Self-Discipline Quotes

This collection of short self-discipline quotes will inspire you to achieve your goals, be healthier, and live a life more aligned with your highest values.

Self-discipline is your ability to choose what is in your own best interest. It is keeping your goals and values in mind, and manifesting them in your thoughts, words, and actions—day after day.

Self-discipline is an expression of self-love and self-respect. It is the definition of self-mastery. It means you respect your decisions, your priorities, and act accordingly. It means you don’t go against yourself.

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.

To learn more about what is self-discipline, and how to develop it, you can watch this video I created on the topic:

Make sure to also check out my self-discipline videos and podcast interviews here, and my extensive list of recommended self-discipline apps.

Whatever goals you are working towards in life—financial, fitness, career, business, self-actualization, spiritual—, the one essential element is self-discipline. It leads to perseverance, patience, motivation and optimism.

Many call self-discipline the “queen of all virtues”. These 96 short quotes on discipline will tell you why. I’ve spent quite some time researching quotes on this topic, and these are the best ones I’ve found.

At the bottom of this article you will find a button to download a free PDF collection of these quotes.

Self-Discipline Quotes

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.

— Abraham J. Heschel

Self-discipline is about controlling your desires and impulses while staying focused on what needs to get done to achieve your goal.

— Adam Sicinski

Willpower and self-discipline are more effective than intellect and talent.

— Akiroq Brost

Freedom is born of self-discipline. No individual, no nation, can achieve or maintain liberty without self-control. The undisciplined man is a slave to his own weaknesses.

Alan Valentine

It is often the simple daily practices that influence our lives in dramatic ways.

Alaric Hutchinson

Discipline really means our ability to get ourselves to do things when we don’t want to.

Arden Mahlberg

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over oneself.


Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

— Abrahm Lincoln

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.

Bob Moawad

Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them everyday, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.

Brian Tracy

Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.

Charles F. Glassman

Do you want my help for developing self-discipline?

Happiness often relies on one character trait: self-discipline.

Charles F. Glassman

Do first what you don’t want to do most.

Clifford Cohen

Discipline without freedom is tyranny. Freedom without discipline is chaos.

Cullen Hightower

A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.

Dalai Lama

Self-discipline: with this magic ingredient, you can accomplish anything and everything you want to.

Brian Tracy

Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.

Dan Kennedy

I think of self-discipline as something like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Daniel Goldstein

No one is going to come help you. No one’s coming to save you.

David Goggins

It’s a lot more than mind over matter. It takes relentless self discipline to schedule suffering into your day, every day.

David Goggins

We do today what they won’t, so tomorrow we can accomplish what they can’t.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

All successes begin with self-discipline. It starts with you.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Do not consider painful what is good for you.


It is better to conquer oneself than to win a thousand battles.

— Buddha

He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Success is actually a short race – a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.

Gary Keller

Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.

Gary Ryan Blair

It is always easy to break one’s word to oneself.

Giacomo Casanova

Discipline is the ability to control our conduct by principle rather than by social pressure.

Glenn C. Stewart

By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.

Grenville Kleiser

Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

When we procrastinate, we also put a hold on happiness.

— Charles F. Glassman

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.

Harry S. Truman

It doesn’t matter whether you are pursuing success in business, sports, the arts, or life in general: The bridge between wishing and accomplishing is discipline.

Harvey Mackay

One painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.

Hellen Keller

That aim in life is highest which requires the highest and finest discipline.

Henry David Thoreau

Discipline is money in the bank. A real friend, true strength.

Henry Rollins

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.

Henry Ward Beecher

Rule your mind or it will rule you.


Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.

Clint Eastwood

He who lives without discipline dies without honor.

Icelandic Proverb

The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him—and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.

J. Paul Getty

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

— Jim Rohn

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.

— Jim Rohn

One discipline always leads to another discipline.

— Jim Rohn

Success doesn’t just happen. You have to be intentional about it, and that takes discipline.

— John C. Maxwell

Great leaders always have self-discipline—without exception.

— John C. Maxwell

We all suffer one of two pains. Either the pain of developing self discipline or the pain associated with not having it.

Clyde Lee Dennis

Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing

— John C. Maxwell

Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.

— John C. Maxwell

If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?

— John C. Maxwell

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.

— Lao Tzu

Do you want my help for developing self-discipline?

Let hunger sharpen your awareness. Abstain liquor and frivolous recreation, which dull the mind and weaken the body.

— Laura Joh Rowland

Self control is the key to self esteem and self confidence.

— Laurance McGraw V

The height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment.

— Leonardo da Vinci

Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Elbert Hubbard

Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as a punishment. And that’s the difference.

— Lou Holtz

Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.

— Lou Holtz

Self-discipline is self-caring.

— M. Scott Peck

Never believe a promise from a man or woman who has no discipline. They have broken a thousand promises to themselves, and they break their promise for you.

— Matthew Kelly

The war in our minds requires discipline. Not the discipline of a soldier but the discipline of a warrior.

— Miguel Ruiz

Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.

— Mike Ditka

True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.

— Mortimer J. Adler

No person is free who is not master of himself.


I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, cause that’s when it really counts.

— Muhammad Ali

The great master key to riches is nothing more or less than the self-discipline necessary to help you take full and complete possession of your own mind.

— Napoleon Hill

Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs. Self-discipline calls for a balancing of the emotions of your heart with the reasoning faculty of your head.

— Napoleon Hill

I could only achieve success in my life through self-discipline, and I applied it until my wish and my will became one.

— Nikola Tesla

The first and greatest victory is to conquer self.

— Plato

Self-command is the main discipline.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

— René Descartes

No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.

— Robin Sharma

Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific simple habits that always lead to success.

— Robjert J. Ringer

Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

— Roy L. Smith

Self-discipline is a continuous war against your whims.

— Saidi Mdala

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.

— Seneca

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.

— Stephen Covey

Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.

James Allen

The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets.

— Steve Pavlina

With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.

— Thomas Jefferson

It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

— Tony Robbins

Discipline is the foundation of a successful and happy life.

— Dr. T.P. Chia

Your level of success is determined by your level of discipline and perseverance.

— Unknown

Motivation will die.. let discipline take it place.

— Unknown

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

Jim Rohn

Self discipline – the road may be hard but the results are priceless.

— Unknown

With discipline, you are able to maintain a higher tolerance for frustration, obstacles and negative emotions.

— Vishwas Chavan

We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.

— Warren Buffett

The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.

— William Arthur Ward

No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.

— William Penn

Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

— Zig Ziglar

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

— Japanese Proverb

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

Marcus Aurelius

Self-Discipline PDF

You can download here the PDF copy of this post:

Your Next Steps

Do you feel a fire in your belly, as you read through these quotes?

Do you feel the energy rise?

I do. The sense of determination, resolution and inner strength are activated in me.

I hope that you have found this collection of quotes inspiring—and that, no matter what, you take action on what is important for you, day after day.

If you’d like my help in developing greater self-discipline in your life, consider applying for my coaching program.

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