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self-control and success

Many people don’t know this, but self-control and success go hand in hand. One is a cause, and the other is an effect. But why? Why is self-control the key to success?

Well, that’s what we aim to convey to you in this article. In fact, we aim to provide you with a handful of researched and science backed reasons as to why self-control and success belong in the same sentence. But, before we do that, we must first define what self-control and success are separately.

As such, the definition of self-control is essentially your ability to adjust and manage your responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors or results, increase desirable behaviors or results, and achieve long-term aims. What this basically means, is that self-control is related to our ability to resist temptations, and exercise control over our emotions and actions.

And the definition of success is best expressed in the following way; success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or aim. Now, some people may think success means “making it”, becoming a millionaire, retiring early, or becoming the head honcho in your organizations’ hierarchy. And while they would be correct, it would only be partially.

And the reason for this, is because these are merely aspects of success, which typically only have meaning relative to the pursuer. So, the best answer for what success is, is our progressive actualization of our goals, and of course the final realization of our goal.


Self-Control Is The Key to Success

Success Research

With that being said, here’s what we’ve discovered about the relationship between success and self-control. After conducting research and chronicling the success stories of some of the the most successful and richest people in modern times, we’ve found that one of the key traits they all had amongst themselves was the ability to force themselves to take action on the activities that would lead them closer and closer to their intended aims over time. In other words, what we found was that they all had, heightened levels of self imposed disciplined and control over themselves.[1]

Now, self-discipline and self-control are not 100% the same thing, but they are very much related. Self-discipline is forcing ourselves do to what we set out to do. Whereas self-control is our ability to choose to act or not act on certain impulses that we have. Impulses like staying up later than we should, or sleeping in late, relaxing and taking more time off from productive activity than is necessary, or eating more than our diet recommends.

Similarly, having self-control is our ability to control how we feel, and our ability to choose to take action despite those feelings. And so, self-discipline and self-control, while not exactly the same, are very much related. So much so, that you can’t have one with out the other.

Self-Control Is The Key to Success Graph

Self-Control Study

One of the best historical samples that leans on science to show how self-control lends to a person’s ability to succeed, was conducted in 1972. It was a self-control study conducted on a handful of children using marshmallows.[2]

The children were placed in a room, and given the option to have one marshmallow now, or refrain from eating the tasty treat that was placed in front of them by waiting 15 minutes while the researcher was gone, with the promise of getting a second marshmallow when he got back.

Now, the most important aspect of this research was directly related to the follow up studies, which assessed the outcomes of the children that participated in the famed marshmallow study.[3] And the outcomes clearly showed, that the children from the initial study that displayed the most self-control, i.e. (the children who abstained from eating marshmallow) would years later, show greater signs of achievement, both in school, socially, and in life.[4]

Self-control Study

Historical Success Study

Another great example that showcases how self-control and success go hand in hand comes from a historical success study that was initiated by one of the richest men in modern history. The man who kickstarted this study was a famous steel magnate named Andrew Carnegie who accumulated much of his wealth in the early 20th century.

One of Carnegie’s greatest legacies was the commissioning of a man named Napoleon Hill to research and interview the most successful people across the country. And that’s exactly what Napoleon Hill did.

The results of Napoleon Hill’s decades long research culminated into a handful of books that contained the so called key to success. And it’s a key to success that millions of people still rely on to this day.

Napoleon Hill’s ultimate conclusion on what the master key to riches and success were, boiled down to one having the self-control and self-discipline necessary to take full and complete possession of their own minds.[5] In short, self-discipline, self-control and success go hand in hand.

Self-Control and Success Graph

Low self-control leads to low achievement, and low achievement is associated with a lack of success. On the other hand, high self-control correlates with higher rates of achievement, which in turn is typically associated with higher levels of success and well-being.

Why Discipline and Self-Control Lead To Success

Okay, so we have shown that there is a clear link between self-control and success. But, We are sure you are curious why this is the case. So, here is a simple answer. Self-discipline and self-control are the paths to success for the same reason, that the plant you water grows and the one you neglect dies.

Goals, like plants, require a certain level of continuous nourishment in the form of specific decisions, behaviors, and actions that must be delivered on in order for them to be actualized.

No matter what your goal is, or what object of success you are chasing, specific nourishing requirements for each goal. Some goals require massive amounts of commitment and effort, whereas smaller goals require less.

And more often than not, when people set out to achieve a specific level of success, they don’t calculate for the massive amounts of self-discipline and self-control that will be required for them to press on when times get tough, or when they don’t feel like working. So as time goes on, those people who are able to continually move forward on their goals with no loss of enthusiasm and through sheer self-discipline and self-control, eventually reach their aim.

Related: How to Improve Self-Control

Final Thoughts on Self-Control and Success

Is self-control important to success?

Well, here are our final thoughts on self-control and success which we hope answers this question. We have observed and discovered that people with high levels of self-control are generally better at managing their time, they stick to productive activities longer, and they tend to take action more consistently then those with lower levels of self-control.

The self-controlled person also controls their spending habits to avoid frivolous expenditures, and they are good at consistently putting money away towards savings and investments, thus, they tend to also be better off financially than their counterparts who lack self-control.

As such, the self-controlled person will find it easier to achieve more, become more successful, and create more financial stability and riches for themselves.

self control is the key to success quote

With that being said, we’ve explained why self-discipline and self-control almost always leads to success. As such, we hope you’ve gained some value from this post. But most importantly, we hope it has inspired you to want to learn more about how you can improve your own levels of self-control, so you can ultimately find more success in life, whether it’s financially or goal-related.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If enjoyed this article about how self-control is the key to success, then you’ll love these supporting resources:

The STRIVE is on a mission to inspire and uplift 1 billion people by 2032. Our primary aim is to help as many people as possible believe in the uncommon thought, that they can be more than they are, do more than they've done, and achieve more prosperity than they've ever dreamed possible. Let's achieve the impossible together.





Importance of Willpower and Success

Have you ever wondered if willpower actually plays a role in a person’s ability to obtain success? Or, have you ever asked yourself, “How does willpower affect your success?”  If so, this post is for you.  We’re going to connect the dots for you on the importance of willpower as key element of success.

But, before we do, we’re going indulge you in a little English lesson first. ‘WILL’ means the intent, desire or wish to have something happen. Willpower is, therefore, the motivation to exercise ‘will.’

Willpower is the inner strength that enables you to not only make decisions but also to carry them out. People with strong willpower assert their decisions in the face of strong opposition. Whereas people with weak willpower capitulate to fate.

Where there is willpower, there is resolution, assertiveness, persistence, decisiveness, and firmness. We use willpower every day: to resist temptations, overcome procrastination and ultimately to achieve our goals.  In short, success can not be had without willpower.

Willpower and Success

Most people don’t know this, but there is a very thin line between success and failure, and that line is essentially willpower.

Willpower gives us the strength to overcome the negative traits and impulses such as inaction, laziness, procrastination, and temptations. It is the ability to find the energy, motivation, and stamina to keep going even when you are tired and anxious, and part of you is looking for an escape.

A recent study revealed that as long as we are awake every two minutes, we are faced with a situation that requires us to make decisions. By the end of the day, we have spent three to four hours exercising willpower: resisting the urge to eat the last cookie, order another Martini, play candy crush, log on to the internet (for the nth time ), have an affair, buy another pair of shoes… you get my drift.

Fun fact: people high in willpower get better grades in school and college, they commit fewer crimes, and they stay married longer. They live longer, have fewer strokes, lower blood pressure and lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease.

willpower and success

In short, willpower is a basis of success. Increase your willpower, and you’ll increase the likelihood of success where that willpower is being channeled.

