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Fast Company: Self Control Is Exhaustible - Video
Ted was a mouse who lived in a big house with warm water showers, hot food, and plenty of clothes. An unusual kind of mouse named Percy lived with Ted. Despite the comforts Ted enjoyed, every day Percy would give something up. He would wash in cold water, or chew stale bread. One day Percy tried to convince Ted that acting in this way would be for Ted’s own good. However, Ted preferred to snuggle into his blanket, and read a good book.
One wintry night, snow fell until the little mouse-house was completely engulfed. The cold and snow was so intense, the two They decided to wait it out.
Days passed, and the snow remained. Percy endured it quite well, but Ted, deprived of his hot baths, food, and warm shelter, was on the verge of losing control. Finally the situation became so dire they had to dig themselves out. The moment Percy touched that cold snow, Ted turned away. He rationalized Percy was not terribly cold or as hungry as he was, but he would stop soon.
But Percy did not stop digging, and even encouraged Ted to do the same. As Ted watched Percy, he understood that Percy was a lot wiser than he looked. Percy had trained himself to do things not because he really wanted to do them or because they were the most appealing things to do at any given moment.
"To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves." - Virginia Woolf