100 Best Books on Self-Discipline and Self-Control

Self-discipline is a crucial component of success. It’s the ability to control your thoughts, actions, and emotions to achieve goals. 

If you want to be successful in life, self-discipline is one of the essential skills that you can develop. 

The best scenario would be when you’ve learned how to control your impulses and desires. You must develop self-discipline and willpower. 

You will see a lot of people struggling with this issue. It takes practice and effort. But once become an expert in it, master it, and it will transform your life permanently.

Are you looking for something constructive to read that can improve your life? If yes, then these books might be something that can help you. 

Self-discipline and self-control are two essential skills that every human being should possess. These traits allow us to achieve our goals and live a better life. 

Unfortunately, they are also low qualities. To develop them, we need to read books that teach us how to overcome our weaknesses and build new habits.

Here you will get 50+ books that teach you exactly how to become a self-disciplined person, with a list of 100+ additional books. 

These books were written by experts who have studied human psychology and behavior for many years. 

They’ve studied everything from addiction to relationships to Happiness. And these are the books that helped them understand why people fail and how to fix it.


The Willpower Instinct: Kelly McGonigal

This book teaches readers about the what, how, why, and when of willpower from various perspectives. 

She records and accounts not just for all the research done on the psychological aspect but also the neurobiology and medical aspect of self-control. 

If you are interested in how willpower impacts your intellectual, cognitive, and physical abilities, this is the book to go. 

It looks at mindfulness, nutrition, mental health, and self-compas­sion in self-discipline and includes practical advice regarding productivity, habits, and procrastination.


Mindset: Carol S. Dweck 

The premise of this book is simple. You either believe that your intelligence is fixed or malleable. If you think your intelligence is fixed, you tend to work hard at school because you don’t want to look stupid. 

However, if you believe that your intelligence can grow through hard work, you’ll do whatever it takes to get smarter.

You get the explanation on both sides of the given arguments in this book, along with examples. 

For example, there’s a story about a student who was told he wasn’t smart enough to go to college. He ended up getting into Harvard anyway. 

Another example is a student who failed his first test and didn’t study for it. However, when he retook the same exam, he scored higher.

It teaches you how to use positive thinking to help you reach your goals.

This book is considered the seminal work for Growth Mindset for the general public. If you want to learn more about self-control which falls under the giant umbrella called personal growth, this is the book, to begin with.

Professor Carol Dwek is one of the most well-known researchers in positive psychology. 

There is a significant contribution of her to the scientific literature. This is a short but very insightful read for anyone who wants to understand fixed vs. variable pricing growth mindsets.

Dweck’s work on the importance of hard work in personal growth is extensively helpful for those who are keenly interested in self-improvement endeavors and explorations. Notably, it focuses on the role of consistent effort, practice, and hard work. 

Mindset is based upon solid psychological science but is easily digested and enjoyable to read for mainstream readers who don’t want to slog through mountains of data. 

It explains the concept thoroughly and uses plenty of examples to illustrate key ideas.


The Practising Mind by Thomas M. Sterner

If you want to make new resolutions or have global goals for yourself, you should read this book. It provides fresh and creative ways of looking at achieving goals and may provide further motivation.

Thomas Sterner has written an excellent book on the often-forgotten science and art of practice! 

The author makes a compelling argument for the importance of the “practicing mind” mindset when achieving goals.

He illustrates how the mindset works through his experiences with piano lessons, golfing, and writing books. 

This book will teach you that with the right attitude and approach, you can achieve almost anything.


The Paradox of Choice: Barry Schwartz

We begin our list of best books on discipline with “The Paradox of Choice” because, in today’s world, we face numerous options and must make countless decisions every day.

This book is the best read if you want to simplify your life, spend less of your time sorting through your myriad of choices, feel happier, and enjoy a better quality of life.

We wasted so much time on trivial stuff like what to wear today or what t-shirt to purchase, or which is the best deal.

We wasted our valuable energy on such things that, in the end, made us feel frustrated and overwhelmed, taking away from us any discipline we had.

It is essential to understand that your mind has a limited capacity. Even though discipline is something that makes a human mind on autopilot mode but it never gives you more time.  