So, How Do We Fare in This Battle of Willpower?

Not so well, I am afraid. According to research by Florida State University, we succumb to one in every six desires despite our attempt to resist. As a result, we take those extra naps, we overspend, surf the internet more hours than we care to admit, watch television etc.

In the ‘American Psychological Association’s’ annual survey, people regularly indicate that a lack of willpower is the number one barrier to following up on changes that would improve their lives. In 2011, 27%  of the respondents of the ‘Stress in America’ survey revealed that lack of willpower was the greatest obstacle to change.

With more willpower, everyone would exercise regularly, avoid alcohol and drugs, eat right, save money for retirement and achieve all types of goals.

On the flipside, we commit more errors and increase our chances of facing tragedies because we lack willpower. We know what is good for us; what will help us progress, but we lack the will power to pursue the appropriate course of action. We know what is detrimental to us; what we should stop doing, but we lack the willpower to eliminate the harmful behavior.

As a result, and as you’d expect, negative outcomes ensue.

What Role Does Willpower Play in Achieving Your Goals?

Willpower is not a cheap resource. Exerting self-control is one of the brains most energy-expensive tasks, sapping more blood sugar than memory or learning a language.

In short, it plays a BIG role.  In fact, the biggest role.

Willpower and Delaying Gratification

Willpower has the essential ability to help us delay gratification. We resist the splurging at the mall so that we can save for a comfortable retirement, we resist the urge to sleep so that we can complete a project, and we resist the urge to lash out in anger for an improved relationship with a spouse.

According to scientists, we have one part of the brain that is impulsive and emotional, while the other part is reflective. People with low will power are susceptible to emotional responses and hardly think of the long-term implications.

On the other hand, people with strong willpower have greater ability to plan, handle stress, respond to reason, concentrate without becoming distracted and exhibit self-control in frustrating situations.  In short, people with strong willpower have all the ingredients necessary for success.

We cannot succeed without resisting short-term temptations to meet long-term goals.

Willpower and The Formation of Healthy Behaviors.

Every day we make decisions to avoid impulses in the quest for a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life. Whether it is dragging ourselves to the gym, forgoing another round of cocktails, or resisting the temptation to skip the Monday morning meeting; our will power is tested on a constant basis.

It is clear that willpower is necessary for the formation of healthy habits and adoption of healthy lifestyle choices. People with strong will power will resist the allure of using tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. Indeed, it has been found that developing strong willpower as children may prevent substance abuse problems in teenage and adulthood.

Success is an accumulation of daily healthy practices.

Willpower and Ability to Handle Failures

Great success depends on great risk, and failure is simply a common ground.

Every journey to success is accompanied by varying degrees of uncertainty. Every decision, including the decision to do nothing, carries the element of risk, and failure is always an option.

Every successful individual is someone who has failed before. The difference between many of us and the successful people around us, is that while they used their failures as stepping stones to later success, many of us view failure as fatalistic. We are so focused on avoiding failure that we do not aim for success, settling instead for a life of mediocrity.

It is reported that Thomas Edison had 1,000 tries before he developed the light bulb. A reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1000 times? “Thomas replied, “I did not fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”. What an incredible attitude! What would have happened if Edison had given up on the second attempt? Or 999th attempt? How many times did you fail before you gave up?

Failure is not defeat. Failure is proof that you are pushing yourself to your limits.

You will never succeed if you do not have the will power to handle your failures. Willpower helps to see failure in proper perspective. When we fail we learn, we grow and mature. We achieve new understandings and perspectives on business, relationships, life and love.

Failure is part of the genetic makeup of life. It is part of the grand design of things here on earth.

Without willpower, you play the victim in failure, allow self-degrading thoughts take hold and let anger control you.

With will power you take a deep breath and get back in the game, knowing that you are learning valuable lessons along the way, having great new experiences and living life to the fullest.

Willpower helps us win our internal battles. It helps us to say yes to things that lead us closer to our goals. It gives us the ability to do what we need to even when we don’t feel like it.

Willpower is the great force that makes the impossible possible.

Final Thoughts on Willpower and Success 

There is a clear connection between success and willpower.  And how much willpower each of us has is entirely up to us.

We can focus on improving our willpower, or we can flow with fate.

Hopefully after reading this article you will choose the former.

Why? Because it is only through willpower that your successes will come and your achievements made great.

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll also enjoy this article on the link between Self-Control and Success.

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self-discipline is key to success

Self-discipline is key to success. In fact, it may even be “the key to success”. We believe that if ever there were a true magical ingredient to achieve success, self-discipline would be it. And we’re not alone in our estimation.

As a matter of fact one of the richest men in modern history, Andrew Carnegie, commissioned a man by the name of Napoleon Hill to seek out the richest and most successful people across the land in the early days of the 20th century.

“Self-Discipline Attracts Opportunity”

Can you guess what the common denominator was in Carnegie and Hill’s decades long study of what leads to success? If you guessed self-discipline, you’d be right. 


self-discipline and success

Napoleon Hill’s research states that faith and ideas are the starting points of all great achievements. However, it is self-discipline that bridges the gap between your ideas and the accomplishment of them. As such, self-discipline is the key.

Now, many might argue that his book was about using your imagination, thinking, improving your attitude, etc… And they would be right, at least partially. However, the master key or the the linchpin, if you will, all comes down to self-discipline.

“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 –

In addition to this discovery, self-discipline has been referenced time and time again by those who have accomplished greatly and have achieved massive success. Most success stories clearly demonstrate the power self-discipline played in the achievement of their dreams. Self-discipline is indeed, the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

Unfortunately, this is a truth that is ignored, or simply missed by way too many people. And regrettably, it is usually to the detriment of their accomplishments. Having said that, here a few reasons why self-discipline is actually the key to success.

1.) Self-Discipline Leads To Better Input

Too many people spend countless hours scouring news sites, social media, or watching T.V. They have big goals and dreams, but they fail to realize that consuming large quantities of negative content, or content that only entertains them, keeps them stuck.

Distraction hinders progress. Focus accelerates it. Which is why it’s been said, that before you can change your output, you must first change your input. And this is where discipline comes in.

If you have the foresight to acknowledge how unproductive being a consumer of negative news and useless social media feeds, you can marshal the discipline necessary to change what you feed your mind. If you feed it positive news, or content that inspires you to dream more and take more action, well, you’ll quickly realize how much easier it is to make progress on your goals.

2.) Disciplined Input Leads to Better Thoughts

Here’s one of the main aspects of being disciplined about what you allow to enter your mind; when you do so, you effectively impact your thoughts.

That’s right, the quality of your thoughts can be regulated by what you allow into your mind. David J. Schwartz, the author of ‘The Magic of Thinking Big‘ once stated that, “The mind is what the mind is fed.”

It’s sort of like being a chef. If you want to produce a five-star meal, you have to ensure you begin with the highest quality ingredients. Sure, on some rare occasion, a chef can turn out some great finished meals with base ingredients. But to get to world-class, they’ll need the highest quality ingredients.

So, if you want positive disciplined thoughts, you must first start with being extremely disciplined about what you allow into your mind.

3.) Disciplined Thoughts Leads to Discipline Actions

It’s especially apparent as to why self-discipline is key to success, when you realize how important disciplined thoughts are for taking disciplined actions.

Most people think discipline begins in our actions. But it begins long before we do the deed. Countless hours are typically spent beforehand imaging what we want, how we want to get there, by when, how.

There is almost always an accumulation of thought and intention that takes place before any action is taking. And this is especially the case when it’s an action that requires a high degree of discipline, like sitting down to write that book, scheduling time for fitness, putting in the energy to make that healthy meal, etc…

Discipled Thoughts leads to disciplined actions.

