“Much harm is done by a single case of indulgence or greed; the familiar friend, if he be luxurious, weakens and softens us imperceptibly.” – Seneca
Our weaknesses appear to breed like rabbits while our strengths seem to take longer than elephants to reproduce. We also tend to rationalize our shortcomings by comparing them to others. We think to ourselves that a person we respect and admire does or doesn’t do things we know we should or shouldn’t be doing and we can follow the same path. The problem with that logic is that we don’t see the whole picture. We don’t see where they sacrifice and where they fall short. We don’t know where their path is leading or even if they have one planned out for themselves. And we have no control over them, their lives, or how they present themselves.
We do have control over our own thoughts, plans, and actions. We should stay focused there. Mastering the art of self control will keep us plenty busy for a lifetime. If by chance we ever do master our self control, we’ll likely see that we don’t want to try to control others as it takes energy away from areas where we can actually be productive.
By focusing on our self control and ignoring the things we can’t control, we set an example. Leading by example is really the only way we are equipped to lead others in lifestyle. No one wants to be told how to live, but when they see us meeting short term goals while staying focused on our long term goals, they may start to wonder how we’re getting where we want to be.
We will know.
virtus fortis vocat