All Good Things Come From Abstinence

by | Feb 18, 2019 | Life

Quote

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. 

Buddha

Summary

Self-control is essential to succeeding in and enjoying life.

The power of self-discipline is the key to unlocking AND appreciating the greatest rewards in life.

In the era of attention scarcity, it’s easy to waste the most valuable thing you have—your time.

Everyone has experienced the discomfort of gluttony/indulgence before.

I know I did as a young child who would overeat ice cream often, and then lay in bed with the worst stomachache.

We always tend to gravitate towards that which is most pleasurable, and/or that which is the path of least resistance.

Rather than go for a run, you decide to watch Netflix. Rather than try to figure out your homework, you copy your friend’s. Rather than take the challenging internship out of your comfort zone, you stick with your current mediocre job.

If given the choice, most people (especially younger people), will do little to further the future and will constantly engage in “fun activities”—past the point of diminishing returns.

This means a little self-discipline can go a long way in differentiating yourself from your peers, since the bar is so low.

Just think about it.

Delicious food tastes better when you eat it less often. Drugs have stronger effects when you do them infrequently.

Probably the only things that don’t get better with abstinence are the ones that are most crucial to the basic human condition. I can think of relationships with your friends and loved ones, exercising, getting good sleep, meditating, reading books, and other general wellness habits (which I touched on in a previous post).

Even more broadly, great success in your career comes from delaying pleasure and subjecting yourself to risk, uncertainty, and hard work.

The people that are obsessively committed to their livelihoods in their 20s, have a high chance of being retired and enjoying life by their mid 30s.

Most people instead end up working well into retirement age because of their lack of conviction.

Those warm showers you take everyday?

Try some cold ones, and tell me you won’t see that mentality spread to other parts of your life.

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