4.) Disciplined Actions Leads to Success

When all is said and done, consistent disciplined action in a singular direction will lead to better results and gradual progress. And the progressive realization of any worthy goal, is in a nutshell, success.

If you were to ever research and study the biggest names of the success and self-development industry over the past century, names like Earl Nightingale, W. Clement Stone, Og Mandino, Napoleon Hill, James Allen, Bob Proctor, etc… you would quickly catch on to the oft repeated phrase…

“You Become What You Think About.”

This phrase, is their big secret to success. However, it is equally a phrase that can lead to success just as surely as it could lead you to failure.

Here’s how. If you think about nothing, you’ll eventually become nothing. Likewise, if you think about failure, scarcity, and your obstacles all the time, well, that’s exactly what you’ll end up getting more of, because what you focus on expands.

Of course on the other hand, if you can discipline yourself to think of positive things, if you can force yourself to constantly think of success, achievement, and goals, those will be the things you eventually bring more of into your life. You will slowly, eventually, and most assuredly become what you think about. So choose to be disciplined about what you think about from the get go.

Remember, self-discipline leads to better input, disciplined input leads to disciplined thoughts, disciplined thoughts lead to disciplined actions, and disciplined actions lead to success. And this is why, for all intents and purposes, self-discipline is the key to success.

Until you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this write-up about how self-discipline is key to success, then you’ll want to make sure you check out these supporting resources on discipline:

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discipline affirmations

Achieving success and happiness requires a combination of key qualities, but there is one primary quality that breeds continual, long-term success across every aspect of our lives; self discipline. And since we know self-discipline is a struggle for many people, we’ve pulled together a list of effective and easy to apply discipline affirmations to be used daily.

Using these discipline affirmations will help you slowly develop the discipline you’ll need to create the life you want. How do we know? We’re students of success and we practice what we teach.

If you’re not sure about affirmations, know this, daily affirmations are to the mind what exercise is to the body. The word affirmation comes from the Latin word affirmare, which essentially means “to make steady, strengthen.” So, when you employ an affirmation (repeating a phrase to yourself repeatedly), you essentially reinforce and strengthen the helpful positive thoughts your mind requires to take action.

So, if you are ready for our ultimate list of discipline affirmations that actually work, let’s dive in.


Best Discipline Affirmations

Affirmation 1: I Take The First Step and Make Things Happen Now.

This discipline affirmation will prime you for taking action with urgency. And action is key, because self-discipline without action is dead.

Affirmation 2: I Have The Discipline to Accomplish My Goals.

This may seem counterintuitive, but you have to believe you are disciplined before you’ll actually be disciplined. Why? Because belief powers action.

So, use this affirmation to help you change your belief about how disciplined you are.

Affirmation 3: I Do What Needs to be Done, Even When I Don’t Feel Like Doing It.

Resistance is every achiever’s worst enemy. It doesn’t matter what you are striving for either, it could be better health, better habits, or more prosperity. But what keeps us from those goals is resistance.

As such, this affirmation can be used to short-circuit your mind, so it will help you do what you must, regardless of how you feel.

Affirmation 4: I Will Be Ready, Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually.

This affirmation is effective because it helps disarm any self-doubt you may have about how ready you are to achieve your aims. It helps you set the record straight for yourself, that you are ready to do what is necessary.

Use this discipline affirmation to prime your mind to do what you must to be ready and stay ready for the success that will inevitably come your way.

Affirmation 5: I am The Master of my Thoughts and Actions.

One of the most empowering proclamations a person can make to themselves is the acknowledgment of their individual self-responsibility for all of their outcomes. So, use this affirmation to once and for all take the helm of your life.

I am the Master of Discipline Affirmation

Related: The Definition of Self-Discipline

Affirmation 6: I Resist All Temptations and Remain Focused on my Dream.

The thing that stops most people from reaching their goals is interruption caused by minor temptations. So use this affirmation to keep your mind shut to all temptations small and large, so your momentum can grow.

Affirmation 7: I am Disciplined and Determined to Accomplish My Goals.

Use this discipline affirmation to convince your subconscious mind that you have what it takes to reach your goals. Because once your subconscious mind believes it, you’ll believe it, and once you truly believe it, the world will be your oyster.

Affirmation 8: I am Full of Discipline, I am Focused, and Persistent.

Discipline requires persistence and focus, and the stronger your focus, the more persistent you’ll be. So repeat this affirmation often and allow each quality to reinforce your discipline.

Affirmation 9: I am In Control of My Behavior.

All too often we allow our impulses to call the shots in our lives. But, things don’t have to be this way. You can call the shots if you really want to.

Every time you repeat this discipline affirmation, you’ll make your position clear to yourself. You’ll reinforce in your subconscious mind that you are the boss, and that your goals are your new priority now, not your whims.

Affirmation 10: Discipline is The Root of All Good Qualities.

Once you realize in your bones the truth of this statement, the more eager you’ll be to employ self-discipline in every aspect of your life. And as a result, every aspect of your life will benefit.

Self-Discipline Affirmation

Affirmation 11: I Will Finish My Tasks and Consistently Work Towards My Goals, No Matter How I Feel.

Embracing this affirmation helps you embrace the struggle. And the more inclined you are to lean into the pain and discomfort of discipline, the easier the struggle will become over time.

Affirmation 12: I am In Charge of My Own Outcome.

Continually staking your claim leads to more ownership. And it is the owner, (in all instances) who is really in charge.

Affirmation 13: I Believe in Myself Enough to Follow Through.

Self-belief is the cornerstone of all action. Less belief, less follow through. However, the more you believe in yourself and your goals, the more likely you’ll be to take action on then follow through.

Affirmation 14: Nobody Can Hold Me Back, Not Even My Own Doubts.

If you are to doubt anything, doubt your limitations. And one of the best ways to do that is by repeating this self-discipline affirmation often. When you do so, you’ll be minimizing any doubt you may have about what is possible for you.

You’ll know this discipline affirmation is working when healthier doses of self-reflection begin to sound like, ‘why not me?’, or ‘why not now?’

Affirmation 15: There Is Only One Way, The Way of Discipline.

The greats, the millionaires, and the high achievers of history were all students of success. And they all had one thing in common; their belief that self-discipline was the common denominator in their success.

The Way of Discipline Affirmation

Affirmation 16: I Do Today What They Won’t, So Tomorrow I Can Accomplish What They Can’t.

One of the best ways to get someone to do something is to show them the benefit of doing a thing. Using this affirmation helps remind yourself that there are tangible benefits to applied self-discipline, and it will eventually lead to your becoming “luckier” in the eyes of others.

Affirmation 17: I Embrace Hard work. I Love The Discipline Of It.

The more you can convince yourself of your love of hard work, and the discipline that goes with it, the more of it you’ll do. And the more of it you do, the sooner you’ll reach your goals.

Affirmation 18: I Have Power Over My Mind, and I am In Command of My Every Action.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment, and when you begin to have power of your own mind, every action you take inches you over that bridge towards your ultimate aim.

Affirmation 19: I am Persistent and Consistent.

You can’t be disciplined for one day or one week and expect great results. Nope, you’ll need to cultivate the habit of self-discipline for the long haul. You’ll need to be persistent and consistent.

Affirmation 20: I Enjoy Being Disciplined.

The more you enjoy a thing, the more you’ll want to do said thing. So, use this discipline affirmation to hack your mind, and trick yourself into doing more of what you must to reach your goals.

