You probably think that people who watch what they eat or who never miss a gym session are some of the saddest people on the planet, but you’ll be surprised to know that the opposite is true. TIME reports that those who practice self-control are happier compared with those who frequently give in to temptation.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota conducted a battery of tests to find out just how unhappy self-disciplined individuals really are.

Interestingly, they found that those with higher levels of self-control seemed to be more satisfied with their lives than those with lower levels of self-control. Apparently, their happiness is not so much a product of the participants’ ability to resist temptation, but their determination to avoid tempting situations to begin with.

Researchers add that self-control may be equivalent to the ability to properly manage choices in order to achieve clear goals. Knowing what you want, it appears, is the first step.

(Photo by Leah Rhianne via Flickr Creative Commons)

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