Do You Have Greatness Within You?

13 Principles of Self Mastery ~ By Mark Webb

 “No one is free who is not a master of himself.”  ~ William Shakespeare

Mastership of yourself is the task to become all you can possibly be and to bring out the very best in yourself.  Your lifestyle should consistently reflect character of such a degree that you make a lasting impression on the lives of other people and a positive difference upon the world. Here are 13 principles of extraordinary achievements used by the masters:

 1)   Make Up Your Mind.  Any man or woman can achieve great things if they will make up their mind to be the best person they can possibly be.  It all starts with a choice.  Once you make the decision, the path will unfold.  The people you need to meet, the experiences you must have, and the books you need to read will almost magically appear once you make up your mind.

Someone doesn’t wake up one morning and they are suddenly a nurse, teacher, accountant, etc.  They first decide on the goal they want to achieve, then they enroll in school, they take the courses required, and after a period of study they have achieved their goal.

2)   Have An Indomitable Spirit.  Your attitude is so important to your success.  Choose to be positive in your outlook.  Be driven to succeed.  Be willing to keep trying; to fail and yet begin again.  Strive to overcome your fears and doubts.  Carry yourself with a sense of certainty that things will work out for the best.

3)  Live By The Golden Rule.  “Do unto others what you’d have them do unto you.”  Be respectful and polite even if your kindness is not returned.  Always behave with courtesy and respect.

4)  Seek An Example of Greatness.  My pastor, Bob Moon, of First United Methodist Church recently asked the congregation, “Who are you imitating?”  He encouraged us to be imitators of Jesus.  Choose role models that inspire you and reinforce the principles you are striving to develop within yourself.  Seek the examples of great parents versus good ones, great supervisors instead of poor examples, just to name a few.  Notice how they carry themselves, how they speak to others, their tone of voice, their level of respect for others and then imitate those qualities of greatness.

5)  Set High Standards.  If you want the things in life that most people don’t have; you must be willing to do the things that most people aren’t willing to do.  If you want to advance your career, you must be willing to go to college, read books, work longer hours.  If you want a great marriage, you must be mindful of special dates, be thoughtful, listen harder, and consider their stressors as much as your own.

6)  Put Yourself In Environments That Force You To Stretch.  Seek to grow beyond your present limits and abilities.  I have been doing martial arts for twenty years but I didn’t truly become a martial artist until I started competing.  I started at a regional level and worked myself up to a world class level of competition.  Being the best at your present level is okay but step outside of this comfort zone.  By seeking the challenge, you will experience new growth like you won’t believe.

7)  Demonstrate Emotional Stability.  You cannot have a life without stress and conflict but you can learn to manage your emotions. Working as a therapist at Greenleaf Center for nineteen years required me to be emotionally calm and stable in order to perform at my best level.  A master does not panic.  A master carries themselves in a strong and poised fashion.

8)  You Must Be Loyal.  Be faithful to your values, your family, and your friends.  Learn to stand firm in your beliefs, your values, and causes that are important to you.  Without loyalty, you cannot trust nor can you be trusted.

9)  Be Disciplined.  Van Gogh said “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together, painful and demanding practice and hard work.”  I was recently talking with Rico Young of Valdosta Toyota Sales, I asked him if he had any favorite quotes; He said “You can’t rush greatness.”  He is right.  It takes time and effort to become a master.  There are no free lunches for the great.  They do every small thing in the best way they know how.

The thing you will enjoy the most about discipline is what you will become in the process.  You will feel better about yourself.  You will have greater strength spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.  You will have greater confidence, peace and self respect.  Discipline gives you abilities you would not have otherwise.

10) Strive For Perfection.  I regularly hear people say, “Nobody’s perfect”.  This leads people to believe they shouldn’t even try to be.  One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 5:48 – “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  This verse clearly says that it is possible to be perfect so strive towards the ideals in life.  You might just surprise yourself and reach perfection.

11) Lead By Example.  Give others an example to follow.  If you want your children to grow up to be fine citizens then give them an example of citizenship.  If you want your employees to be hard workers then give them an example of exceptional work ethic.  Be responsible.  Be bold.  Set the standard.

12) In All Things, Be Self Controlled.  Self control shows the depth of your character.  You have much more control over your life than you may realize. You always have control over how you handle any given situation. You can either be reactive or responsive.  Reactive people have more stress, more conflicts and more problems than a responsive person.  Don’t let the emotions and actions of others disrupt your life.  Be patient and more aware of yourself and your surroundings.  The person who responds to a situation is the master of himself.

13) Stay The Course.  You must develop perseverance.  Be willing to keep getting up even if it is hard at times or the negative side of yourself tells you to simply give up.  You must be determined to achieve the outcome you have set forth. You may have to alter your original plan and adapt as your circumstances change but never stop reaching for your goal.

Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. Mark Webb is also the author of How To Be a Great Partner and founder of Partner Focused Relationships™.   Sign up for Mark Webb’s “Relationship Strategies”  Ezine ($100 Value).  Mark Webb is the Relationship Specialist, his relationship advice and marital advice has helped many thru the years, let him guide you to a stronger healthier relationship.

Just visit his website at

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