I Enjoy Being Disciplined Affirmation

Related: The Link Between Self-Control and Success

Affirmation 21: I Can Reach My Full Potential With Discipline.

Your potential is only limited to the extent of your self-discipline levels. So, use this daily affirmation to help you level up your self-discipline, and as a result unlock your full potential.

Affirmation 22: I Bring My Dreams Into Fruition Through Self-Discipline.

This discipline affirmation will convince your subconscious mind that the attainment of your dream is possible, and that the vehicle best suited to get you there will be the strength of your self-discipline.

Affirmation 23: Self-Discipline Is The Center of All Material Success.

Steel Magnate Andrew Carnegie commissioned a man by the name of Napoleon Hill to seek out the richest and most successful people across the land to discover the true secret of success.

Can you guess what his final assessment was? If you guessed self-discipline, you’d be right.

Affirmation 24: Self-Discipline is Self-Love, and I Love Myself.

When you practice self-discipline you are practicing self-love. It counts as self-love because every act of self-discipline is a testament to yourself and the world, that your dreams and goals matter, and that you are deserving of them.

Affirmation 25: All Things are Possible With Self-Discipline.

Theodore Roosevelt believed this truth to its core. And without a doubt he effectively demonstrated the power one can wield and the accomplishments one can reach if they too live by this truth.

All Things Possible With Discipline Affirmation

Final Thoughts on These Discipline Affirmations.

There you have it, 25 effective discipline affirmations that will actually work. Of course, for them to work for you, you’ll have to use them. And consistency is key.

Remember, affirmations are a proven practice of self-improvement because of their power to rewire our brains. Just like exercise helps us mold our physical fitness, affirmations help us mold our psychological fitness.

So, bookmark this page, and use these discipline affirmations often. Because repeating affirmations is what will ultimately help you reprogram your unconscious mind to create the god-like self-discipline you’re after.

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed these self-discipline affirmations, then you’ll certainly enjoy our popular list of self-discipline books to help you fortify your discipline. You can check them out here.

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Self-Discipline Quotes

Self-discipline may just be one of the world’s best kept secrets when it comes to success. Countless people who’ve accomplished many of their goals or have achieved meaningful success in various aspects of their lives, typically give credit to their self-discipline when asked, ‘how they did it?’ So, we’ve decided to pull together some of the absolute best self-discipline quotes of all-time.

“Discipline Is The Bridge Between Goals And Accomplishment.”

Our hope is that these discipline quotes will permeate your mind with one of the best kept secrets of some of the world’s highest achievers. We also hope that they’ll inspire you to believe, that with enough self-discipline, you too can achieve the impossible. So, if you’re ready for one of the most comprehensive lists of self-discipline quotes, then let’s dive in:


Best Discipline Quotes

1. “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

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

3. “We do today what they won’t, so tomorrow we can accomplish what they can’t.” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

4. “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

5. “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” – Dalai Lama

6. “Discipline is the soul of an army.  It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.” – George Washington

7. “The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.” – E.M. Gray 

8. “The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.” – Bum Philips

9. “Success is a result of daily disciplines compounded over time.” – Darren Hardy

10. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

discipline quote about goals

11.  “There is no easy way. There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.” – Jocko Willink

12. “We must all suffer one of two things:  the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” – Jim Rohn

13. “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

14. “Self-command is the main discipline.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

16. “One discipline always leads to another discipline.” – Jim Rohn

17. “He who lives without discipline dies without honor.” Icelandic Proverb

18. “The price of excellence is discipline.  The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” – William Arthur Ward

19. “You have power over your mind, not outside events.  Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

20. “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln

discipline quotes about choosing

21. “Confidence comes from discipline and training.” – Robert Kiyosaki

22. “Success is a matter of understanding and religiouly practicing specific simple habits that always lead to success.” – Robert J. Ringer

23. “No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.” – William Penn

24. “Most talk about ‘super-geniuses’ is nonsense. I have found that when ‘stars’ drop out, successors are usually at hand to fill their places, and the successors are merely men who have learned by application and self-discipline to get full production from an average, normal brain.”- Charles M. Schwab

25. “Success doesn’t just happen.  You have to be intentional about it, and that takes discipline.” – John C. Maxwell

26. “Discipline is the foundation of a successful and happy life.” – Anonymous

27. “True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” – Mortimer J. Adler

28. “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”  – Thucydides

29. “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”  – Leonardo da Vinci

30. “The first and greatest victory is to conquer self.” – Plato

Self-Discipline Quote by Plato

31. “We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” – Steven Pressfield

32. “One painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.”  – Hellen Keller

33. “Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” – Abraham J. Heschel

34. “Do not consider painful what is good for you.” – Euripides

35. “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn

36. “Those who have nothing have only their discipline.”  – Alain Badiou

37. “It is time to reverse this prejudice against conscious effort and to see the powers we gain through practice and discipline as eminently inspiring and even miraculous.” – Robert Greene

38. “With this magic ingredient, you can accomplish anything and everything you want to, and it is called self-discipline.” – Brian Tracy

39. “Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.”  – Thomas Jefferson

40. “Great leaders always have self-discipline — without exception.” – John C. Maxwell

41. “Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind-you could call it character in action.” – Vince Lombardi

42. “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

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

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

45.  “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” – Seneca

46. “He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

47. “It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them.” – La Rochefoucauld

48. “Discipline really means our ability to get ourselves to do things when we don’t want to.” – Arden Mahlberg

49. “Your level of success is determined by your level of discipline and perseverance.” – Anonymous

50. “That aim in life is highest which requires the highest and finest discipline.” – Henry David Thoreau

Ready To Go Out and Conquer The World Yet?

We don’t know about you, but after reading through these first 50 discipline quotes, we are about ready to go out and conquer the world.  But don’t stop reading just yet on our account. 

By all means, continue pounding your mind with these last 50 self-discipline quotes.  Let them saturate your mind so you can go forth and be victorious with your renewed levels of self-discipline!

51. “Self-discipline is about controlling your desires and impulses while staying focused on what needs to get done to achieve your goal.” – Adam Sicinski

52. “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

53. “All successes begin with self-discipline.  It starts with you.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

54. “Self-discipline is that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.” – Joseph Addison

55. “The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets.” – Steve Pavlina

56. “The center of bringing any dream into fruition, is self-discipline.” – Will Smith

57. “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

58. “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

59. “If it were easy to walk the path of self-discipline, we wouldn’t gain much from it.” – Glenn C. Stewart

60.  “Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.” – Robin Sharma

discipline quotes

61. “Discipline is the ability to control our conduct by principle rather than by social pressure.” – Glenn C. Stewart

62. “Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” – Abraham J. Heschel

63. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”  – Jesse Owens

64. “Discipline is the silent force at work that breeds success.  It requires only one thing; that you sacrifice time in things you enjoy.” – Anonymous

65. “We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett

66. “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

67. “If the self-discipline of the free cannot match the iron discipline of the mailed fist-in economic, political, scientific and all other kinds of struggles as well as the military-then the peril to freedom will continue to rise.” – John F. Kennedy

68.  “Self-discipline is the root quality that will improve every aspect of your life.” – Jocko Willink

69. “Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” – Mike Ditka

70.Self-control is strength, right thought is mastery, calmness is power.” – James Allen

71. “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”  – John C. Maxwell

72. “Discipline without freedom is tyranny.  Freedom without discipline is chaos.” – Cullen Hightower

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

74. “Self-discipline is a self-enlarging process.” – M. Scott Peck

75.  “Self control is the key to self esteem and self confidence.” – Laurance McGraw V 

76. “Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.” – Michel De Montaigne

