Self Control

Self-control is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in the face of temptations and impulses. It’s a key component of emotional intelligence and involves delaying gratification, managing disruptive emotions and impulses, and staying focused on long-term goals.


  • Improved Decision Making: Enhances the ability to make thoughtful decisions rather than acting on impulse.
  • Stress Reduction: Helps in managing stress by avoiding overreaction to negative situations.
  • Achievement of Goals: Essential for setting and achieving long-term goals and personal aspirations.


  • Books: “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney explores the science of self-control (Amazon).
  • Websites: The American Psychological Association (APA) offers resources and tips on developing self-control.
  • Apps: Apps like Forest encourage focus and self-control by discouraging the use of your phone for set periods.

Best Age to Start

Teaching basic aspects of self-control can begin as early as 3-4 years old, with strategies becoming more sophisticated as the child grows.

Equipment and Materials

  • No specific equipment or materials are required to teach or practice self-control, other than potential access to books, websites, and apps for guidance.

Starting Tips

  • Set Clear Goals: Help children set achievable goals that require delayed gratification.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Encourage activities that promote awareness and presence, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises.
  • Role-Playing: Use role-playing games to practice decision-making and impulse control in hypothetical scenarios.

Frequency of Activity

  • Daily Practice: Self-control can be practiced daily through small, manageable tasks and decisions.

Requirements/Tasks for Mastery

  • Demonstrate consistent ability to delay gratification and manage impulses in a variety of situations.
  • Apply self-control strategies successfully to achieve a significant personal goal.
  • Mentor or teach others how to develop and apply self-control in their lives.

Famous Figures

  • Mahatma Gandhi: Known for his disciplined life of self-control and nonviolent resistance.
  • Serena Williams: Her success in tennis is often attributed to her incredible focus and self-control on and off the court.

Mastery in self-control is characterized by the consistent application of discipline and regulation over one’s actions and reactions, contributing to personal development, goal achievement, and the ability to positively influence others.


Seven Teachings