The best definition of self-mastery can be summed up in one word: consistency. One of the greatest challenges we all face in life is coming face to face with the reality that we all fall short of staying consistent on a fairly regular basis. No matter how hard we try, it seems that we just aren’t able to keep our commitments to ourselves all the time. We can certainly have good stretches of time when we do, but then an odd moment comes when it all seems to fall apart. The temptations hit, the will loses its power, and we stumble. No matter what the commitments are—reading scriptures, saying prayers, eating good foods, or exercising—there are simply days or moments when we crash. Our plans and commitments seem to go out the window.
Being a mental health counselor for the past 20 years has taught me that the weakness inherent in the flesh cannot be minimized. It is a powerful force, perhaps more powerful than we like to admit, that we all wrestle with every day. It is a harsh school master. Perhaps we are all doing a little better than we might think. Too many people have a tendency to focus only on the negative things like our shortcomings. Instead, change your mindset, and start focusing on the positive things you do. Perhaps you really are doing better in many areas of your life that you give yourself credit for.
It is a good thing to aspire to self-mastery and consistency, but we all need to approach this ongoing quest with the realization that we are not perfect. We need to pick ourselves up when we fall short and keep moving forward. We should learn what we can from our experiences, and when we fall short, gain wisdom. Reject the thought that you will never measure up. As long as we are involved in the quest for self-mastery and consistency, then we are on the right road.
The greatest challenge often is for those who struggle with mental issues because we cannot put addictions like pornography, gambling or drugs in a cast as we can a broken arm, and watch it mend. It just doesn’t work that way. All we can do is keep loving each other, encouraging each other and re-committing ourselves to our ideal. Perhaps the most significant test of all is that of re-committing ourselves with fullness of purpose everyday, regardless of the fact that we generally fall short. Perhaps the only failure is when one finally gives up and says, “I’m just not going to try anymore because I always seem to fail and fall short.” Keep trying, keep falling short, and one day you will realize that you are just one step away from reaching your ultimate goal.
Embrace the unique challenges you face, and above all else, keep moving forward.
This article is sponsored by Innergold, a company dedicated to helping those struggling with addictions.