77. “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” – John C. Maxwell

78. “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

79. “If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.” – Lao Tzu

80. “Self-discipline creates a brighter tomorrow.”  – Anonymous

81. “Success is created through the performance of a few small daily disciplines that stack up over time to produce achievements far beyond anything you could of ever planned for. Failure, on the other hand, is just as easy to slip into. Failure’s is nothing more than the inevitable outcome of a few small acts of daily neglect performed consistently over time so that they take you past the point of no return.” – Robin Sharma

82. “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

83. 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

84. “Trophies should go to the winners. Self-esteem does not lead to success in life. Self-discipline and self-control do, and sports can help teach those.” – Roy Baumeister

85. “It’s all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.” – Mick Jagger

86. “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

87. “It is better to conquer self than to win a thousand battles.” – Buddha

88.   “The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” – Vince Lombardi

89.  “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

90. “If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.” – William Feather

Self-Discipline Quote by William Feather

91. “When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.” – Albert Einstein

92. “No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

93. “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.” – Wayne Dyer

94. “I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” Daniel Goldstein

95. “Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.” – Dan Kennedy

96. “He conquers twice who conquers himself in victory.” – Jyrus

97. “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

98. “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

99. “What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not do.” – Aristotle

100. “Mastering others is strength.  Mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu

101. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” –  Aristotle

102. “Rule your mind or it will rule you.” – Horace

103. “Self-discipline is the center of all material success.  You can’t win the war against the world if you can’t win the war against your own mind.”  –  Will Smith

104. “In this life there are countless trails to self-realization, though most demand intense discipline, so very few take them.” – David Goggins

105. “If I want to be great I have to win the victory over myself…self-discipline.” – Harry S. Truman

106. “What we do upon some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are: and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.” – H.P. Liddon

107. “The pain of discipline weighs ounces, but the pain of regret weighs tons.” – Darren Hardy

108. “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” – Roy L. Smith

109. “Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don’t talk back.” – W.K. Hope

110. “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it.” – Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson Discipline Quote

111. “There is no magic wand that can resolve our problems. The solution rests with our work and discipline.” – Jose Eduardo Dos Santos

112. “There is no luck except where there is discipline.” – Irish Proverb

113. “Discipline is consistency of action.” – James C. Collins

114. “Discipline is wisdom and vice versa.” – M. Scott Peck

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

116. “Self-Discipline means living your life the hard way: resisting temptations and instant gratification, in order to receive bigger and better rewards in the future.” – Martin Meadows

117. “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday

118. “Self-discipline is easy when you have a vision that pulls you.” – Nathan Lee Morales

119. “There are two disciplines in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment.” – Nick Saban

120. “Self-discipline is the architect of accomplishment.” – The STRIVE

Discipline Quotes for Success

121. “The first step to getting rich requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline.” – Mark Cuban

Bonus Discipline Quote

Bonus: Alright, here is our last and final discipline quote which we decided to include as a bonus because it does such a good job hitting the nail on the head when it comes to self-discipline. Enjoy!

“Discipline Equals Freedom.”

Jocko Willink

Achieve More With These Discipline Quotes

We all know what we want, we just don’t like the uncomfortable pain it takes to obtain those things we want most.  Unfortunately, when we shrug off discipline, we shrug off our ability to reach our goals.  In a sense, we fail. 

And although it may not seem like a big fail, if we let enough of those little failures compound over time, they will eventually turn into the types of big failures that we all want to avoid.

Our hope is that this list of self-discipline quotes will help you avoid such failure, because what is failure but a consequence of a long list of accrued little failures which happen as a result of too little discipline. Brian Tracy once said….

“The Habit of Self-Discipline Virtually Guarantees Your Success in Life.”

Now, we can either develop the habit of neglect, or the habit of progress and growth. So, let’s develop the habit that can and will create your better tomorrow, let’s develop the habit of self-discipline.

With that being said, we hope these quotes on self-discipline serve you in creating the habit of self-discipline.   Let them guide you towards becoming your very best and achieving the success you’re chasing after.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this page and its self-discipline quotes, please consider helping us reach our goal if inspiring and uplifting a billion people by sharing our page or one of these discipline quotes with your inner circle. Lastly, if you enjoyed these quotes, we have a hunch you’ll love these Quotes on Effort as well.

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self-discipline definition

When it comes to finding the appropriate path to success, self discipline is one of the most frequently-used terms. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t define self-discipline the same way. For some, self-discipline has to do with their ability to avoid laziness. For others, the self-discipline definition means challenging themselves to go above their regular expectations to achieve their goals.

But self-discipline is much more than this, and knowing exactly what the meaning of self-discipline is, and what it isn’t, can make all the difference in how well you wield it for your benefit.

As such, we want to set the record straight and clearly define self-discipline in a way that will bring you the best results. Of course, before we provide you with the most effective personal discipline definition, it’s important to first understand the true denotation of this phrase.

Self-Discipline Defined

So, according to Merriam Webster, the official self discipline definition is the correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.

Self-Discipline Definition

While this is a good description that many could use to create to a personal discipline definition when trying to achieve your goals, it isn’t the best definition. The best, and most effective definition for self-discipline, when it comes to the pursuit of our goals is the following:

  • A willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve a goal.
  • The ability to forgo immediate pleasure, for the exchange of long-term self-respect.
  • The ability to do what needs to be done.

Why is it this the most effective definition? Nuance. The subtle distinction between our definition, and the standard definition, is that our definition conveys the gravitas of self-discipline.

Because self-discipline is so much more than just the regulation of oneself for improvement, it should be thought of as such. Otherwise, the true life-changing benefits of having self-discipline may be impaired.

“Discipline Is The Bridge Between Goals And Accomplishment.”

– jim rohn –

Maintaining Self-Discipline

Obviously, simply reading a few definitions of self-discipline isn’t enough to actualize your personal goals. Self-discipline must be applied for it to bare its fruits. Of course, the challenge of self-discipline for everyone, is that it is difficult to maintain. Self-discipline hurts, it’s uncomfortable, and it requires massive amounts of will power and self-control. But we got you covered.

To help you master self-discipline, you’ll need to do more than just define self-discipline, you’ll need to learn how to maintain it. As such, we’ve researched the most effective methods for managing your self-discipline like a pro. So, if you’re new to practicing self discipline, here are a few techniques that can help you take charge of your life, by taking charge of your self-discipline levels.

Best Ways to Maintain Self-Discipline

1. Accept Where You Are

Oftentimes, we have trouble actionizing our goals because we are in denial about where we are. For instance, everyone knows someone whose new year’s resolution is to lose a few pounds. In the beginning, a healthy diet and exercise regimen are fun. However, the monotonous act of going to the gym convinces you that it’s okay to skip a few days. Eventually, you find yourself with the “better luck next year” mentality and never achieve your goal.

When you accept where you are, you’ll try meeting your goals in a more realistic way. Identify where you are, where you want to be, and take gradual steps toward your desired outcome.

Don’t the the gap between where you are and where you want to be discourage you.

2. Cultivate Discipline As a Habit

Discipline is difficult for everyone, especially when you try to go all in making yourself do something new. Often times big changes to our routines or efforts can doom them to fail almost before the start.

Which is why you’ll want to start small with your self-discipline habits. Yes, you’ll want to create habits, but you’ll want to do it in small steps that are easy to put forth daily.

If you want to start going to the gym everyday of the week, first try to make it there two times, then three, and then eventually graduate to five times.

Same goes for work or a side project. Don’t try to go too big to soon on a project. Start small. If you want to start working on a side hustle, start working towards it for just 30 minutes a day every day. And once you’ve created the habit, then stretch it to 45 minutes, and so on and so forth.

