously and unknowingly) will regulate the momentum of your journey.
The wrong influence can instill fear and hold you back from taking the next step. Some of us are one decision away from victory.
Being in any responsible leadership role involves conscientiousness, responsibility, industriousness, and orderliness all synonymous with regulation of the self by the self with experience over time.
Controlling one’s self is an ongoing lifelong process.
Positive thoughts lead to the forward momentum of positive action. The more we learn about ourselves the more we can learn about others.
Life is about breaking free out the box. There is so much more between the spectrum of who we think we are and who we have defined ourselves to become.
Good habits essentially lead to better self-control and a conscience effort to continuously reflect, rediscover and redefine beyond what our minds are typically comfortable with; allows us to be essentially become both the teacher and student.
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Reference List Citations
Angela L. Duckworth, The Significance of Self-Control, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2011, 108 (7) 2639-2640; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1019725108 https://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/2639
Terrie E. Moffitt, Louise Arseneault, Daniel Belsky, Nigel Dickson, Robert J.Hancox, HonaLee Harrington, Renate Houts, Richie Poulton, Brent W.Roberts, Stephen Ross, Malcolm R. Sears, W. Murray Thomson, AvshalomCaspi, A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2011, 108 (7) 2693-2698; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1010076108 https://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/2693