aka The Frazzled Mom
Why can’t I control my anger? Or stop overeating? Or wasting time online?
Why can’t I seem to finish my projects? Or make progress in my spiritual life?
Why do I fall for the same stupid temptations over and over again?
When we fail, it’s easy to make excuses or blame our circumstances. But let’s face it: the biggest enemy is usually the one staring back at us from the mirror every morning.
We lack self-control.
Self-control isn’t very popular these days. We tend to think of it as boring, confining, the cop that shows up and shuts down the party. But the truth is that people who cultivate this vital virtue lead freer, happier, and more meaningful lives. After all, our bad habits—from the slight to the serious—bring a host of painful consequences. Ultimately, they keep us from becoming the people God created us to be.
Your Future Self Will Thank You is a compassionate and humorous guide to breaking bad habits and growing your willpower. It explores Scripture’s teachings on how to live a disciplined life while offering practical strategies for growth based on the science of self-control. Whether you want to deepen your spiritual life, conquer an addiction, or kick your nail-biting habit, this book will help you get motivated, stay on track, and achieve your goals.
Sure, self-control is hard, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. Get the help you need to be freer, happier, and more productive. Your future self will thank you!
About the Author
Drew Dyck is an editor at Moody Publishers and the former managing editor of Leadership Journal. His work has been featured in USA Today, the Huffington Post, Christianity Today, and CNN.com. Drew is the author of Generation Ex-Christian and Yawning at Tigers. He lives with his wife Grace and their three children near Portland, Oregon. Connect with Drew at www.DrewDyck.com or follow him on Twitter @DrewDyck.
Lately, I’ve been reading (and reviewing) self-help books, ones that offer advice on how to improve oneself. The title of this book caught my attention: Your Future Self Will Thank You. I have a love/hate relationship with my current self, so I’m not sure my future self would thank me for anything. More like a “thanks for nothing”. lol At any rate, I was curious (plus, it has a cute picture of a dog and cookies!). The overall subject matter of this book is temptations vs will power (or the lack thereof). And the examples the author uses help make something that could be so clinical (brain, chemistry, zzzzz) and helps apply it in a more personal or interesting way. With avoiding temptation and taking practical precautions, he uses the story of Odysseus when they are sailing through the area full of sirens. How can they avoid the temptation of the siren song? Odysseus takes a realistic look at his nature, accounts for his weakness (being unable to resist the song) and plans accordingly, thus the crew makes it safely to the other side. At the same time, the author shows another way to approach temptations. In the second approach to self-control, he uses the story of Jason and the Argonauts. While they sail through the sirens, instead of tying Jason to the mast and the crew putting beeswax in their ears, they employ a musician to play louder and more beautifully in order to drown out the song of the sirens. And it works.
The author doesn’t stick with just interesting myths and stories. He often shares the struggles Paul dealt with during his journies and quotes him often. For those familiar with the Bible, you’ll know the best know Paul quote regarding running the race. But one that I really liked (and looked up) was this one: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15. Isn’t that the way for a lot of us? We really want to improve. We want to exercise 3-5 days a week as recommended. We want to quit smoking or drinking. We want to break the sugar addition. We want to stop seeking out damaging relationships, or cheating on those who matter most in our lives. We want to control our anger. Yet, for all that we want to do, we find ourselves doing what we hate. And that throws us into a spiral of guilt and self-criticism.
“Future me” has more time, energy and will power. But in the heat of the moment, in the present day, that will power falters. So what to do about it? Avoid those “heat of the moments” such as getting more sleep and, as my doctor always recommends, avoid stress. Well, duh. I don’t have to have a medical license to figure out that stress isn’t good for my health. Thankfully, the author recognizes that this isn’t so easy. The thing is, I wish the rest of the world would have the foresight, the wisdom, and the compassion to recognize those hot states in others and learn to adapt to them. But no. Our society says, “It’s not my fault that you’re having a bad day. Deal with it on your own” as they cut you off on the freeway or in line at Starbucks. I try to make a point of it, when I’m in my “cool state” where I’m not as bothered by life, to recognize when someone else is struggling in their hot state, to be more understanding and compassionate regardless of their reaction. But how do I manage my own hot state when someone isn’t so understanding? Therein lies the challenge as well as the opportunity for self-control. The author provides really good insight into why we struggle to go from good intentions to actually meeting those goals (such as weight loss). I highly recommend this for anyone that wants to exercise and strengthen their self-control “muscle” but needs the knowledge to be better equipped to recognize falters and failings and to try, try again. I received a complimentary copy from Moody publisher in exchange for my review. The honest opinions and thoughts in this review are my own.
By the way, halfway through the book, the author mentions this skit.
Would it be nice if will power could work that easily? Just stop it! 🙂