That said, if you can create a habit out of those things you most want to do, you’ll stay with them long-term, especially if you start small.

3. Use The Countdown Method

Have you ever seen a movie where the main character only has a few moments to make a big decision? A good example of this is if a hero is being chased by a villain and has to jump a cliff to get away. Typically, they count backwards a few seconds before springing into action.

This is a great approach when it comes to doing something that gets you closer to your goals. For example, if you want to go for a jog, set a timer for a minute. Giving yourself time to mentally shift gears and motivate yourself will raise your level of success. Once the alarm sounds, you use self discipline to take that jog.

Another form of this is Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule. If you’re not familiar with it, be sure to look into it as it’s a simple tool that’s backed by research.[1]

4. Put Your Goals Within Eyesight

When you go to the grocery store, you keep a list of items in order to avoid overspending. The same should apply to your everyday goals. It’s as simple as putting sticky notes with your short and long-term goals in rooms you go to everyday.

You can also make vision boards that will motivate you to achieve your goals. If you respond better to digital reminders, set various alarms throughout the day.

5. Start With Realistic Goals

Sometimes, you lose willpower because you set your goals too high. Say you recently decided to start running in the morning. Waking up one day and signing up for a marathon before you’re prepared can cause both mental and physical harm. People believe that motivation means chasing a dream miles ahead of them.

This isn’t the case. It’s okay to have an ultimate endgame, but you’ll have more success when you set realistic goals. With realistic goals, you have more opportunities to practice your self discipline.

If you need a bit of assistance with understanding and setting realistic goals, just remember to set them up as S.M.A.R.T. goals.[2]

6. Find People to Hold You Accountable

Sometimes, your attempts at self discipline can come up short. Therefore, it’s a good idea to find people you trust to hold you accountable.

You’re less likely to give up or cheat when you have someone to call you out. Loved ones can also give you positive reinforcement when you are practicing self discipline. This is especially beneficial when you’re feeling discouraged about your goals.

7. Leverage Self-Discipline Resources

Sometimes, all we really need to get our self-discipline levels on point is a little inspiration, a good reminder, or even a little active reprogramming. And the best way to do this is to leverage some great self-discipline resources. For example, you good leverage a healthy dose of self-discipline quotes to get inspired. Or, better yet, you could read a book or two about self-discipline and get reminded that you have the power to build your self-discipline levels to your liking.

Or, you can simply take advantage of mantras or affirmations to get your mind right about self-discipline. All of these methods are available to you. Yes, they are simple approaches, but never mistake simplicity for ineffective.

“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

That said, here are a few self-discipline resources that you can leverage today:

Final Thoughts on Self-Discipline

Without a doubt, practicing self discipline can be difficult, especially for beginners. But, when we define self-discipline, we give ourselves an advantage. And pairing a better definition for self-discipline with these simple yet effective techniques will help you expand your previous personal discipline definition and in doing so, achieve more success.

Even if you have to start with smaller goals, utilizing self discipline will restore your self-confidence for the tougher challenges ahead. Whether you go about it alone or with a loved one, these lifestyles changes will drastically improve your overall quality of life.

Till next time,


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how to build self-discipline

Self-discipline is one of the most important life skills a person possess. It’s one of those traits that impacts just about every area of our lives. When we have it under control, it positively compounds for us; impacting our sleep, nutrition, habits, and our efforts. But, the opposite is also true, when it’s neglected, the negative effects will cascade to downward to every area of our lives. As such, it is imperative to learn how to build self-discipline.

“Without Self-Discipline, Success is Impossible, Period.”

Lou Holtz

Now, developing self-discipline takes thoughtful and intentional work. It requires a high level of focus that is essential for success in nearly every phase of life. That said, we’ve pulled together some of the best daily habits you can adopt today to make building self-discipline a breeze. So, if you’re ready to learn about these key habits, then let’s get right to it.

How to Build Self-Discipline

1. Set Small Goals Daily

Goals are different for everyone, some people have small goals and some have large goals. However, committing to and working towards goals can level up your self-discipline faster than almost any other method.

However, since small goals are more easily accomplished and get used to that feeling of accomplishment sooner. Things like sending an email to a client or changing your bed linen may be small or things you’ve put off. Making them a goal and accomplishing them will give you the feeling of success.

The small goals that you create daily should be in the form of a “to-do” list. When you have completed a goal, you are building discipline.

2. Keep Your Goals In Front of You

There are so many distractions in our everyday life. From smartphones and social media to television and radio, shiny objects are dangling in front of us at every turn. Having our goals in our face where we can see them daily helps keep us focused.

So don’t hesitate to write those goals on post-it notes, have them on your mirror, create an elaborate vision board, use your screensaver, or paste them to your headboard.

Whatever works for you, what you see daily is what you work to manifest. Keeping your goals in front of you helps you visualize and eventually manifest.

Related: Why You Must Write Down Your Goals

3. Learn How To Prioritize

What you have to do daily or even monthly all have a certain priority level in your life. Understanding what is essential and what is less relevant is essential to your success. When everything seems important, the number one tip is that you cannot do everything. Aside from that, some tips to prioritizing are:

  • Deciding what’s urgent, what important and what you want to do but can wait.
  • Get your job list out of your head and down on paper – create a “to-do” list.
  • Group similar tasks together.
  • Figure out how you will deal with distractions.
  • Get to work.

4. Understand Adversity

Adversity is when we face hardship, difficulty, misfortune, or an overall tough time during specific periods in life. Sometimes trouble can get us off track or distract us from achieving goals. Everyone faces adversity at some point in their lives.

Understanding how adversity will impact us, can help us foresee what we must do, how we should plan for it when it comes. By thinking forward about our potential adversities and understanding how we’ll react when they come, will keep us on track when the disruptions inevitably come.

Related: Link Between Self-Control and Success

5. Remove Distractions

Distractions can be anything from your cell phones, your neighbor’s lawnmower to social media notifications. Understanding how distractions affect you and can keep you from performing your job are essential.

However, more important than recognizing distractions is removing them. If necessary, put your phone in another room while you work. If you are working from home, you can set a kitchen clock for the amount of time you want to work without distraction.

The trick is to remove the distraction or temptation long before it happens. Removing distractions is a habit that puts you in control of uninterrupted time to work towards your goals.

6. Know Your Weaknesses

We all have weaknesses. Sometimes they are self-imposed, temptations, and other times they are triggers. However, when we are honest about our weaknesses and the things we struggle with, we understand how to keep ourselves out of certain situations and create habits of self-discipline.

Learning how to build self-discipline helps those confronted with situations that may work against their goals. They are honest with themselves and continuously work towards success.

Related: Best Books on Building Discipline

7. Use An Accountability Partner

Accountability is taking responsibility for your life and your goals. Having an accountability friend is about more than someone to cosign all your thoughts and actions. They don’t just pat you on the back when you reach goals. An accountability friend brings positivity into your life with positive reactions. Other benefits of an accountability friend are:

Give a different perspective on your goals.
An accountable friend can serve as an independent eyewitness of your goals and how being self-disciplined guides your decisions.

Helps you stay motivated.
An accountability friend is like having your cheerleader. They encourage you to keep going.

Helps you strategize and plan.
Accountability friends are uniquely suited to help you strategize and plan out your goals. They allow you to understand how your plan to get from point A to point B is attainable.

Serves as a reminder.
An accountable friend is more powerful than a vision board. They are vocal advocates for your goals and will remind you why you are on a particular path.

Other Benefits of Self-Discipline

Self-discipline gives you the strength to persevere, helps you stay motivated, and keeps you from giving in to negative thoughts and feelings. It is that ability you have to make yourself do what needs to be done, even when you don’t want to do them.

