Self-mastery … is the ultimate test of our character.
Self-mastery requires self-determination and strength of character. It enhances our own gifts and talents in a remarkable way.
Every person has the challenge of controlling his or her thoughts, appetites, speech, temper, and desires. Willpower is necessary so that irritations do not take over our emotions.
Self-mastery is a challenge for every individual. Only we can control our appetites and passions.
Self-mastery cannot be bought by money or fame. It requires climbing out of the deep valleys of our lives and scaling our own Mount Everests.
In its simplest terms, self-mastery is doing those things we should do and not doing those things we should not do. It requires strength, willpower, and honesty.
Mastery of our own private thoughts.
In this realm, conscience is the only referee that can blow the whistle when we get out of control. If not bridled, our thoughts can run wild. Our minds are a part of us that really require discipline and control.
Mastery of the spoken word.
Samuel Johnson suggested, “language is the dress of thought,” 1 then the language we are hearing on television, in the movies, and even in our schools is a poor commentary on our current thinking.
Mastery of all physical appetites.
Harry Emerson Fosdick provides an important context for self-control: “Self-denial … is not the negative, forbidding thing that often we shake our heads about. In one sense there is no such thing as self-denial, for what we call such is the necessary price we pay for things on which our hearts are set.” 2
[I have a favorite quote: Sacrifice is giving up something you want, for something you want more. Is this not true? Thus our self-denial or path of self-mastery really leads to true freedom, true strength.]
Self-denial is not restrictive. It is liberating. It is the pathway to freedom. It is strength. It is an essential element of purity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.”
We should not look for excuses when we lose our self-control. Even though our circumstances may be challenging, we can all strive for self-mastery. Great personal satisfaction comes from doing so. Self-mastery is related to spirituality, which is the central quest of mortality.
David O. McKay once said: “Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the Infinite.
Spirituality impels one to conquer difficulties and acquire more and more strength. To feel one’s faculties unfolding and truth expanding the soul is one of life’s sublimest experiences.”3
1. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 4th ed., ed. Angela Partington, 368.
2. The Meaning of Service (1920), 83.
3. Gospel Ideals (1953), 390.
From: James E. Faust, “The Power of Self-Mastery,” Ensign, May 2000, 43
"One summer as a teenager, I worked on an oyster boat off the coast of Long Island in New York to earn funds for college.
The other members of the crew were seasoned oystermen, hardened by the harsh winter environment in which they spent much of their lives battling the icy ocean and raw wind to secure their catch.
I was an enigma to them, easier to distrust than to understand. They shunned me as a company spy, then as a crazy kid who didn’t know how to be a man.
Later, I became better at my duties and tried to build friendships. They offered to make me “a real man” by inviting me to join all-night indulgences. I thanked them but declined, and the tension grew more intense.
The summer weather was beautiful and the ocean magnificent. We were engaged in relatively simple tasks, such as transferring small oysters to a more distant portion of the sound where the nutrients accelerated their growth and improved their flavor.
Except when a dredge full of oysters was dumped onto the deck, signaling a flurry of intense activity, there was much time for contemplation. While my deck mates dozed by their shovels, I read and pondered.
We slept in envelope-type bunks sandwiched into the restricted space between the ship’s diesel engine and hull.
One night at dockside I retired early since some of the crew planned unrighteous activity outside our boat. I was suddenly shaken into consciousness by the powerful hand of a deck mate, Toddy, a giant of a man.
He was brandishing a hammer in my face, and his breath reeked of alcohol. Stunned, I realized that there was no way that I could escape him. I thought I had come to the end of the road.
Then I heard what he was shouting: “Scotty, get your fins and mask. There’s a man overboard, and you can save him.”
That night I learned a lesson I have never forgotten. Publicly the crew members ridiculed me, but privately they respected me for my standards."
Richard G Scott Liahona, March 2001
Determination: This video is about a person who is very different. We can follow the example knowing that God has a plan for every one of His children. "I can do everything through Him who gives me s...
Leadership is part of the philosophy or vision of an organization, which is the third point on The Training Triangle.
Some ideas on leadership:
The leader will note that just because something has been done a certain way for a certain amount of time doesn’t necessarily mean that it is working currently or that it will continue to work in the future. However, at the same time, if it is successful, he or she will know to leave it as it is. Much can be learned from knowing the history of an organization, culture, or person. The history will give a basis for the immediate response (Morgan, 1986).
Difference between leadership and managing
Webster describes motive as “n1: something (as a need or desire) that leads or influences a person to do something.” This is the true essence of leadership: to lead, to influence a person (or organization) to do something (Webster, 1978).
On the other hand, manage is described by Webster as “1: to oversee and make decisions about: direct”. He also uses the words: “handle, manipulate, and contrive”. There is a significant difference between the two (Webster, 1978).
Kotter (1996) addresses the difference between leadership and management; he observes that the key is focus. Both are necessary, they simply have different tasks to perform (Kotter, 1996).
He notes that the wise leader or manager has read and studied many options, he or she has prepared, and they have thought out in their minds the consequences of their actions. They are disciplined and usually have surrounded themselves with people of varying viewpoints in order that they may see things from many perspectives (Kotter, 1996).
However, when the crisis comes, the difference between management and leadership stands out. The leader takes a stand, and holds on to it. Critics do not matter; friends are unimportant; leaders, through their discipline, have learned that in time others will see the validity of their decision and will change their opinions or drift to another arena (Kotter, 1996).
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Morgan, G. (1986). Images of organization. New York: Sage Publications.
Webster, D.(Ed.).(1978). Webster’s new ideal dictionary. New York: G. & C. Merriam.
With the Christmas season on us, one of the must see movies is, The Ultimate Gift.
This is also a movie that should be used in schools, churches, and homes.
When I taught at one community college, one of the developmental reading teachers used this book for her students.
I had the same students for writing, and it was amazing to see the effect it had on them.
I don't want to say too much as I will give away the movie.
The Ultimate Gift - Official Movie Trailer
The Ultimate Gift, which won over the hearts of critics and audiences during its limited release this spring, is now available on DVD. Starring Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin, Drew Fuller, Jame...
The Ultimate Gift : The Twelve Gifts
Song: Breathe MeArtist: Sia