Giving up Self-Control

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Many of us have experienced situations when it seems that nothing happens according to our own design: your car breaks down on the way to work or school, your laptop gets stolen when someone broke into your house, a computer code is not being correctly compiled, and an assortment of other things that we attribute to bad luck. And sometimes, when someone is unsuccessful, we try to comfort them by saying that they have "had a run of bad luck". However, is it possible to prevent all of these through a correct exercise of self control?
It is easy to fall into melancholy and go on and on about how certain failures of ours are influenced by factors that are out of our control. However, I have seen that the most successful people are the ones who seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time preparing for each significant task. This amount of preparation is described as our measure of self-control, as evident from Walter Mischel's delay-of-gratification experiment which rewarded small children with bigger rewards when refusing a small one up front (Lilienfield, 391). The most successful people are the ones who had to overcome the situations in which the circumstances were unhelpful. This connection was also established by numerous other analysts, as Lilienfield lists. So, the question is this: does everyone have the ability to succeed when taught self-control? Or can self-control not be taught and is our position in the social hierarchy determined before birth?

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This page contains a single entry by dovga001 published on January 28, 2012 7:22 PM.

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