This week my Franklin Makover virtue is self-control. I feel this particular virtue has been a big bugaboo for me, ever since my Mom introduced “virtues” to me when I was a kid.
Over the years, as I would examine myself regarding the virtues, self-control is the one I felt I lacked the most. I have always admired people who are self-controlled. I watch them, almost in awe, hoping to learn just how they do that, be self-controlled.
I have almost unbridled enthusiasm. Untamed exuberance. And insatiable curiosity. High energy out the yin-yang. I wonder to myself, How do people pull off this self-control virtue, so well. I’ve explored this topic lots over the years.
The area that seems to get in me the most trouble with self-control is my curiosity.
I love exploring, discovering, learning. I was blessed as a child in that I was allowed free reign to explore. And it’s one of my favorite things to do.
Now, the curious thing is that curiosity is a strength. It’s a wonderful quality to have, and has served me well over the years. However, sometimes it’s like my curiosity leads me, rather than me leading it.
And when I start down a trail of discovery, I can lose all sense of time and space, getting into that awesome experience of FLOW. And completely forget everything else I had planned to do that day.
It seems I have curiosity in abundance. If you could bottle it and sell it, you’d never have a bored person on the planet.
But it can and often does derail my focus.
Embedded in our strengths are hidden weaknesses which indicate our hidden strengths. Usually they are aspects of one quality. And in this case, my strength and weakness appear to be aspects of my natural curiosity (strength) run amok (weakness).
Self-control is often equated with will power. An interesting discovery in terms of will power is that it works like a muscle. And like muscles, your will power energy becomes depleted as you use it. You sort of have to refuel your will power tank up as you go along. And also like muscle training, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
So, I’m rocking along, noticing the weakness in the strength of my curiosity and how it derails my self-control. I’m also reviewing and reading Haanel. Hannel mentions the difference between purposeful imagination and idle imagination. One builds a constructive use of our imagination and the other dissipates it.
This is also mentioned in the Bible in terms of activities that build the Spirit and those that dissipate it. Follow the energy, so to speak. What increases your energy, Spirit, will power, imagination, and so on.
Hmmm… me thinks. (lol)
Is there such a thing as “idle” curiosity? … I think so.
Then in Scroll V, Og talks about idleness, too. Yep… Dinny wheels turning.
In my journey for learning self-control I discovered the value of serenity. Serenity became a balancing energy to my often very hot, intense, exuberant enthusiasm. Yes, enthusiasm is a positive thing, but early in my life it caused me some problems, until I learned to temper it with serenity. (Well… it sometimes still causes me some problems with some people, but, nothing like it once did. 🙂 )
In terms of learning some self-control with my wonderful sense of curiosity, I’ve decided to play with adding a card in the Herald Deck.
I don’t know about anyone else but I really love the Herald Cards. They are such a great tool for self-development. I’m thinking with myself, experimenting with the insight I learned about balancing enthusiasm with serenity. Is there a way I can apply this to bring the virtue of self-control to my strength of curiosity?
So here goes: taking the idea of calm curiosity into a SIT.
Today, I am grateful for and celebrate my abundant capacity for curiosity, while also focusing and aligning my curiosity toward the expression of my Definite Major Purpose (DMP).
It’s a work in progress. And so am I. Enjoying the journey.