Most of us start out with the best of intentions. Then we walk right past the fruit bowl in search of the devil’s food cake. Or drink one glass of wine too many. Or, after yet another glass, kiss that co-worker at the holiday party. Unfortunately, life constantly presents us with situations that pit our well-reasoned resolutions against the promise of immediate pleasure. As screen legend Mae West once purred, “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.” Withstanding temptation takes self-discipline—no easy trick when immediate gratification plumps our sense of well-being. But it is well worth the effort. Self-control saves us and other people from embarrassing or, worse, damaging consequences.