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Quotations about Self-Control
Discipline is remembering what you want. ~David Campbell
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
May I ever practice self-control,
May I learn to be patient and kind;
May I meet my problems with wisdom;
If I do, I will have peace of mind.
May I keep my temper every day;
May I be honest and fair and brave;
May calmness cover me, as a cloak,
That my own self-respect I may save.
When I give way to anger and fear,
And when to passions I am a slave,
I am harming my body and soul
That my God, in His love, to me gave.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "When I Am Master of My Soul" (1940s)
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, 1827
Serving one’s own passions is the greatest slavery. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia
There 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
[I]t is easy to regard the mind and the body as two slaves trained to obey the imperial soul.... [I]n this trinity of soul, mind, and body, it is sometimes hard to tell which of the three is at work; and the personality of each of the three parties interferes a good deal with that of each of the others. But if you who read will remember that you are an infinite child of God, and can partake of his nature, and that you have given to you the management and direction of your mind and your body, you will be saved many failures. ~Edward Everett Hale, "How to Get the Best of It," c.1892 ("...in a few words and in short metre, the notions I have gained from experience of the best way for handling one's machinery of life so as to get the best and the most of it...)
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