1. We have Mastery/Self-mastery when we are in control of our constantly-churning mind, not letting emotions, feeling, habits, urges, situations and behaviors get the better of us. In other words, mastery is being the real master of one's body and mind.
2. You may also know self-mastery by its popular synonym 'self-control'. Mastery is also synonymous with a high level of skill.
3. Mastery requires us to have adequate self-knowledge, self-discipline and willpower.
4. Buddha said more than 2500 years ago: ‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’
Later, this idea was also coined as:
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
5. Think about your thinking.
Go 'meta' about it. The easiest way to think about our thinking is to practice mindfulness, being in the present, observing things and observing our mind getting reactive to those things, through various stimulus.
It is a liberating feeling, watching your mind at work. Observe and recognize the emotion that bubble up as our responses to different situations. Mindfulness, people.
6. Past is past. Future hasn't happened. Live in the now.
We can't do much about past. But what we do in the present, changes the future.
7. Practice the 'glass is half full' way of thinking
Reframe events in a positive way, as much as you can. Getting married? Now you will have someone to help you at your startup. Something like that.
8. Be actively involved with life
Start by putting yourself in their shoes, see the world as others see it. Do it often, and even the most 'laid back' among you will jump in to save someone, even the world.
Often, people will tell you to be detached from the world. What they mean is not to get so worked up that it clouds your judgment. It doesn't mean you do not step in when you need to.
9. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself
Strength - Weaknesses - Opportunities - Threats
The last two are more of external forces, the first two are your own, and you can work to improve upon them.
10. Write things down
Repeatedly, research has shown the value of writing things down - it helps to 'imbibe' new knowledge better. And when you write down your plans, chances increase that you will do something about them.
11. Develop a critical and empathetic mind
Don't take things for granted. Examine other people's reasonings. Everyone has an agenda. When planning, think about when things will go wrong, what will you do them ('playing the devil's advocate')?
We talked about thinking about your thinking. It also means questioning your thinking.
Finally, remember this: Out of self-mastery comes self-reliance.
Once you know to control your thoughts, and use your self-discipline and willpower, you will learn to solve your problems.
Thank you for reading.
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