On Self-control & Satisfaction

Do you think you have self-control? Or are you impulsive, and give in to every need? More importantly, how much do you think you should have self-control?

I consider myself a reasonably self-controlled individual, when it matters. And by that, I mean that I can stop myself from indulging in something if I know I really shouldn’t, but quite often, I simply don’t. For instance, I won’t eat ice-cream today because I know it’ll make my cold worse, even though I really want some, but I overate a few bowls last week just because I could.

Around me, though, I see some people who lie at both ends of the spectrum. In the weeks leading up to exams, I know people who put everything else aside until they’re done, and I know those who will, despite having large amounts left to study, drop everything to watch an episode of a show that just released because they can’t stop themselves from succumbing to the pressure. I observe people of both kinds, and naturally generally aspire to be a lot more like the first category than I am. My problem tends to be sillier than a lack of general self-control, it’s the tendency to give in to procrastination despite my desperate efforts to the contrary.

Often, even when I don’t give in to temptations and I am incredibly productive, I don’t achieve quite as much as I would have liked to. Thus, being the person I am, I tend to focus on the things that I did not accomplish. The dissatisfaction of my incomplete goals, or of those few cases where I succumbed to my temptations and did as I should not have, tends to outweigh the positives of what I have completed. Even when they are pointed out to me, though, I still focus on the negatives because in my eyes, they do genuinely render the rest of the productivity a little less impressive.

Today, for instance, I was up early in the morning after a good night’s sleep. I worked out and washed some clothes, ate a good breakfast and made myself coffee, showered and rid my arms and legs of hair after a long time, had an hour long piano class, and got dressed in time to leave the house by a quarter to 12. I felt great about how my morning was going, yet despite having done all this, I hadn’t managed to write the post I’d started last night for the daily prompt (and now it’s an entire 24 hours later that I’m completing it, when there’s already a new prompt up. Man, I’m still disappointed just thinking about it.) Further, I didn’t get ready early enough to try and make an effort with some makeup, paint my toenails, or read the newspaper – all things I suppose were non-essential too, but which I had set my sights on. Now true, I can focus on the fact that I got a majority of the things done, especially the ones which I specifically needed to complete by 12pm, and I did put on enough minimal lipstick in the car to satisfy me, and I am posting this, thus not letting it become one of the several drafts that lies for months, having lost all relevance. It’s just that darn newspaper that I didn’t get time to read. (Have I mentioned I hate reading the paper?)

Oh well, I suppose a productive morning tomorrow when I manage to read the paper and work out and finish writing one of my several half-way posts by lunch time would be a good way to make up for this. That certainly sounds like a more achievable target, and one that I entirely intend to meet. And of course, I will hope to ascend beyond it, and clean my room and wash my hair and do a number of other things to, but let’s just say there’s a good possibility that I’ll be sitting here in the same position tomorrow if I were to make such plans concrete!

4 thoughts on “On Self-control & Satisfaction

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