Self discipline quotes woman chewing pencil over notepad
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The best 25 self discipline quotes to get you motivated right now

Sometimes the fact is… we just don’t want to do something that we need to do, or even that we WANT to do. Self-discipline is key if we want to get further with our dreams and goals, but sometimes it can feel so hard to get ourselves to act. And that can be really frustrating! But that’s where self discipline quotes can come in handy!

The great thing about reading quotes on self discipline when you really need to act, is that they are bite-sized nuggets of motivation that can spur a flame in you that is enough to get you going. You can read self-discipline quote after self-discipline quote and eventually, one of them will click with you.

But the trick is to not just use these quotes about self discipline to procrastinate. If you need to stop procrastinating and just start studying or working, take 15 minutes to go over these, find one that clicks with you, and ACT on it!

If you really find that none of these self discipline quotes works to get you that flame you need, then maybe one of these motivational and inspirational stories will help you. But I would really encourage you to not waste time and, instead, go after your dreams!

So take a look, print or write out your favourites, and get going!

Top self discipline quotes

Lou Holtz quote on self discipline - “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.”
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“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

Sometimes hard work a discipline can feel like a chore. You would just rather do something else and you feel like you are losing something (like your free time) by doing whatever it is you have to do. Oddly, this can even happen with something you really WANT to do.

But you can change how this works in your mind. If you really want something, or if you really want the benefits of acting on something, you can get your mind to think about what acting and having self-discipline will give you.

Once you start acting and you see the benefits of that, you can start to love having self-discipline. You can actually start to crave the self discipline. You realise what self-discipline gives you and how it can help you to grow as a person.

So take the advice from this quote on self discipline and learn to love what acting even when you don’t want to gives you.

Jim Rohn self discipline quote - “Discipline is 
the bridge 
between 
goals and 
accomplishment.”
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“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Jim Rohn

It’s just a fact – if you want something, you have to act in order to get it. Your dreams will not come true unless you go after them. Your goals will not be met unless you act on them.

You don’t have time to not be bothered about acting. All the time you spend not doing something is time wasted not going after what you want.

If you can have the self-discipline to actually act on what you want, you will get closer to it.

Dalai Lama self discipline quote - “A disciplined 
mind leads to 
happiness, 
and an 
undisciplined 
mind leads 
to suffering.”
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“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”

Dalai Lama

So, picking up on the point above about self-discipline feeling painful. Well, have you ever found yourself in a place where you don’t want to act on something, so you don’t, and then you feel bad? Then the feeling bad about not acting makes you not want to do that thing even more? So you ignore it. And repeat. And then it gets worse and worse and worse until you just don’t want to do it anymore (even if, deep down, you really DO want to do it)?

It’s a horrible cycle. And it leads to suffering. And it will keep on feeling like suffering unless you break the cycle, unless you break the pattern.

And all it takes is one moment of action, which you can then latch on to and keep going. And that will lead to happiness.

Hellen Keller quotes about discipline - “One painful 
duty fulfilled 
makes the next 
plainer 
and easier.”
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“One painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.”

Hellen Keller

This is a great reminder that sometimes we build up things we have to do in our heads so they seem incredibly overwhelming. We make them feel like a chore, painful, or like they will be difficult to do. And that stops us acting.

But do you ever find that, once you start, it’s easy? This is a great quote on self-discipline because it reminds is to take that first step.

Much like going to the gym, once you start and do that first difficult task, the rest become much easier – because you are building a muscle. If we can tick off one task that seems hard or overwhelming, then we can do any task that seems hard or overwhelming.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson self-discipline quote - “We do today 
what they won’t, 
so tomorrow 
we can 
accomplish what 
they can’t.”
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“We do today what they won’t, so tomorrow we can accomplish what they can’t.”

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

If you find it motivating to be in competition with other people, this quote reminds us that if you want what other people don’t have, you have to be willing to act like other people won’t.

It also reminds us that we can get better over time. If we do something today that helps us learn and grow, then tomorrow we will find that thing easier. And if we keep pushing ourselves and learning, then we will keep getting better. This also works for self-discipline, by the way – the more you practise it, the better you get at it. Self-discipline will soon become easy for you if you keep pushing yourself to do the things you don’t feel like doing.

Euripides self-discipline quotes - “Do not consider 
painful 
what is 
good for you.”
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“Do not consider painful what is good for you.”