There are numerous other benefits of developing and using self-discipline. Benefits like the following:

  • You are more likely to achieve long-term goals.
  • It promotes academic success.
  • It helps you maintain focus.
  • It makes you mentally healthier.
  • You feel more resilient.
  • You feel happier.
  • It helps you make better decisions.

Bonus Resource for Discipline

Alright, here’s one last resource to help you build your discipline. It’s a short video that gives a handful of extremely helpful tips that will undoubtedly help you on your journey to master self-discipline. Enjoy!

Video Credit: Thomas Frank (Subscribe Here)

Final Thoughts on Building Self-Discipline

As mentioned earlier, choosing to build self-discipline takes thoughtful and intentional work that is essential for success in nearly every phase of life and has several benefits, among them promoting academic success, making you mentally healthy, and helping you feel healthier.

Related: Inspiring Discipline Quotes

While developing self-discipline is about more than just cutting bad habits, it is an attainable trait. There are many ways to develop self-discipline, but these seven daily habits are probably the best place to start.

These habits are setting small goals daily, keeping your goals in your face where you can see them, learning how to prioritize goals, understanding adversity and ways to deal with it, knowing your weaknesses, and getting yourself an accountability partner. Once you make these daily habits a part of your life, you will have achieved the discipline to knock just about all of your goals out of the park.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this article on how to build self-discipline, then there’s a good chance you’ll love this article on the link between self-discipline and happiness.

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Best Books on Discipline

Ahhh, self-discipline, that pain-in-the-a** success attribute that most of us wish were easier to wield.  If I told you there was a pill you could take to increase your self-discipline, would you want one?

Hahaha, so would I.

Unfortunately, there is no pill.

But, I do have something for you that is far better than some easy peasy pill.  In fact, I have 15 of them for you.

And I am confident you could benefit from them.

How can I be so sure?


Statistics.  Statistically speaking, 92% of people who set goals at the beginning of each year, don’t achieve them (University of Scranton.)   That stat alone, says so much about the state of our collective self-discipline.

It reveals that most people can’t stick to a simple goal they set out to achieve.

How is it that so many people fail to achieve what they really want?

I mean, nobody sets a goal they don’t think they can achieve.

Nobody sets a goal around something they don’t sincerely want either.

Yet, so many still fail to reach the simple goals they set for themselves, year after year.

And what about the big goals?  Let’s not even go there.


Here’s the most likely culprit.  When the results we go after don’t come fast enough, and we realize what we’re chasing seems like more of a hassle than we first imagined, we second-guess ourselves.  And as we continue to pursue our goals, we slowly begin making up our minds that the pain of consistent self-discipline is a cost we aren’t willing to pay.  The pain bests us.

So, what do we do?

We stop striving for our goal.

If that scenario sounds familiar, then you’ve had your own struggles with self-discipline.  In short, self-discipline is likely hard for you.

But, you don’t have to feel too bad about it (just a little bad), because you are not alone.  Self-discipline is painful for just about everyone.  But just because it’s painful, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to find more of it.

Truth is, self-discipline is a pain that is good for you.  It’s so good for you that it really shouldn’t be seen as pain at all.

Like Euripides said…. “Do not consider painful what is good for you.”


My friend, self-discipline is a worthy characteristic to improve.  It’s worthy because it has the power to lead you from where you are now, to where you want to be, faster than any other human quality.

Self-discipline is a force to be reckoned with.  When it is strong, it will keep you moving forward, progressing towards your goals till you hit them.

On the flip side, self-discipline is also something everyone struggles with at some point in their lives.  And when it’s weak your achievements will be meek.

So go big, keep going for those big goals, but make sure your self-discipline is strong before you do so.

Why?  Because trying to achieve a goal without self-discipline, is like trying to ride a bicycle across a hilly countryside and expecting to get up the harder, steeper hills without peddling.

It’s just not going to happen.  Which is why goal achievement without self-discipline is impossible.

Fortunately, you can build and craft your self-discipline to your liking.  And you can do it in a short amount of time.

The more you build it, the more and more achievements you’re likely to see in your life.

And I have just the thing to help you begin building your self-discipline.

Here are 14 self-discipline books you should read to help you fortify your self-discipline.

You’ll strengthen your discipline just by reading them, because it takes discipline to read books.

But, you’ll also gain powerful self-discipline mindset insights, insights that will help you become the master over your very own.

So here you go my friends, 15 stepping stones to higher and better levels of self-discipline.


Self Discipline Books

[Each book featured has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links below, we may earn commission.]

1. The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect’ is like a manifesto for self-discipline.  The author of this book is Darren Hardy, who is the former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, a serial entrepreneur, mutli-millionaire,  and the author of a few other books.  And you know what?  This guy knows a thing or two about success and self-discipline.

Darren sums it up well in his book when he gives the formula for how to create radical change in our lives.  The formula is this: “Small smart choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”

Small smart choices come down to small daily self-disciplines.

This book is worth the read because it will help you realize that it is the small everyday choices you make, not the big disciplines, that determine the size of your achievements.

After reading this, self-discipline will seem less daunting, more manageable, and perhaps even a bit attractive.  Get this book, and let Darren sell you on the power of self-discipline and it can do to transform the outcome of your life.

best self discipline books

2. Mastery

Mastery’ is a masterpiece.   This book was authored by Robert Greene, and it covers a wide spectrum of ideas that coalesces around what it takes to become a master.  A master of your craft, your profession, a master of your life.

Much of the material in the book is pulled from the author’s vast knowledge of historical and modern masters to help you realize what it takes to become a master, the likes of Mozart, Leonardo Da Vinci, Goethe, John Coltrane, Marcel Proust, and many others.

He demonstrates that Mastery is a simple process that is accessible to anyone who is willing to put in the time, effort, dedication and sacrifice to create masterful work.

His reference to Leonardo Da Vinci’s motto, Ostinato Rigore, meaning stubborn rigor sums up what kind of self-discipline is required to achieve your life’s task (your purpose).

To strengthen your self-discipline and learn what it takes to become the master of your fate, this is definitely book you should digest.

best self discipline books

3. The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct‘ approaches self-discipline and self-control from a more academic stand point.  It’s a good self discipline book, but if I am honest, it’s quite boring to read.

If you are true student of self-discipline and self-control though, it will be worth it.

It’s worth your time because it will help you gain clarity on why self-discipline seems so challenging to master for so many people.  The clarity gained from this book can lead to better decisions, and better decisions always leads to better results.

Best Self Discipline Books

4. The Master Key to Riches

This book is a powerful book for building self-discpline.  Every chapter provides insight upon insight on the habits and types of efforts that are required for you to achieve more in life.

The most important chapter though, is chapter 12, because it deals solely with self-discipline.  Chapter 12 makes a strong case for why you should work on becoming self-disciplined, especially if wealth, success, and riches are things you are striving for.

And let’s be honest, money, success, and power are things we’re all striving for.  So give this one a read, and learn why self-discipline is the master key to riches.  Then put what you learn to use, and build the rich and abundant life you deserve for yourself.

best self discipline books

5. The War of Art

In my opinion, out of all of the best books on discipline, this one is the best.  However, this book is listed and #5 because it was primarily written for creative types who know the self-sabotaging challenges that come with trying to create great work consistently.

Even if you are not an artist, author, or entrepreneur, this book will help you realize the struggle to create is real, but that it can be conquered.

I believe this book is for everyone because we are all creators, creators and designers of our own lives.

