Each of us is exposed to and bombarded by – on a daily basis – an evil that is extremely enticing and appealing, so selfishly gratifying (temporarily), so unavoidably addictive, and so incredibly damaging to our thoughts, lives, families, and society. It is a plague and modern day slavery that is slowly and subtly destructive, and yet it is justified by the supposed mass-popularity, innate natural passions within us all, and the wrongly assumed reasoning that participation in this evil is simply an expression of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice.’
Anyone addicted to this evil – pornography – will certainly attest and declare that the reward for this selfish and addictive act is anything but ‘freedom.’ The reality is that thoughts become corrupted, commitments and responsibilities discarded, crimes committed, addictions developed, and selfish lusts become more important than self-control. Pornography is an industry that makes a few wealthy at the expense of destroying lives, tearing apart marriages and families, and essentially weakening the very foundation of our society.
Ironically, one aspect of pornography’s destructive influence that is rarely mentioned is its negative impact on our personal, family, and even financial potential. Participation in pornography always results in: a lack of confidence, guilt and shame, mental and spiritual abilities weakened, and potential relationships ruined (relationships that are necessary not only for our happiness, but our eventual success). People involved in and addicted to this evil fail to realize that this same self-confidence, mental reasoning ability, belief in oneself, family relationships, self-control, time not wasted, spiritual awareness, and ability to overcome are the very underlying elements to success – thus, necessary to reach our full potential in anything.
And yet, in the midst of the daily bombardment of immorality seen on the TV, movies, commercials, magazines, and websites – one would logically wonder if and how it’s possible to overcome such a temptation in order to fully live up to ones full potential.
Thankfully, it is possible! Let me suggest 8 tips, that if applied, will not only result in avoiding or overcoming the addictions of pornography, but actually result in personal self-confidence, family happiness, and developing the attributes and habits necessary to reach our full potential and be successful in anything in life:
1) Daily Effort: It is of utmost importance to remember that although continuous actions for good result in habits that are good, temptation and pornography will still abound … often daily. Thus, the necessity of controlling our thoughts and developing self control must be a daily effort. Just as we would practice daily for a sport or learning an instrument, or putting forth the daily effort to succeed in school or work – the same DAILY effort is required to fight this moral battle.
2)Turn off the TV: Although in some instances it is impossible to avoid this evil, we can do more. Don’t visit that website, do something other than watch TV, don’t go see that movie, put down the magazine, don’t enter the pop-up or advertisement, turn the channel during that commercial, etc. It’s hard, it takes discipline, and even if ‘everyone else is doing it’ … you must not! In fact, this is more than just avoiding pornography. We need to turn off the TV more and stop wasting time ‘surfing the web,’ and instead, pick up an educational book or spend an hour developing a talent, exercising, or working on an entrepreneurial venture – these are a few of the reasons people are successful, accomplish great things, and acquire much wealth.
3)Control Your Thoughts: Do you actually realize the power of your thoughts? Thoughts literally convert into actions. Thus, whatever it is that we entertain on the stage of our own minds will in time become our very actions, habits, and character. You may not have asked or chosen to view the image, but you certainly have the choice as to whether or not to keep that image playing on the screen of your mind. If you can learn the art of controlling your thoughts, you have won half the battle to succeed at anything in life!
4)Remember the Consequences: Realize now that the fruits of pornography are: momentary gratification and lustful pleasure followed by immediate shame, guilt, fear, embarrassment, and possible failure. Eventually addictions form, curiosity heightens, people become past feeling, and the result – marriages end, families are torn apart, fortunes lost, dreams not realized, and crimes perhaps even committed to satisfy a lust (or possibly reach that ‘dream’). From a strictly financial or potential perspective, viewing pornography will always lower one’s self-confidence, result in addictions that waste time, cost money, and tear apart important relationships. To be successful in anything, we must have clear minds, high self-esteem, never be idle mentally or physically, and protect and enhance all important relationships in our life.
5)Difference Between ‘True Love’ and ‘True Lust’: Love is attraction, affection, and even sexuality – but more than that, ‘true love’ requires work, effort, change, sacrifice, compassion, discipline, and unselfishness. And yet, the entertainment of the world promotes images and messages that over time convince us that ‘lust’ is actually ‘love.’ In every sense of the word, ‘lust’ is instant and temporary gratification that is easily obtained, and is the epitome of selfishness. Success in life – in business pursuits, academic endeavors, family life, or personal goals – will never be achieved if we cannot first learn how to control our minds, discipline our actions, implement the attributes of ‘true love’, and daily conquer this moral battle.
6)Idle Minds & Actions are the Seedbed for Disaster: The moment you find yourself idle either mentally or physically, you must know that this should be the first warning sign of possible danger ahead. ‘Surfing the web’ alone, or with nothing else to do; watching a movie that perhaps should not be viewed; flipping through a magazine; or going into the pop-up just out of ‘curiosity’ – these are the first idle steps to inevitable temptation (and eventual failure). Decide now to have integrity when alone, and make a rule to never ‘surf the web’ when you feel lonely, depressed, frustrated, tired, or with nothing else to do. This isn’t just about you – this is about every relationship that is important to you: spouse, children, family, friends, and even business relationships. Successful people are not idle mentally or physically, and they certainly never allow others to entice them to use their minds, talents, and time that will only result in weakness, guilt, failure, and possible destruction.
7)Deciding in the Moment of Temptation is Too Late: Decide right now that you will NOT enter that website, rent that movie, or watch that TV show. Decide now what your limits are, and never cross them. Write your decision down on paper, put it in a place seen often and review it daily, and completely commit to the decision made in the moment of clarity of mind (not when you must decide in that fleeting hour of lust, selfishness, temporary gratification, and temptation). The ability to DECIDE NOW, and stick to that plan (regardless of what comes up) is an indication of a successful individual. We often are faced with opportunities that if we can’t develop the ability to be assertive, take a risk, make a decision, be disciplined, and follow through with that – we’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile in life.
8)Absolutely No Excuses: Always remember that the media, individuals, and companies everywhere have one goal – to make money. Thus, they entice us to buy their product by luring us in with sexually exciting, pornographic, and addicting images and messages. Regardless of this fact, there is never an excuse for looking at and becoming involved in this filth. It does not matter if you are just ‘curious’ – don’t look, don’t go into that advertisement, don’t watch that show or visit that website. And realize that the moment you hear yourself saying or thinking these things, you are headed for trouble, addictions, misery, and possible failure. When you hear yourself saying: it won’t hurt anyone, it’s my choice, everyone is doing it, I am just curious, it’s not that bad, I need to know so I am not ignorant, my friends want/force me to, etc. Stop! Turn away immediately. Be proactive. Be disciplined. Don’t give excuses. Just turn away and don’t get involved.
This is more than simply not looking at pornography – this is developing the ability to acquire the necessary discipline and attributes that are essential to success in anything in life. Just like any success, overcoming pornography requires desire, belief that it is possible, learning how to control your thoughts, putting forth daily effort, not being idle, deciding now and having a plan, and then sticking to that plan regardless (without ever quitting – or giving excuses). This is the formula to both avoiding pornography and also achieving success in anything in life.
Matt is the founder of http://www.awakeyourpotential.com/ – a website focused on inspiring people to achieve their goals and dreams, live up to their full potential, and learn the secrets for success in anything. As a successful entrepreneur, Matt recently accomplished one of his dreams – to write a book! His book is entitled: “Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children.” To view the book and learn more, visit: http://www.greatgamesbook.com/