Self-control is essential to happiness and usefulness. It is the master of all the virtues, and has its root in self-respect. Let a man yield to his impulses and passions, and from that moment he gives up his moral freedom.
It is the self-discipline of a man that enables him to pursue success with superior diligence and sobriety. Many of the great characters in history illustrate this trait. In ordinary life the application is the same. He who would lead must first command himself. The time of test is when everybody is excited or angry, then the well-balanced mind comes to the front.
There is a very special demand for the cultivation of his trait at present. The young men who rush into business with no good education or drill will do poor and feverish work. Endurance is a much better test of character than act of heroism.
A fair amount of self-examination is good. Self-knowledge is a preface to self-control. Too much self-inspection leads to morbidness; too little conducts to careless and hasty action. There are two things which will surely strengthen our self-control. One is attention to conscience; the other is a spirit of good will. The man who would succeed in any great undertaking must hold all his faculties under perfect control; they must be disciplined and drilled until they quickly and cheerfully obey the will.