Essence of Self-Mastery

When we master ourselves we master the common denominator that is fundamental to every waking moment of our lives – oneself. What follows is a life full of meaning, choice and potentiality.

Self-mastery is about having your ‘W.I.T.S’ about you – when it really matters:

  1. Wisdom – the application of knowledge and experience when it really matters
  2. Intention – the capacity to observe and hold our inner faculties aligned ‘in-tension’
  3. Temperance – the mental and emotional control from within oneself
  4. Space – the mental space to make conscious choices under pressure

Self-mastery is at the heart great leadership. It is about a life of principle, presence, wealth, intention, integrity and service. It is about a magnanimous life full of purpose and meaning.

An example:

Everyone knows what we could have / should have done in hindsight. Self-mastery is the capacity to apply knowledge, talent and intention at the moment-of-impact, with foresight.

Alison receives feedback that she becomes confrontational when frustrated. Given the feedback we could say that Alison now has the knowledge about her behaviour. We might be tempted to say that Alison is also aware of her behaviour, which, at the time, would be true.

When Alison behaves confrontationally when frustrated two weeks later and is given further feedback, the feedback would be nothing new to her as she has the knowledge. The differentiating factor is the diminished awareness of her behaviour at that particular moment, the moment-of-impact.

Knowledge about behaviour and awareness of behaviour are two very different things and this distinction is, in part, one of the essential keys to real and sustainable self-mastery.


Self-mastery is a state that enables an increased space between stimulus (frustration) and response (confrontation), action and reaction. With increased time and space comes – conscious choice.

CSM provides a very different experience for enabling increased self-mastery.

‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.’
Albert Einstein