Euripides

As before, it can often feel really painful to us to HAVE to do something. That feeling of needing to do something – even if it’s something we want and it’s for the good of us – can feel painful. This is because humans naturally desire what is easy.

But, sometimes, the things that feel painful are also the things that are good for you. If you need to learn how to to something new because you hate your job and want to start on a new career path, then it will help you to go and learn that thing even if it feels hard. If you need to study to get good grades but feel like you can’t, studying will help you.

Sometimes the things that feel hard are good for us. So we need to turn around how they feel to us. Learn to love the effort it takes. Think about loving the fact that you are growing. Feel to love the sense of growing when you push through the pain. Because the things you need to do will help you.

Horace quote on self discipline - “Rule your mind 
or it will 
rule you.”
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“Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

Horace

Do you ever find you have days in a row where you just can’t seem to get anything done or muster up the willpower to do the things on your list, and soon following, your mind starts to think in a more negative way?

Maybe you take a few days off doing things that are important to you – perhaps you don’t work on a book you are writing for a few days – and then you start to think you are too old, or that it’s too late for you to go after your dreams. Perhaps you don’t work on getting good at something that is important to you, and a few days later you start to think you suck at everything.

This is because you have let your mind start to rule you, becuase you haven’t done the things every day to train it and keep it in check.

The same way you will lose strength over time if you don’t keep lifting weights, you will lose the ability to control your mind and thought processes as well if you don’t train it and keep using in ways that benefit you.

William Feather quote about self-discipline - “If we don’t 
discipline 
ourselves, 
the world will 
do it for us.”
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“If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.”

William Feather

This is such an important point to make. If you let the world and everyone else’s thoughts get in to your mind, you will start to think the way they do. If the world tells you that you can’t have the thing you want in life, you will start to think that. If the world tells you that you will fail at something, you will start to think that.

You need to surround yourself with people who make you believe in yourself, who fill your mind with positive thought processes, and who raise you up. That way, you will find it easier to control your mind in the way that you need.

On top of this, this self discipline quote makes another great point – that if you don’t have the discipline to do the things you need to do, then you will only end up suffering in the future.

For example, if you need discipline to start your company, but you don’t do it, you will be working for someone else for the rest of your life. If you want to get in shape but don’t have the discipline to eat right and go to the gym, then the world will discipline you by your health being affected.

Lao Tzu self discipline quote - “If you wish 
to be out front, 
then act as if 
you were behind.”
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“If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.”

Lao Tzu

Quotes about discipline are great, but unless you act, you still won’t get anywhere. So follow the advice of this quote and act in a way that helps you.

You can’t just sit there thinking and dreaming about wanting to be somewhere else or wanting something in your life; you have to act to get that thing or situation you want.

A great way to do that is to picture how far behind you are and how much you need to catch up. use that to spur you on and make you act with extreme focus and discipline.

Buddha self discipline quote - “It is better 
to conquer self 
than to win a 
thousand 
battles.”
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“It is better to conquer self than to win a thousand battles.”

Buddha

I like this discipline saying because it encourages the idea of human growth. As a species, we desire to grow and feel like we are getting better at things. We can have all the winnings of the world (such as money, houses, cars, etc), but they mean nothing unless you are happy in yoruself and who you are.

This quote on discipline encourages us to strive for growth. It reminds us that we can get better, that we can learn more, and that we can always be doing better.

Roy L Smith self discipline quote - “Discipline is 
the refining 
fire by which 
talent 
becomes ability.”
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“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”

Roy L. Smith

Talent is nothing without practise. If you don’t keep practising, you will lose your natural talent. That is because practise and discipline is more important than raw talent.

If you are bad at something, you can get better at it. If you keep practising something you want to get good at, you will get good at it.

Once you practise enough, you have the ability. Then you keep practising, keep getting better, and keep that ability.

John C Maxwell quote about self discipline - “Small disciplines 
repeated 
with consistency 
every day 
lead to 
great 
achievements 
gained slowly 
over time.”
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“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”

John C. Maxwell

This is possibly one of the most important of these quotes on self-discipline. It reminds us that the things we want take time.

Whether it’s getting good at something or building something, it will take time and consistent effort to get that thing or get good at something.

But it also reinforces the idea that you can get good at something, or that you can get something you desire. It just takes time and consistent focus and effort.

Theodore Roosevelt self discipline quote - “With 
self-discipline, 
most anything 
is possible.”
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“With self-discipline, most anything is possible.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Carrying on from the self discipline quote above, this further reinforces the idea that you can get anything you want if you have self-discipline about getting good at it or focusing on it.

