A person without self-control is like a breached city, one with no walls.
—Proverbs 25:28 CEB
Self-control is the ability to keep cool while someone is making it hot for you.
If you would learn self-mastery, begin by yielding yourself to the One Great Master.
—Johann Friederich Lobstein (1736–1784)
Every temptation that is resisted, every noble aspiration that is encouraged, every sinful thought that is repressed, every bitter word that is withheld, adds its little item to the impetus of that great movement which is bearing humanity onward toward a richer life and higher character.
—John Fiske (1842–1901)
For want of self-restraint many men are engaged all their lives in fighting with difficulties of their own making and rendering success impossible by their own cross-grained ungentleness; whilst others, it may be much less gifted, make their way and achieve success by simple patience, equanimity, and self-control.
—Samuel Smiles (1812–1904)
Conquer yourself. Till you have done this, you are but a slave; for it is almost as well to be subjected to another’s appetite as to your own.
—Richard Burton (1861–1940)
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)
Do you want to know the man against whom you have most reason to guard yourself? Your looking-glass will give you a very fair likeness of his face.
—Richard Whately (1787–1863)
To rule self and subdue our passions is the more praiseworthy, because so few know how to do it.
—Francesco Guiccardini (1483–1540)
Over the times you have no power.—To redeem a world sunk in dishonesty has not been given to you. Solely over one man do you have quite absolute, uncontrollable power.—Him redeem and make honest.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)
Self-control is a key factor in achieving success. We can’t control everything in life, but we can definitely control ourselves.
—Jan Mckingley Hilado (b. 1991)
Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970)
Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself—and be lenient to everybody else.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887)
A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.
—C.S. Lewis (1898–1963)
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
—Aristotle (384 BC–322 BC)
To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)
O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in Thee.
Let Thy mighty calmness reign in me;
Rule me, O King of gentleness,
King of peace.
Give me control, great power of self-control,
Control over my words, thoughts and actions.
From all irritability, want of meekness, want of gentleness, dear Lord, deliver me.
By Thine own deep patience, give me patience.
Make me in this and all things more and more like Thee.
—St John of the Cross (1542–1591)
We are never going to enjoy stability, we are never going to enjoy spiritual maturity until we learn how to do what’s right when it feels wrong, and every time you do what’s right by a decision of your will using discipline and self-control to go beyond how you feel, the more painful it is in your flesh, the more you’re growing spiritually at that particular moment.
—Joyce Meyer (b. 1943)
Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
—Seneca (4 BC–AD 65)
If a man will understand how intimately, yea, how inseparably, self-control and happiness are associated, he has but to look into his own heart, and upon the world around. … Looking upon the lives of men and women, he will perceive how the hasty word, the bitter retort, the act of deception, the blind prejudice, and foolish resentment bring wretchedness and even ruin in their train.
—James Allen (1855–1942)
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