“Self-command is not only itself a great virtue, but from it all the other virtues seem to derive their principal lustre.”

–Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Agree, disagree?

I was trying to figure out what Smith means, exactly, and I think it’s this: when we consider the possessions of virtues, without self-command, they shrink. Courage without self-command, consideration without self-command — it’s hard even to imagine justice without self-command.

Also ...

I'm in the last stages of my next book, Better Than Before, about how we make and break habits. In it, I reveal the secret of habit-formation -- really! Sign up here to be notified when it goes on sale. Or if you want to read the whole book condensed into 21 sentences, read here.

Other posts you might be interested in...

“Our Virtues Are Expressions Of Our Choice, Or At Any Rate Imply Choice.”

“The Man Who Is Himself At Ease Can Best Attend To The Distress Of Others.”

“No Biographer Could Possibly Guess This Important Fact About My Life In The Late Summer Of 1926.”

“When We Can No Longer Find Any Amusement Ourselves, We Can Still Take Pleasure In Reading It To A Companion.”

“In Every Life There Are Certain Pauses And Interruptions, Which Force Consideration Upon The Careless.”

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