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When you suffer from self-delusion, you are keeping within you a false belief about yourself and failing to recognize reality. When you embark on a mission, say, to make a lot of money in life, you are supposed to put in a great deal of effort and pursue it vigorously till you achieve success. But some people make a casual or half-hearted attempt at it and wish for a successful outcome. Can that possibly happen? A wish like that is no different from self-delusion.

Everyone wants to succeed in life. Most people just say it. Some proactive persons take the initiative. Others talk endlessly but their words, alas, are not matched by action. Talking about making accomplishments is one thing, realizing them is quite another. As long as the talking continues and is not followed by action, a heavy price will be paid for this self-delusion. It will be sooner rather than later when one starts regretting that the much talked about accomplishments have not been achieved.

One has to be realistic in life. For example, a personal weakness is not going to be minimized or overcome just by thinking it will be or giving constant excuses to justify it. One has to take corrective action to deal with it. The remedy lies in strict personal discipline. It is the disciplined person who does what he has to do even though he does not feel like doing it. How much sweeter it will be to really relax, knowing that you have accomplished all that you had set out to do. It is wiser to suffer the temporary pain of discipline than to endure the eternal pain of regret.

Do practise what you preach. If you recommend or support the correct way for people to behave but you compromise on this principle by misbehaving in a way which you preach against, your self-delusion is truly pathetic. Likewise, after committing a sin or a terrible wrong you sneak furtively into a church or temple to pray for forgiveness. Can a sin be so easily forgiven? You must bear in mind that all actions, whether good or evil, have consequences and you cannot escape from them. You are responsible for all your actions. No external agency can help clear your sinful deeds. To think otherwise is to live a life of self-delusion.

Self-delusion can be avoided by acting in accordance with the universal law of cause and effect. It says that whatever you are reaping today is a result of what you have sown in the past. You don’t reap rewards that you don’t work for. Similarly, you don't go unpunished for having committed a sin unless you have done sufficient good to offset it.