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Quotations about Self-Control

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
~Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence, 1967
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, Essays, 1588
How like herrings and onions our vices are in the morning after we have committed them.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.
~Bob Moawad
I have been my own disciple and my own master. And I have been a good disciple but a bad master.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.
~Author Unknown
Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
~Jim Rohn
All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.
~Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887
The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address.
~Lane Olinghouse
It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
~Buddha
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
You must admit you have self-control before you can use it.
~Carrie Latet
What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don't want to discourage it completely.
~Franklin P. Jones
Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.
~Oscar Wilde
It's all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.
~Mick Jagger
I bid you conquer in your warfare against your four great enemies, the world, the devil, the flesh, and above all, that obstinate and perverse self-will, unaided by which the other three would be comparatively powerless.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
I am,indeed,a king,because I know howto rule myself.
~Pietro Aretino, 10 May 1537
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'
~Stephen Covey
If we resist our passions, it is more because of their weakness than because of our strength.
~Fran├žois, duc de La Rochefoucauld
For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.
~Friedrich Nietzsche
The first attribute that characterizes the greater man from the moron is his thicker layer of inhibition.
~Martin H. Fischer
Heaven is on the other side of that feeling you get when you're sitting on the couch and you get up and make a triple-decker sandwich. It's on the other side of that, when you don't make the sandwich. It's about sacrifice.... It's about giving up the things that basically keep you from feeling. That's what I believe, anyway. I'm always asking, "What am I going to give up next?" Because I want to feel.
~Jim Carrey, from a Michael Fleming interview in the March 2004 issue of Playboy magazine
An element of abstention, of restraint, must enter into all finer joys.
~Vida D. Scudder
Conscience whispers, but interest screams aloud.
~J. Petit-Senn
Not using faults does not mean that one does not have them.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again.
~Korman's Law
Who is fit to govern others?He who governs himself.You might as well have said: nobody.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827There is no allurement or enticement, actual or imaginary, which a well-disciplined mind may not surmount. The wish to resist more than half accomplishes the object.
~Charlotte Dacre, The Passions, 1811
Most people want to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
~Robert Orben
Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than a proper bringing-up, a sound set of values - and witnesses.
~Franklin P. Jones
About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
~Tom Wilson
There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.
~Mark Twain
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
~Thomas Jefferson
We like slipping, but not falling; our real anxiety is to be tempted enough.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
~Benjamin Franklin
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
Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.
~Author Unknown
You are a puppet, but in the hands of the infinite, which may be your own.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911