Bad men obey their lusts as servants obey their masters.—Diogenes Laertius
A forbidden fruit is the sweetest. If it weren’t so pleasant to submit to your urges, nobody would ever struggle with self-discipline.
However, notwithstanding how much pleasure it can bring, it’s important to see the temptation for what it is — your enemy on the path toward freedom.
Obeying your lusts enslaves you, while rejecting them increases your freedom. The reward you’ll get for not succumbing to your temptations will more than make up for the price you pay today for missing out on the instant gratification.
Self-disciplined people may appear to some as if they were the ones being enslaved. After all, they’re the ones whose lives are so limited: they don’t get to eat junk food, they follow a strict routine, deliberately expose themselves to discomfort, and reject what society considers the spice of life — gluttony, laziness, and engaging in other vices.
What the critics fail to see is that, through the rejection of those temptations, the self-disciplined become the masters of their lives. They serve the goals chosen by themselves instead of fleeting, spontaneous temptations. They choose to forego temporary satisfactions for deeper, more lasting ones later on .
In the meantime, in the long haul, the people who fail to control their urges — or rather, don’t even try to control them — fail to control their lives, manipulated by the temptations like a marionette.