If you ever frequent one of those all-you-can-eat houses of food worship, where balancing chicken wings, potato salad, and chocolate muffins on a 9-inch plate serves as a means of personal achievement, then you have undoubtedly witnessed the speedy path from desire to satiety to remorse. Exit interviews at such places would probably reveal a lot of regrets, even coming from the most ardent customers, along with a fair amount of gastrointestinal stress. These are people who enjoy a certain level of indulgence for the brief time in which they are indulging and exhibiting little self-control, and then are immediately deposited into a place of rue and shame.
This kind of thing happens all of the time, and not just with food, but with just about anything from sex to shopping, and while some people believe that people who have a carpe diem attitude and take what they want when they want it are actually the happier people in this world, evidence shows that those with more of a resolute manner of self-control are actually happier. A new 400-person study from the University of Chicago reveals that the more self-control people reported having, the more satisfied they reported being with their lives. And contrary to what the University of Chicago researchers anticipated, people with more self-control were also more likely to be happy in the short-term. In fact, when they further analyzed the data, they found that such people’s increased happiness to a large extent accounted for the increased life satisfaction. You could look at it this way; people exhibiting a lot of self-control (maybe people who don’t even go for the all-you-can-eat option) appear to be happier in day-to-day life, as well as throughout their lives.
How does such information sit with you? Do you find yourself as someone with a developed sense of self-control, or do you jump at any doughnut or cocktail put before you? Do you think people with self-control are happier than those who don’t have it, or do they just assume they are better than everyone else?
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