Self Restraint Predicts Success

I recently read that the biggest predictor of an individual’s success is their ability to exercise self restraint. Makes sense. I know in my own life I achieve far more when I stay focused. The temptations of being distracted away from the goal are many. When I successfully ignore those distractions I generally succeed in accomplishing my goals.

When I wanted to lose weight I needed to stay focused on my plan for eating that day. I had to say no to the apple pie or the second helping of dinner. Paying off bills required that I not buy that new shiny thing or spend on extra entertainment.

There have also been plenty of times when I did not stay focused. This Thanksgiving was a great example. The extra pounds I found were a predictable outcome of my choices. We all have our moments of giving in to temptation.

How can we be better? Plan ahead for how we will address the temptation when it occurs. If we have a game plan ahead of time and have practiced our response the chances of staying focused are much greater. Without it, we too easily fall off the wagon.

Winning chess players are always planning their moves well in advance of the next one. If we use the same tactics in other areas of our lives we will have better outcomes.

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