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Self Control
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I have two modes for controlling my behavior.

In the first, self-control comes easy. It's something I want to do (or not do) and it flows naturally from the way I do other things or in the same mode as another trait.

Being on time for appointments and gatherings is one of those items. People say how they are amazed that I am always on time (or even a bit early), how do I manage to be so self-controlled about it?

I tell them it comes naturally out of a respect for other people's time and effort and a personal desire to avoid stress (I perceive being late as being stressful catch-up).

In the second, self-control does not come easily. Left to my natural whims, I would do otherwise. So I have to set an outward marker or indicator for my inward decision to do (or not do) whatever I have decided is desirable.

Walking every morning, rain or shine, pain or not, is one of those decisions. Since left to my own immediate desires, I would no doubt snuggle back under the warm blanket and say "manana" to myself, I act when in full control of my faculties (i.e., awake and alert) to set a reminder outside of myself, an outward reminder of my inner decision.

Hence the alarm clock. It will go off at 6:15, rain or shine, willy-nilly. It reminds me that my intention was to walk, and I welcome the outside help to get me started. Once started, the actions flow naturally from intentions.

There's a little bit of manipulative behavior in the second situation, but it's all to the good. Maybe some day the desire to walk will be second nature and I won't need the alarm. But it will be set anyway, just in case.

I know my morning laziness all too well.

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