It’s an annual ritual that many people go through. They wake up on the first day of the year solemnly swearing to go on a diet that year.

But put a slice of chocolate cake in front of them and it doesn’t take long for them to succumb to the temptation.

If it’s happened to you, you’re probably not alone. It’s all about self-control or the battle between “want” and “should”.

You know you want the cake but you also know sugar isn’t good for you.

Self-control is the ability to manage your emotions and actions so you don’t stray from your path and are able to meet your long-term goals.

Philosophers have been emphasizing the importance of self-control since ancient times. Self-control is important in today’s times when there are so many distractions around us.

Importance of self-control

Let’s look at an example to understand the importance of self-control.

Say you have a project deadline the next morning. But your friends invite you at the last minute to go out for dinner.

You’re in a dilemma. You want to go out and have some fun with friends. But, at the same time, you know you should wrap up your project so that you don’t have to pull an all-nighter.

What do you do?

You exercise self-control. In other words, you don’t give in to the temptation to go out and enjoy, and you finish your project instead.

This is how understanding the importance of self-control plays a vital role in helping us succeed in life.

There will always be things that tempt and distract us from our goals and commitments. It is the awareness about the importance of self-control that drives us towards making the right choices. Our goals require our unwavering focus and commitment, and self-control is the mechanism that stops us from deviating from our path.

All of us face such choices daily. However, many of us can exercise self-control and ignore the temptation to break our resolutions. Self-controlled individuals always focus on their goals.

But not everybody is successful at exercising self-control.

A student might decide to go out for a game of football and skip his homework. Or an executive might use a short-cut to save time on a project that compromises its quality because she finds the work tedious.

People who struggle with self-control might struggle to meet their goals sometimes. Self-control is the magic pill that may taste bitter but delivers the desired results.

Benefits of self-control

Self-control can help you hone your leadership skills and live a happy and fulfilled life. Here are some benefits of self-control:

  1. Decision-making ability 

One of the benefits of self-control is that it makes decision-making easier. For instance, a person might love chocolate but high blood sugar levels will force them to exercise self-control and stay away from the chocolate bars, cookies, and desserts.

  1. Greater chances of success

A person who has self-control doesn’t get distracted easily. This enables them to manage their time and resources better. They tend to make sustained and focused efforts toward their goals, which are more likely to result in success.

  1. Self-control can beat temptations

Among the benefits of having self-control is the ability to beat temptation. Quite often, we can get tempted to do things that divert us from our goals and affect our quality of life.

For instance, if we don’t exercise regularly, we will not only face problems in later years of life but also regularly experience aches, fatigue, and various other health problems.

  1. Self-control can make you excel

Another advantage of self-control is that it helps students perform better in exams and stay mentally sharp. They are more focused on achieving their goals than their peers.

Similarly, people with high amounts of self-control can channel their time and energy into being productive in the workplace, which leads to success at work.

  1. Better personal relationships

Self-controlled people are not only in charge of their actions– they can regulate their emotions as well. They can control their anger or harmful emotions like jealousy or hatred. This helps them handle personal relationships better than those who don’t have much self-control.


Self-control is the art of making the right choices without feeling conflicted. A self-controlled person focuses only on her goals and makes decisions keeping the end goals in mind. Harappa Education’s Leading Self course helps you lead yourself to triumph. Remember that sustained and well-directed effort is essential to achieving your goals, and self-control is the skill that keeps you on the right track.

Explore blogs on topics such as patience vs self-controlhow to develop patiencehow to have self-control, and the importance of patience in our Harappa Diaries section to go on a path of self-development.

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