Photo: New York Times.
I am convinced that self-control is one of the most important attributes we possess as humans. It affects how we spend our money, our relationships, our productivity at work, and even our happiness. Without self-control we can accomplish very little in our lives.
If you need to be convinced of the importance of self-control, let me tell you a short story about two of my little friends. Matthias and Rudy are Rhesus monkeys. Time, however, has not been kind to Matthias. At 28, he is losing his hair, sports quite a paunch, and his face bears the wrinkles of his profligate lifestyle. Not a pretty sight. In the cage next to his lives Rudy – a lab mate of Matthias. Rudy is the picture of monkey good health, despite being older than Matthias. He is thin and full of vim and vigor with a full smooth coat of hair. He performs a near perfect arabesque when offered a piece of fruit. When offered the same reward, Matthias extends a shaky and frail hand.
What’s the difference between the two monkeys? Rudy has been practicing a simple lifestyle intervention called calorie restriction. He eats about 30 percent fewer calories than the average monkey but still gets the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients he needs. Calorie restriction has been found to extend the life-span of a wide variety of animals. Rudy and Matthias, along with other studies, provide evidence that aging is not something we must simply endure but something which can be manipulated. It may be that calorie restriction is more important than even exercise in warding off the effects of aging. The beauty is that calorie restriction may not just extend the length of your life, but the quality of it as well. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases do not need to be considered givens as we age. If a little self-control can extend the length and quality of your life, just think what it can do for your finances.
Source: Michael Mason, www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/health/…/31agin.html