Now the author doesn’t call out self-discipline directly through the book, rather, he positions it as “Resistance”.  But, through his concept of “Resistance” clearly communicates how you must commit to your work, to becoming a pro, and how when you do, you’ll be applying the self-discipline you’ve needed to do what you’ve always wanted.

It’s a good kick in the pants that will help you deal with your self-discipline challenges in an effective way. So give it read.

self discipline books

6. The Practicing Mind

 If you are looking for a new perspective on how to build your self-discipline, then this book is for you.   Thomas M. Sterner makes a strong case for the importance mindset plays on how self-disciplined we are.  He does a good job relating his personal experiences with mastering golf, piano lessons, and book writing, using the practicing mind process.

You’ll learn that with the right awareness and mindset, you can better master just about anything.  His biggest urging is to learn to love the process of whatever it is you are seeking to accomplish, to do so, is to develop a practicing mind.

And when you’ve developed a practicing mind, the self-discipline and focus we all struggle with, becomes easier to wield.

A slow read, but it has some gems in it for sure.

self discipline books

7. Willpower:  Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength

Roy Baumeister is highly admired psychologists who teamed up with the renowned New York Times science writer, John Tierney, to create what is in a sense a self-control manifesto.  Both authors do a great job of taking their vast knowledge of people and human psychology, to effectively sum up the power of willpower.

They give great examples of how we can refuel our willpower, and create effective habits that can actually make it easier for us to control ourselves.  In short, you’ll learn the science behind self-control and many new and unique methods to help you master yours.

All in all, it’s a great book to read and an excellent building block to help you level up your self-discipline.

self discipline books

8. Think and Grow Rich

This book belongs in almost every self-improvement category, but it really shines when it comes to self-discipline.

When you read this book, you’ll gain a new awareness to success, gaining riches, and all that other achievement jazz.   But most importantly, it will drill the point home, that no success, no great riches, no high achievements can be made if you have not mastered your thoughts.

And sure enough, the mastery of your thoughts comes down to your ability to discipline your mind on how to think, what to allow into your mind, and what kind of thoughts you should consistently be focusing on to achieve your goals.

This book is a must-read for the true seeker of success and self-discipline.

think and grow rich self discipline book

9. No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline

Brian Tracy has been around for a very long time, but his book on discipline, ‘No Excuses’ is still a great starting place if you are ambitious, just finishing up your schooling, or about to get started in the working world.

He’s a pretty much a ‘self-development guru’, since he’s been at this for so long.  He covers many success maxims you’ve probably already heard, but he does a good job of tying them all together around the subject of self-discipline.

Reading this book will help you realize the value self-discipline plays in just about every area of our life.

No Excuses Self Discipline Book

10.  The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg does a great job illuminating the complexity of the science behind our habits and breaking it down into digestible insights.

You’ll learn that the bulk of what we does is governed by our habits, and how with a little bit of disciplined awareness, you can master the art of turning bad habits into good ones.

So, if you are have some bad habits you need to change, or some new habits you need to create, and want to ensure you have the discipline to see them through, get this book, it is the ultimate cheat sheet for mastering your habits.

11. The Warrior Ethos

This book not your typical book on discipline. It’s about an approach to life, it’s about an ethos.

It’s about an ethos that has become less and less apart of modern-day culture, yet, is the exact ethos most fit to help you embrace the struggles and toil of your every aspiration.

The tenets of the Warrior Ethos, directed inward, can inspire you to fight against and conquer the enemies that can be found within our own hearts and minds.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s not a book 100% dedicated to self-discipline, so don’t expect a bunch of science and data.  But, you can expect to be inspired and fired up to gain the discipline of a Spartan.

Read this book and gain the mental toughness you’ll need, if you want to have the self-discipline of a champion.

best self discipline books

12. Self-Discipline

Coming in at number 12 on our list of books for building self-discipline is aptly named… ‘Self-Discipline’.  This is a newer self-discipline book, but it deserves mentioning as it is jam packed with powerful principles that can help you build the mental toughness and tightened mental focus that lead to achievement.  It is truly a simple and easy read, and gets right to the point on what self-discipline is and how anyone can get more of it.

Out of all of our best books on discipline, this book has been listed because it does a phenomenal job helping the reader learn that self-discipline is more than just a skillset, it is a lifestyle.  And in my opinion, once you’ve accepted this fact and truly understand it… your ability to become the master of yourself and by extension, your fate will be transformed.

Self-Discipline Book

13. Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed is by far one of the more popular books on self-discipline and life improvement in general. It’s has garnered the prestigious title of a NY Times Best Seller, which we believe is a well deserved title. The author of Make Your Bed is Admiral William H. McRaven. And he wrote this book after giving a commencement speech that went viral. The message he conveyed it that commencement speech, and what he lays forth in this book, is about how the little things make a big difference in how our life turns out.

It’s is certainly not an academic book as it contains various short stories and anecdotes for life. However, it is a book that will at the very least inspire you to do the little things a little bit better and a little more consistently. And this will ultimately help you change your life. After all, that’s what self-discipline is all about, isn’t it? Consistently doing the little things.

Make Your Bed - Book on Discipline

14. The Science of Self-Discipline

Best-selling author and human psychology researcher Peter Hollins has created a one-of-a-kind resource with his book The Science of Self-Discipline. As someone who has studied high performance individuals for over a decade, Hollins really nails the psychology and science behind behind self-discipline in this book.

His book provides an 11 chapter road map that will help you understand everything from how your biology, habits, mindset, and environment can and will impact your discipline levels. As such, this discipline book comes highly recommended and should be added to your reading list as well, if you have yet to read it.

Science of Self-Discipline Book

15. The Marshmallow Test

Walter Mischel is one of the world’s leading experts on self-control. His groundbreaking work on self-control (a.k.a. the famous marshmallow test) has helped him get cited more than any other psychologist when it comes to self-control, as he’s shown better than anybody else, the direct link that exists between delayed gratification and one’s ability to create a successful life for themselves.

With that said, this is a great book to study if you’re looking to master self-discipline and self-control, as Mischel provides countless antidotes and strategies that just about anyone can implement to gain mastery of both.

The Marshmallow Test Book on Discipline

Bonus Self-Discipline Book: Discipline Equals Freedom

Sometimes, what we all really need to get the discipline we want is the cold hard truth. And that is exactly what Jocko Willink lays down for us in his book Discipline Equals Freedom. Hands down this is one of the best books on discipline.

This book is a must have for every discipline seeking individual, because Jocko speaks truth. No doubt, you may find what he has to say abrasive, maybe even a bit too straight-forward. But if you are truly seeking discipline, then you should be okay with his methods. Why? Because the ends justify the means.

This is a self-help book we all need to read in this day and age. And at the moment out of all of these books on discipline, this one is currently my favorite. It’s a book that will help you discipline your thoughts, which will then help you discipline your actions. So, if you’re ready to learn the simple truths about self-discipline, truths that will lead to disciplined action, then this book is for you.

Discipline Equals Freedom


There you have it friends, the 15 best books on discipline that can help you improve your self-discipline and self-control.  But don’t just let your learning lead to knowledge, let your learning lead to action. And for some bonus methods to discipline your thoughts, be sure to check out these highly effective discipline affirmations, and our highly popular discipline quotes.

Remember, all successful people are highly disciplined people.  All unsuccessful people are usually undisciplined and unable to control their actions and appetites.

So, read these self discipline books, leverage your resources, and put what you learn into action, so when they talk about the 8% of people who follow through on their goals, they’ll be talking about you.

Till next time,


PS – These are the best books on discipline, no doubt about it!  But if you’re looking for something to truly help you BE self-disciplined NOW, self-disciplined enough to actually achieve the big harry audacious goals you’ve set for yourself, then this is for you.

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