(Almost) anything you want in life has already been achieved by someone else. And, even if it hasn’t, the skills required almost certainly have. And the person or people that achieved that thing likely had to train and learn to get good at whatever it was they had to do in order to achieve that thing.

And that shows you that you can do it too. You just have to use your self-discipline to spend time on it and believe that, if you do that, then you will get better.

Jim Rohn quote about self discipline - “We must all 
suffer one of 
two things: 
the pain of 
discipline or 
the pain 
of regret and 
disappointment.”
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“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.”

Jim Rohn

We’ve all been there – looking back and having regret at not doing something we feel we should have done. That regret can really run deep and hurt.

In the moment, it can feel incredibly hard to generate self-discipline to do something important. But you can be absolutely sure that the pain in the future from having not done that thing is greater than the pain of just doing it!

And, remember, it gets easier the more you use your self-discipline. So do as this quote on self discipline says and use your willpower to do whatever is important, to save you from the pain of not having done it in the future.

Lou Holtz self-discipline quote - “Without 
self-discipline, 
success is 
impossible, 
period.”
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“Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”

Lou Holtz

If you want to be successful in an endeavour, you must be able to use self-discipline. This is because things won’t just come to you and fall on your lap. You are responsible for your outcomes. No-one is going to come and hand you what you want.

So if you have to go out there and get what you want in life – if you are responsible for that – then you have to have self-discipline. you have to be able to make yourself get things done.

Harry S Truman self discipline quote - “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.”
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“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

This should also be considered one of the best self discipline quotes because it takes you right through the stages of getting great at something: in order to get great at something, you have to have control over yourself, and if you want to have control of yoruself you have to learn the skill of self-discipline.

Robin Sharma self discipline quote - “Discipline is 
built by 
consistently 
performing small 
acts of courage.”
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“Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.”

Robin Sharma

Sometimes it feels overwhelming and scary to start something big. You want to sit down and work on something important to you, but you fear being bad or that it won’t turn out as planned. That’s when you need to have courage. If you can have the courage to act and follow through, you will get somewhere.

This is another form of self-discipline – acting with courage when you fear something.

William Arthur Ward quote on self-discipline - “The price of 
excellence is 
discipline. 
The cost of 
mediocrity 
is disappointment.”
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“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.”

William Arthur Ward

Similar to the quote on self discipline above, if you want to be really great at something, you have to practise. And if you want to practise but find it hard, you have to have the self-discipline to start.

This self-discipline quote reminds us that if we don’t use push ourselves to start – if we don’t use our willpower when we really need to – then we will be disappointed when we don’t have excellence in the future.

Robert Kiyosaki self discipline quote - “Self-discipline 
is the No.1 
delineating 
factor 
between the 
rich, the 
middle class, 
and the poor.”
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“Self-discipline is the No.1 delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.”

Robert Kiyosaki

This Robert Kiyosaki quote reminds us that if you want to be well off financially, it’s likely you are going to have to put hard work in, and, as we know, if you need to put hard work in, then you need to be able to push yourself with self-discipline.

Grenville Kleiser quote about self discipline - “By constant 
self-discipline 
and self-control 
you can develop 
greatness of 
character.”
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“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.”

Grenville Kleiser

If you are in to the idea of human growth and becoming a better person, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have to develop yourself. And if you have to develop yourself then you have to do hard things. And if you have to do hard things, you have to be able to act in spit of any fears. And that requires courage and self-discipline.

So follow this self-discipline quote and build your character through constant practise of using your willpower and self-discipline skills. (And, note: I say “skills” because they CAN be built through practise!)

Robert Kiyosaki quote about self discipline - “Confidence comes 
from discipline 
and training.”
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“Confidence comes from discipline and training.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Have you ever wanted to be confident and something but just don’t feel like you can be? That’s usually because you don’t feel like you know what you are doing. And the only reason you don’t feel like you know what you are doing is because you have not practised enough.

If you want to be confident in what you are doing, you must practise. And you must practise to a high-standard.

The discipline required to practise at a high-standard will push your skills far further than doing low-energy practise. This training will develop your skills and, in turn, make you confident at whatever it is you want to do.

Gary Keller self discipline quotes - “Success is actually 
a short race – 
a sprint fuelled 
by discipline 
just long enough 
for habit to kick 
in and take over.”
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“Success is actually a short race – a sprint fuelled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.”