The Now Habit: Neil Fiore

This book comprises many strategies and techniques to help anyone who struggles with procrastination – and perfectionists who wish to improve their productivity. 

It’s an easy read and provides plenty of helpful advice for people who don’t understand why their procrastination is happening.

By getting deeper into the unique difficulties, Dr. Neil Fiore encourages his readers to gain a deeper understanding of their unique challenges and deal with them in a way that works for them.

If you want to help people do what they want to, create positive habits, and get rid of their old habits, this book can be beneficial. 

No one will say this is the best book to read, but it’s highly recommended for individuals who want to complete tasks and don’t want to waste time worrying about procrastination.


The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect is a book by Brian Tracy that explains how people can achieve success through discipline.

Darren Hardy has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. He’s also a multi-millionaire former publisher and co-authored various bestselling books. 

The book is basically about the idea that small everyday decisions will lead you to success or failure by default.

You won’t find any gimmicks or a magic pill in this book. Still, you will learn a few fundamental principles that have guided the most significant achievements in business, relationships, and beyond.

This beautiful book can replicate your success, monitor your progress, and achieve what you want. 


No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline – Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy has written several popular books on goal setting, so his work on goal-setting is extensive. 

You get three hundred pages spread into twenty-one chapters in this book, where there are multiple strategic exercises you can practice to achieve a given goal. 

Financial, personal, social, and economic goals are the four distinct primary areas in which the book is divided. You will see; that these areas get separated into different sub-domains such as health, friendship, leadership, and more. 

He stresses nine disciplines in particular, including daily goal setting, hard work, persistence, and so on. It’s best described as motivational because it’s not a very heavy read. 

You can easily switch between different chapters as you feel like reading them.

You lie about setting goals and achieving dreams all the time. They say that when you put all the hard work and dedication into your set goals, eventually, you reach that. But that’s not how this works. 

So, why should you consider this statement a lie? Because all the set goals you decided come with their expiration date.  

And it is something every person out there faces when they see that even after putting in so much hard work, they will never live their dream. 

It can happen to anyone regardless of how hard or smart they work. That’s the way things are.

With the revelation of this fact, when you achieve

Knowing this fact about goals and achieving them takes away the chances to blame yourself when things don’t turn out as you expect, as hard you’ve worked.

Self-blame makes us feel bad about ourselves. It makes us think we’re failures who deserve no good things. It makes us feel like giving up on our dreams.

Self-discipline helps you get rid of negative thoughts and feelings. Discipline is your trusted companion to help you get up and go.

When you’re feeling down, it reassures you there is a light at your end of the tunnel; too excited and a bit rash, it gives you the patience and confidence to keep calm and take one step forward.

Self-discipline allows you to stay focused and not get distracted by things that don’t matter.


The Power of Habit: – Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg is also famous as the writer behind the New York Times. He wrote this book on habits. 

He wrote this book after long hours of observation of the collective habits of the people. The complexity of human behavior fascinated the author to explore how the human brain, habits, and energy are used in work.  

You get this insightful book about the habits that sit deep within you, which can sabotage our best plans, goals, and set intentions. It also talks about how behaviors play a crucial role in setting habits. 

He discusses some of the findings on the brain level and explains the three stages of cue, habit, and reward that re-models your behavior.

He presents specific strategies for changing habits, regaining self-control, and overcoming procrastination throughout the book and more towards the latter parts.

Developing good habits is, in part, becoming self-disciplined.

Discover in this book:

  • What are habits?
  • Second, how you create them
  • If you want to change unwanted behaviors (such as smoking), you need to change three things: 1) the
  • Fourth, things that affect your habits and you might not be aware of include:
  • Fifth, pressures you may be subjected to could ruin your discipline and how best to deal with them.

Even if all the aspects of the book might not be suitable for you, there are still quite substantial parts that can help you a great deal. 

You need to start from small habits and cluster them together consistently to build a self-disciplined way of life. 


The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigle wrote this book which entails a detailed explanation of the science that goes behind self-control.  

Everything one wants to know to be happy, productive, and well using the scientific method is in this book. 

The Willpower Instinct will help anyone who wants to learn how to achieve their goals better. He explains that we need to be aware of the limits of willpower if we wish to exercise true self-discipline.

