The Wisdom Challenge felt right up my street when I decided to take part, Tuesday evening. I thought, “put your best thought forward and give it a go!” However, time eluded me, with work and everything else I had going on and I missed the submission date. However, nevertheless, I thought post it anyway, so here it is:-)
So I considered the quote and what the reasons could have been that laid behind what Aristotle said? Who was it he saw or came into contact with that made him decide on these wise words? Someone, it seems had made such an impression, that he felt it was worthy to note.
Anyone who has ever tried to persevere against their own thoughts, impulses and desires will relate to the wisdom in this quote.
It takes an immense amount of discipline to control your own desires and impulses. Many of use struggle with the evidence of our own, out of control excesses today. Over eating in carbs, sugar, salt, and calories. Over spending via store cards and credit cards, often not out of purchasing what we need but simply fulfilling our wants, etc.
To overcome your own desires requires a decision to put your own needs or wants aside for a bigger cause other than yourself at that current time.
I have heard it said by Brian Tracy in identifying 5 key steps to wealth and success – that being able to save for the long-term and being able to delay your gratification is pivotal to gaining wealth. Most people who work, earn and spend their income continually, never truly saving. This behaviour tends to be that of the majority – around 98%, whilst the top rich live in the top 2%. It’s a bit of an eye opener that in spite of many years of working and service, very few people can say if they lost their job tomorrow they have sufficient savings to tide them over for 6 months or more. I know this also sounds fanciful and like wishful thinking and we can all find the reasons why we don’t have and can never have. But whenever I have listened to the story or testimony of someone who has become wealthy/successful, they say how they took time and delayed their own gratification. As they earned or gained money they didn’t spend every single penny immediately on clothes, or shoes etc. But instead, may have invested back into their business in order to expand, but they tend to put their own desires in check for the bigger picture of success.
Overcoming your own negative thoughts, impulses and self indulgences is extremely hard. You can be strong today but your emotions could get the better of you tomorrow. Simply because your desires know your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Your desires are internal and private. No one has to be privy to them. If you choose to deny them you can. But it is a brave person who owns up to their weaknesses and works hard to keep them under control, so they cannot dominate their lives.
By using the words Braver and Conquer you envisage a battle and the bravery it requires to overcome your enemy. Your desires can be as good as or equal to having a personal enemy, because they are not always in your best interest and they can be at your own expense. I think that’s why when we see people who overcome huge issues in their lives we can react really emotionally. We may even refer to them as being strong and brave. We too become admirers of their courage, just as Aristotle did.