Self-mastery, yup, it’s definitely something Yoda or your Sensei would lecture you about, but believe it or not, it has been a discipline since time immemorial.
We won’t bore you with a lengthy explanation as to why. It is pretty obvious, right?
The ability to control our actions and focus our energies where we want as opposed to where we are lead has obvious benefits. Whether this leading is done by others or our own impulses, emotions, etc, nobody wants power over their actions to be determined by anyone other than themselves.
Self-mastery is simply the ability to control our own desires or impulses. It is easy to define, but takes a lifetime of dedication and self-disciple to master.
So, where to get started? Here are 10 tips to start you on your journey to self-mastery.
1.Create a budget and stick to it
If you’ve ever tried to spend money strictly on budget, you’ll know that sticking to it takes plenty of self-discipline. When you’re tempted to make that one little purchase that will throw you off your budget, start your self-mastery journey by sticking to your budget.
Fasting is a great way to practice self-control and take you further down the road to self-mastery. By choosing not to surrender to your food cravings, your levels of hunger could go down after some time. This way, you’ll be the master of your hunger and not the other way around.
3. Pick a talent and schedule a practice time every day
By choosing to practice and work on your talent daily, regardless of what may come up to demotivate you, you are choosing commitment and diligence over giving in to your emotions or physical demands.
Through making these decisions daily, you’re training yourself to be resilient and this can roll over into other parts of your life.
4. Practice meditation
Have you ever felt like your mind is too busy? If your mind seems like a loud place with chaotic streams of thought coming from all directions, meditation can help you with that. To actively focus on clearing your thoughts and calm your mind, it takes discipline and inner mastery.
5. Exercise regularly
It’s common knowledge that exercise does not only condition the body, but also the mind.
The temptation to turn on the TV and veg or pick-up your phone and scroll through your feeds can be powerful, but you know that exercise is a critical component of health and well-being, so, discipline yourself to resist your sloth impulses and take a key step towards self-mastery.
The only time giving something up will ever help you on your journey towards self-mastery is sacrificing something you enjoy in order to exercise your self-mastery muscle.
Think of it as practising mind over matter. Life is a long road of choices. Saying yes to something and no to something else. Sometimes, we may need to say ‘no’ to something we want because we need to say ‘yes’ to something we need.
This is never an easy choice, but practice makes it easier. Give it a shot on something small in your life, like forgoing your next cup of coffee.
Being able to say ‘no’ when we need to is an important way of saying ‘yes’ to self-mastery.
7. Pray daily
If you’ve ever tried to pray but found yourself drifting from one thought to another aimlessly or are constantly struggling to find time for it, you’re certainly not alone.
Prayer requires a clear mind and focus, much like meditation. If you wish to upgrade your prayer life then practice discipline in it,, it’s another inner battle won and another step towards self-mastery.
8. Challenge yourself
Find a way to throw yourself in the deep end by taking on an extraordinary challenge – do this by choosing an activity that you know you’ll find difficult and then get it done.
Your choice of activity should push you to your limits by either requiring a great deal of inner strength or outer strength (because it’s often a mind over matter challenge when you challenge yourself physically).
Challenging ourselves is a time-tested way of forging ourselves into self-mastery ninjas.
9.Give your belly the cold shoulder
Another great way to achieve self-mastery is to stop yourself from eating before you feel full. This is not only a way to exercise your self-mastery skills, but it is also good for your health!
10. Do it little by little
There’s a reason why we call it a journey to self-mastery, it isn’t a journey you make overnight.
So, don’t be hard on yourself if you misstep from time to time. The important thing here is persistence.
We recommend taking small steps before setting high bars.
For example, if you haven’t exercised for the past five year, we don’t recommend doing a triathlon. Obviously!
By starting small, you’ll begin to slowly but surely make headway on your journey and see yourself strengthen and grow, one small victory at a time. Each victory will build your confidence and make every day of your journey a little easier.