FYI | Day 10 – The Battle for Control

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!
“I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.” – Pietro Aretino

The Battle

Usually we know what we should do, but we also know what feels comfortable and pleasant, thus affecting our judgment. We are in a battle between the wisdom of our rational brain (the large frontal lobe which sets humans apart from animals) and the satiation of our emotional brain. Which one do you normally let win?

Here is a simple and easily noticeable example between the battles between the rational and emotional brain:

It’s the night before and you know you have a busy day ahead of you. You mentally tell yourself you need to wake up at 5am to get everything done before an 8:00 AM meeting. In the morning, your alarm sounds but you are so warm and comfortable with your Egyptian cotton sheets and Dove comforter that you start arguing and making excuses against what you’ve previously decided you need to do. You are awake but your eyes are more comfortable closed. What do you do? Do you let the snooze alarm do its job and wake you up in 15 minutes? Perhaps three times… or more? Or do you obey your original plan and get your day started?

Why do we do this when we know we should get up? We have daily battles between what we know we should do, and what our body wants us to do. The needs and wants of our body affect the emotional side of our brain which plays a large role in our thinking. We need to recognize these effects so we can recognize which thoughts we should trust before taking action… or failing to take action!

You know you should go to the gym but feel like staying home. You know you shouldn’t eat the last donut, but feel that it would satisfy your cravings. You know you should call and wish your mother-in-law a happy birthday, but feel it may be painful 😉

The more we allow our emotional comforts to misguide our actions, the weaker our self-discipline will be.  Start taking control!

Your Task

Start becoming an observer of your thoughts and recognize where the thoughts are originating from.  Do you tell yourself to do something then convince yourself later it’s not necessary because it is more comfortable not to?  Recognize if the thought is rational or is being skewed by your emotions and affecting your actions.  Listen to the smarter you!

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Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at)!

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