As the saying goes: The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.

If every man with a dream could become a great man, the world would be filled to the brim with achievers. Unfortunately, however, a dream is not enough. Not even close. A dream remains aloft in the clouds. It’s hard work that assembles the dream into a reality, brick by brick, baby step by baby step.

Indeed, hard work can transform even mediocre people into great men. Human history is littered with men who had great ideas but lacked the drive to put them into action. It also has little shortage of men who started with nothing — not even the greatest amount of natural talent — but were able to make their dream a reality because they put the work in.

It is self-discipline that is the ultimate tool for self-actualization. Whether one seeks to take over the world or simply become a better person, self-discipline is a prerequisite. There are many aspects of our lives that we cannot control. How much work we put in, however, is one of them.

How fortunate that this can make all the difference.

What’s more, some of the greatest people to ever live understood this, intuitively if nothing else. Read the following quotes about what they have to say. Positive thinking is powerful. Positive action and self-discipline are much more so.

Quotes About Self Discipline


Teddy Roosevelt quote on hard work


“With self-discipline most anything is possible.”

Theodore Roosevelt


M. Scott Peck quote on hard work


“Self-discipline is self-caring.”

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth


Mark Cuban quote on hard work


“There’s only one thing you can control in life: your own effort.”

Mark Cuban


Elbert Hubbard quote on hard work


“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


Henry Ward Beecher quote on hard work

“‎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


Jim Rohn quote on hard work


“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

Jim Rohn


Thomas Jefferson quote on hard work

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

Thomas Jefferson


Aristotle quote on hard work


“Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules.”

Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics


Ryan Holiday quote on hard work

“In the Dominican Republic, Fader says, there is a saying among aspiring professional baseball players: You don’t walk off the island. They mean that the only way to go pro is to swing your way out. You have to hit and you can’t be choosey. But the problem is as soon as these players go pro, the only thing their coaches want is what’s called ‘plate discipline.’ You can’t be swinging at every pitch in the pros-you have to have judgement. This is a paradox in sports as well as life. When we are aspiring, we must hustle and be aggressive and then suddenly, we must become self-disciplined and strategic. If we can’t, we’ll end up right back where we came from. I am learning-and need to continue to learn-that lesson.”

Ryan Holiday

Quotes About Hard Work and Working Diligently


Babe Ruth quote on hard work


“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

Babe Ruth


Vince Lombardi quote on hard work


“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.”

Vince Lombardi

Calvin Coolidge quote on hard work

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Calvin Coolidge


Coleman Cox quote on hard work


“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Coleman Cox


Grant Cardone quote on hard work


“The average call me obsessed; the successful call me for advice.”

Grant Cardone


Jim Rohn quote on hard work

“Some people plant in the spring and leave in the summer. If you’ve signed up for a season, see it through. You don’t have to stay forever, but at least stay until you see it through.”

Jim Rohn


Pablo Picasso quote on hard work


“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso


Francis Crick quote on hard work

“It is amateurs who have one big bright beautiful idea that they can never abandon. Professionals know that they have to produce theory after theory before they are likely to hit the jackpot.”

Francis Crick


Arnold Schwarzenegger quote on hard work

“Mohammed Ali worked his butt off. I saw it first hand. I remember there was a sports writer in the gym when Ali was working out doing sit-ups. He asked Ali, “How many sit-ups do you do?”, and he said, “I don’t start counting until it hurts.” Now think about that, he doesn’t start counting sit-ups until he feels pain. That’s when he starts counting. That is working hard. So you can’t get around the hard work, it doesn’t matter who you are. Work your ass off. There is no magic pill. There is no magic out there. You can not get around, you have to work and work – it’s all hard work.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger


Michelangelo quote on hard work


“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”



Theodore Roosevelt quote on hard work

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt


Michael Jordan quote on hard work


“Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work.”

Michael Jordan


Thomas Edison quote on hard work


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison quote on hard work


“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

Thomas Edison


Frederick Douglass quote on hard work

“Allowing only ordinary ability and opportunity, we may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting and indefatigable work into which the whole heart is put… There is no royal road to perfection.”

Frederick Douglass


Elon Musk quote on hard work


“No matter how hard you work, someone else is working harder.”

Elon Musk


Frank Lloyd Wright quote on hard work


“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright