Self Mastery As a Catalyst to Sucess by Bayo Ogunmupe
SELF mastery, also known as self control or self discipline, which comes from knowing and understanding oneself is the first step toward building wealth that lasts. It is the only foundation that can hold together whatever structure you are building in life. Anything can go wrong but once your self mastery remains intact, everything else will be restored in no time. But there is no quick fix.
Self mastery requires that you take control of your habits, thought, decisions and actions. And you must practice them consistently. These habits will determine and shape your destiny. Your habits to date, determine both how you feel and what you are going to become in the future. So it was with Steve Morris, who we came to know as Stevie Wonder. He never let his blindness stop him from reaching his dream of stardom as a singer. Self mastery requires you if you want to build a house to first sit down and find out what you will need to complete it, instead of realizing midway that you cannot complete the house you started.
Here is a popular story among soccer historians. It concerns Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints in the United States. Tom was disabled at birth. He was born with only half of the right foot and with only the stub of his right arm. In spite of his handicap, he had a strong desire to play football. His unbending quest to excel in soccer motivated his parents to support him in his dream. They provided for the design of a special shoe that encased an artificial foot, so that Tom could practise the sport he loved. Tom practiced kicking football day in day out. Fortunately, he was recruited by the New Orleans Saints Football Club. And during a memorable game, Tom kicked an amazing goal that gave victory to his team. Many said it was a matter of luck. But this is what we call an act of God. This is self mastery. Tom chose to adapt rather than give up his dream. His persistence and determination gave God an opportunity to show Himself strong on Tom’s behalf. Think over what you just read. What picture did you see of it. Here is my own view of an allegory, of a man blessed with farms and a vine yard that could make him prosperous. However, he allowed weeds to grow therefrom. Due to a lack of vision and through neglect, he abandoned his duties of pruning and repairing of his crops. Thus, he was doomed to a life of poverty and endless want. Therefore, this man’s penury was not as a result of deprivation, but owing to misuse. Then, self mastery is the chisel with which we carve out of whatever life or nature gives us, transforming it into a work of art that we want it to be. That means we must take charge of the following three areas of our lives: thinking, decision making and action. These areas affect the level of results we achieve in our daily lives.
You are what you think. Whatever you are today and whatever you will be in the future are decided by your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you would have changed your life, take control of your thoughts and you would have taken control of your destiny. As we know, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of everyone that is hasty only to want,” Proverbs 21:5. And as we also know, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7. If you want to change your circumstances, you must change the way you think: what you will achieve will amaze you.
Active thinking is a proactive process of identifying what is true and relevant to your goal. It is independent of your environment or circumstances. It is an alignment with your chosen destination. Active thinking allows you to think in line with your desired goal, regardless of your current circumstances. To become an effective thinker, you must do the following: Constantly distinguish between fact, fiction and rumours. You must divide your fact into relevant facts and irrelevant facts. Relevant facts are those useful for attaining your goal.
Never accept opinion as fact. Most opinions are based on bias, ignorance, intolerance, rumour or plain guesswork. Accept advice that is based on facts. Don’t allow anyone to do your thinking for you. Don’t let your society influence you. In seeking information from others, avoid letting them know in advance the type and purpose of the information. People often distort facts to please you. Your goal must be constantly watered through meditation as Joshua was commanded: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth… that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for that shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success,” Joshua 1:8.
In the attainment of your goal, you should indulge in creative visioning to provide a bridge to the unknown path that will take you to the realization of your dreams. Of the power of imagination, God said: “And the Lord said: Behold the people is one, and they have all one language, and this they begin to do, and nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do,” Genesis 11:6. Not until the Almighty had confused the language of the people was He able to stop them from completing the Tower of Babel they had envisioned.
Your imagination is the soil upon which your creativity blossoms. It is crucial to your building unlimited wealth. Thus, the ability to think creatively has been the characteristics of great leaders. Creative men aren’t able to tell the difference between new inventions and what is genuinely impossible. Inventiveness is like prayer: you first see the accomplishment of the thing you desire, so that when you pray, you believe you already have them in fulfillment of your request, and then you shall have them in the end.
Great men use their creative vision to chart courses that seemed impossible. They did not let current thinking or paradigms set the limit for their imagination. They allowed their creativity to expand borders beyond the known frontiers. And with tenacity and dedication to their vision, they changed the way we all live. You may wonder how mere thinking of an idea or creative vision manifest into reality. First we see with our minds, what we don’t think in words but in pictures, that our eyes only reflect them back to our brains. Secondly, that thoughts constantly focused send commands to our subconscious which in turn are made to manifest as physical supply. They then manifest as answered prayer.
Our champion for today is Baron Hugh Caswell Dowding, the British air chief marshal who was responsible for defeating the German Air Force, Luftwaffe, in its attempt to control the British skies for the German invasion of the U.K, during World War II. Dowding was born in April 1882 in Moffat, Scotland. He died in Kent, England in 1970. A squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps in World War I, Dowding remained in service in Britain and Asia to become chief of Fighter Command in 1936. He vigorously promoted radar, Spitfire and Hurricane fighters that were crucial to the defeat of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Though his command was outnumbered two to one, Dowding’s strategic and tactical skills enabled him to thwart Germany’s strategy. He retired in 1942 and was created Baron Dowding in 1943. He was the greatest British airman to emerge during World War II.