Gary Keller

One of the best ways to get good at something or to achieve something in life is to develop the habit of going after that thing or practising.

For example, if you want to become a great writer, you may develop the habit of writing every evening. If you want to be a great painter, you may develop the habit of painting every weekend. If you want to be a great coder, you may develop the habit of coding every morning before you go to work.

But creating that habit can feel like a lot of hard work. It feels like it will take a long time and will be painful.

But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes to start building a habit is a few times in a row of doing something. After that point, your mind and body finds it a lot easier to continue. I usually find there is a 3-day-hurdle with something: if you can get through 3 days of doing something, you can carry on.

So if you use your self-discipline to do something a few times in a row regularly, you will start building the habit. And if you start building the habit, you will start getting to where you want to get to. The self-discipline to act a number of times in a row will build a habit, and the habit will build the skill and determination required to succeed.

Mortimer J Adler self-discipline quote - “True freedom 
is impossible 
without a mind 
made free 
by discipline.”
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“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.”

Mortimer J. Adler

The world around us throws things at us all the time. We are overstimulated by social media, news, everything going on around us, and a whole bunch of things that really don’t matter. These things cloud our minds and stop us focusing on what really matters to us. They make us start to think in ways that aren’t really us, but in ways determined by the world around us. In a lot of ways, they are designed to make you addicted, miserable, and stuck in a cycle of viewing and listening to this content.

It takes discipline not to be taken in by all these things. But, once you do, you can start constructing the mindset that you want. Once you have the discipline to clear your mind of that stuff, you can take in exactly what you really want – the stuff that makes you expand and think in ways that help you.

So follow this quote about self discipline and start to create the mindset you want. This, in turn, will help you to get everything you want in life.

John C Maxwell self-discipline quote - “Motivation 
gets you 
going, 
but discipline 
keeps you 
growing.”
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“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”

John C. Maxwell

Motivation in fleeting. Sure, you can be motivated to do something – perhaps by a true motivational or inspirational story – and act for a while. But what happens when that motivation runs out?

Let’s say you hear a piece of music or hear about something that motivates you. You sit down and get going with what is important to you because of it. But half an hour later, you run out of steam, the thing you heard has gone, or it has less of an affect on you. What are you going to do?

This is where discipline comes in. Discipline will keep you going even when you don’t have that great feeling of motivation. It is its own kind of learned and developed motivation.

Motivation is great. It can get you going. But use discipline to learn the skill to keep going.

Plato quote about self discipline - “The first 
and greatest 
victory is to 
conquer self.”
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“The first and greatest victory is to conquer self.”

Plato

It takes a lot of effort to learn to have self-discipline. You have to get through all the mental hurdles you put up, all the negative thought processes that force themselves in, all the natural human laziness, and so on. Even thinking about building self-discipline can be tiring!

But if you can learn to build your self-discipline, you can grow in so many ways. By learning self-discipline, you will be able to turn yourself in to the person you want to be.

And that is the greatest victory – to become the person you really want to be in life. And it requires self-discipline to do.

What a great self discipline quote! And that’s why it’s right here at the end.

Quotes on self-discipline – Conclusion

So there we are! The best 25 self disciplines quotes!

Now, remember – don’t just read these and think of them as quotes and move on. I really recommend going back through them and taking them in deeply. Find one or two that really resonate with you and really think about them. Sit on them and let the message of them sink in. Print them out or write them down where you will see them in times when you don’t want to do something. Put them on your desk, on your phone background, or on your cork board. Let them be seen daily.

Self-discipline is KEY if you want to grow and do great things in your life. Whether it’s starting a business, chasing a dream, getting a promotion at work, getting good grades, or getting fit, self-discipline will help you get there.

So take the advice of the people in these self discipline quotes and get acting!

What is your favourite of these self discipline quotes? Let me know in the comments below!

Further Reading

If you enjoyed these quotes about self discipline, you might also like these Top Chinese Proverbs About Success or these Quotes on Regret.

As mentioned above, you might also find yourself motivated to act by these inspirational and motivational true stories.

If you’re struggling with procrastination when you should be studying, check out EXACTLY how to stop procrastinating and start studying.

Finally, you may like this Solomon Grundy poem, which can really make you think about what you want for your life and get you to act.

Self discipline quotes woman chewing pencil over notepad
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Disclaimer: Nothing on this website should be taken as medical or other professional advice. You should always seek the advice of a professional, qualified person.  

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