If you’re running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you’re trying to master a new language, try it won word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating.
All it takes is discipline–daily discipline, not annual discipline.
—Chuck Swindoll (b.1934) American Christian Pastor, Author, Educator, Radio Personality
No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
—William Penn (1644–1718) American Entrepreneur, Political leader, Philosopher
Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild.
—Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) Prussian German Philosopher, Logician
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.
—Pietro Aretino (1492–1556) Italian Author, Playwright, Poet, Satirist
Nothing so obstinately stands in the way of all sorts of progress as pride of opinion; while nothing is so foolish and baseless.
—Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819–81) American Novelist, Poet
Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
The time is always right to do what’s right.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you’ve worked on your own corner.
—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) English Humanist, Pacifist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Satirist
Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank.
What are numbers knit
By force or custom? Man who man would be,
Must rule the empire of himself; in it
Must be supreme, establishing his throne
On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy
Of hopes and fears, being himself alone.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) English Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
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 (1884–1972) American Head of State
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself to do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you like it or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and however early a person’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson a person learn thoroughly.
—Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95) English Biologist
When the fight begins within himself, a man’s worth something.
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.
—Hesiod (b.1493) Greek Poet, Economist
He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
That discipline which corrects the eagerness of worldly passions, which fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, which enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity than all the provisions which we can make of the goods of fortune.
—Hugh Blair (1718–1800) Scottish Clergyman, Rhetorician, Literary Critic, Philosopher
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; the hardest victory is over self.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
The ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
Lack of discipline leads to frustration and self-loathing.
—Marie Chapian American Children’s Books Writer, Writer, Lecturer, Speaker, American, Christian, Psychotherapist, Writer, Lecturer, Radio Personality, Author
Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set. This is true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man whose object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object; and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life.
One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline – and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.
—Carl Zuckmayer (1896–1977) German Playwright, Writer
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline, the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–72) American Jewish Rabbi
He is strong who conquers others; He who conquers himself is mighty.
—Laozi (b.604BCE–d:Unknown) Chinese Philosopher
One discipline always leads to another discipline.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence, but in the mastery, of his passions.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92) British Poet
You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.
—George Horace Lorimer (1867–1937) American Editor, Publisher, Philanthropist
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 (1926–2012) American Author
Brave is the lion tamer, brave is the world subduer, but braver is the one who has subdued himself.
—Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) German Lutheran Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, Literary Critic
Everybody starts at the top, and then has the problem of staying there. Lasting accomplishment, however, is still achieved through a long, slow climb and self-discipline.
—Helen Hayes (1900–93) American Actor, Philanthropist
It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.
—Clint Eastwood (b.1930) American Film Director, Film Producer, Film Actor
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 (1813–87) American Protestant Clergyman, Social Reformer, Abolitionist
The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, “I was wrong.”
—Sydney J. Harris (1917–86) American Journalist, Columnist, Drama Critic
No padlock, bolts, or bars can secure a maiden so well as her own reserve.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
So far as discipline is concerned, freedom means not its absence but the use of higher and more rational forms as contrasted with those that are lower or less rational.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist