The results showed that a narrow, concrete, here-and-now focus works against self-control, whereas a broad, abstract, long-term focus supports it. That’s one reason why religious people score relatively high in measures of self-control and why non-religious people like [journalist and explorer Henry Morton] Stanley can benefit by other kinds of transcendent thoughts and enduring ideals. Stanley always combined his ambitions for personal glory with a desire to be “good” as he’d imagined his dying mother telling him. p. 165
From Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney
Found in my electronic chapbook.