Self-control is the attribute most people find difficult to implement. These days, everyone wants instant gratification. They don’t want to wait for anything. “I’ve been in class for three months now, when do I get my Black Belt?” was an actual question that I was asked by an adult student a while back.
Learning to wait for a result is an acquired skill. Learning to turn away from bad decisions is an acquired skill. One must practice that skill daily to become good at it. Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t do drugs. In the Taekwondo class, stand still in listening position without speaking. Do the best that you can at every repetition of a drill instead of goofing off if the instructor is working with someone else. There are several old adages that emphasize the characteristic of self-control: look before you leap; count to 10 before you say anything; and your mother’s favorite: “If everyone else is jumping off the garage and breaking their leg, do you have to jump off the garage as well?”.
The life skills that we teach in Taekwondo are integral to our development as human beings. I offer you this quote for consideration:
“Martial arts without compassion and honor promises only violence. Stripped of its spirituality, it threatens injury and suffering to both its victims and its practitioners. In the end, this higher ideal is what separates the warrior from the predator.”
This is from The Martial Way and Its Virtues, by F. J. Chu. Very highly recommended reading.