If you understand this one simple thing it will change everything in your life and probably your marriage as well.
The problem is, most blue-pill conditioned men have had this trained out of them.
Nearly every experience we have starting from school on is designed to program us against this one thing.
I’m talking about the concept of self-mastery.
Of course, if you were to do a search for self-mastery, you would find over 87,000,000 results, on sites ranging from religious to new age and everything in between.
That this is such a popular topic to write about says a lot about how important it is.
But it says even more about how poorly we have trained our society to practice self-mastery.
So what is self-mastery?
Put in the simplest terms that I can muster up, it is the ability to exert control over the only thing in the world that you can directly influence.
Really it influences everything that happens in your life over the course of the day.
You can control other people or situations, but you can control how you respond to them.
A personal story
I remember the first time I heard this advice.
It pissed me off.
I was in the military, and I had a boss that I felt was subpar (to put it nicely).
It seemed like everything he did was designed to make me angry or make me look bad.
I fell into a deep funk.
I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I had a little bit of depression.
I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning and really didn’t want to go to work.
My direct supervisor gave me these words of wisdom:
“You can’t control what Major X does, but you can control how you react to it.”
And I hated it.
What does lack of self-mastery look like?
It looks like a lot of things.
It looks like the person who is always angry and blows up at the people around them when things go wrong.
It looks like the person who whines and pouts or sulks when they don’t get their way.
It looks like the person who is 50 pounds overweight who “can’t afford to eat healthy food” and “doesn’t have time to go to the gym”.
Self-mastery goes hand in hand with discipline.
So its absence looks like anyone who can’t control themselves physically or emotionally.
Like oversized toddlers.
Another personal story
Frankly, this one is pretty embarrassing.
And the circumstances surrounding it are kind of embarrassing too, but here goes…
We had our third child about 15 months ago, so our lives have gotten hectic.
Sleep is still erratic, my wife hasn’t lost any baby weight.
So our sex life is absolutely pathetic.
I want sex often, my wife rarely does, for a variety of reasons.
But every once in a while (every 2-4 weeks or so, randomly), we would have some crazy hot sex. Maybe 2 nights in a row.
Then we would go another 2-4 weeks of nothing, or maybe one occasion of obligation sex (which was not hot at all).
There was a point not that long ago, where I would get so frustrated after going a couple of weeks without sex that I would get angry.
And then I would get passive-aggressive.
And I might pout, and eventually I would whine about it.
(See, this is embarrassing stuff.)
I realized a couple of things:
- Being a little bitch about not having sex was not helping my odds. And,
- Being a little bitch was costing me sleep and adding to my stress levels, which was unhealthy for me.
Making the switch from near total lack of emotional control to self-mastery is simple, but it’s not easy.
But I understood that it was stupid for me to act like a child over this.
It still gets me frustrated, but I made a decision to do something about it.
I decided that I would no longer let it affect me like that.
Still not easy though.
But here’s the thing.
I could prattle on endlessly about it with my wife, or whine, or guilt her into it, or put together a fancy presentation on why we needed to have sex and how much…
But it wouldn’t matter.
(The linked article is a must-read, by the way).
I don’t know all the reasons why we aren’t having sex, but I realized that there are probably some dynamics there that I don’t have direct control over (not to ignore things that I could do to be more attractive, like lose some weight, etc).
But I have total control over the way I handle this.
So I decided just to let it go.
Doesn’t mean I don’t want sex.
It means that if it doesn’t happen, that I won’t lose my cool over it.
I won’t let it affect my sleep.
And most importantly, I will demonstrate to my wife that she does not have the power to manipulate my emotions this way (not that it was intentional… I think).
So let’s bring this back to sovereignty…
That last point I just made up there really gets at the heart of the sovereignty issue that is so important to us.
Allowing your actions and emotions to be controlled by someone else is a total surrender of your sovereignty.
No one said this would be easy, or that you would like it.
Whenever you deal with other people there are going to be times when they do things that you would have preferred they not do.
I guess you could go live alone, off the grid in the woods to avoid this…
But since we’re married that’s not an option.
So get control over yourself.
How do I gain self-mastery?
I’ve got a non-answer answer for you here.
You decide to do it… And then you do it.
There’s no fancy technique.
Here are the steps as I see it:
- Recognize the situations that are causing you to lose control of yourself. In my case, it was lack of sex that was making me frustrated. That frustration caused me to lose control of my emotions, resulting in lack of sleep, whining, etc.
- Figure out why this is such a big issue for you. Chances are there’s some underlying issue there. Honestly assess the reason for it. For me, it was probably something to do with a variety of insecurities related to lack of sex, as well as an unnecessarily high obsession with sex.
- Understand how the lack of self-mastery is negatively affecting you. There’s no way around this, if you can’t control yourself, it will impact you negatively. This may be a direct effect on your stress levels, or your sleep (like in my case). It may also be indirect, as in the way your immature outbursts affect the way people look at you and interact with you.
- Decide that you will no longer let this affect you. Once you’ve examined the reasons you can control yourself and the way it is negatively impacting you, it should logically follow that you need to make a change. Decide to make this change.
- Do it. At this point there is nothing more to do that stop letting these external situations and conditions manipulate your actions and emotions. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible and necessary.
Imagine living a life where nothing really shakes you.
A life where problems, irritations and even crises arise, but you can calmly assess the situation and take the proper measures to fix them.
A life where no other person has to the power to manipulate your emotions or provoke you to impotent rage.
Self-mastery is the one thing that will change everything about your life, and by extension, your marriage.
Everything else that we talk about from here will follow on from this idea.
Like anything else worth doing, this won’t happen overnight but it can happen faster than you think.
And the reason for this is because it all takes place inside your head, the one place that you have total control over once you figure out how it works.
Start with one thing that’s been causing you trouble lately (I bet it’ll be easy to figure out something if you think about it for a second).
From there you can start fixing everything else.
Let me know in the comments how this works out for you.