You will also learn cutting-edge insights from business, psychology, neuroscience, medicine, and economics. The willpower instinct will help you make good decisions and achieve better results.


The Science of Self Control – Howard RACHLIN

A not too long book to read but yet packed with detailed, deep, and interesting insights you can know about harnessing willpower. 

It’s a book for people who enjoy solid data, and it examines many critical principles of self-control – how it relates to decisions, behaviors, and more.

Because it is an academic text, you will find charts and diagrams, as well as numerical data.

Regardless, Professor Rachlin does an excellent job of writing this book in a way that makes it quite interesting for anyone interested in behavioral science.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

Self-discipline is the development of habits that help you achieve goals and reach your highest potential.

This book is for you to help you develop your self-discipline. It’s also for chefs who want to learn new recipes. It gives the motivation to reach the best version of a person. 

You probably hear a lot of “Happiness is a Choice,”; but what we don’t hear often enough is how you can choose Happiness. 

Because waking up in bed and saying, “Today I choose to be happy!” doesn’t mean you choose Happiness.

That is the beauty in self-discipline and cultivating positive habits. You choose Happiness by regularly and constantly doing the things that lead to Happiness.

  • When you are proactive with things, always be ahead with the approach
  • Know exactly where you are heading out or what you set out to achieve
  • Crafting the list of your priorities smartly 
  • Attracting and welcoming only positive people into your life
  • Improving your social abilities
  • Realizing what you want out of your life
  • Approach things with an open mind and curiosity

The Little Book of Big Change: – Amy Johnson Ph.D. and Mark Howard PhD

This fascinating book by psychologist Dr. Amy Johnson explores the neuroscience of addiction and habit to argue that changing them isn’t impossible.

It’s popular among counselors, therapists, and others who help people recover from addiction. It focuses heavily on recovering from addiction but also covers how we can change our thinking patterns.

There are valuable insights for those struggling with anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, but they may sometimes be too heavy for reluctant readers.

Some highlights include Dr. Johnson’s approach to understanding habits by breaking them into smaller pieces and turning them into your inner narrative.

It could be helpful to psychologists because it has potential implications for cognitive behavioral therapy.


Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers

Are there people who are capable of being self-controlled enough to allow their fears to dictate the course of their lives? Not really!

There are two basic types of fears we are born with: loud noises and the fear of falling. All the other concerns we might experience are learned along the way.

Fears can derail your journey towards success by destroying your self-discipline and making you procrastinate.

If someone has agoraphobia, they may be able to get themself to work on time by following a strict schedule. They’re so afraid to go out into the world that they can’t even step outside their homes.

Yes, phobias are extreme, and they don’t affect many people. We all fear failure, success (or lack thereof), rejection, being judged, and embarrassing ourselves.

Whatever fear you have will ruin any self-discipline you may have because whatever fear knows to do best is to make you submit and surrender to it.

This book won’t tell you how to cure your fears; it will help you learn to trust yourself better. It will teach you that most things make you afraid, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying new things.

“Feel the fear…and do it anyway!” Do it, and you will forever be grateful to yourself for having done so. If you’re going to be evaluated by others, why not surrender to a fair like having others assess you? What if you could learn to live through it, even enjoy it?

You can learn how to overcome your fears and go beyond what you think you’re capable of. And focus on being the best version of yourself by reading this book.


Self Discipline: Lucia Georgiou

Self-discipline is a life skill. This book helps you discover yourself by teaching you all the skills you’ll need to live an honorable lifestyle.

Find out in this ebook how to get disciplined about.

  • Understanding yourself better
  • Avoiding negativity
  • Don’t let yourself get discouraged.
  • How to choose your personal goals
  • Powerful routines
  • How and when to give up
  • Gratitude is essential to life because it helps us be grateful for what we already have and appreciate what we already have.
  • Visualization is an efficient way to make your future look better.

There aren’t many resources available that teach people how to develop self-discipline. One of these books is among them. 

Many great life-changing books (such as the above) include self-control as one of their essential skills.

This book teaches you to develop self-disciplin­e as an independent skill that you can attach to any other success and happiness skill.

If you’re only looking to develop self-discipline because you already know all the other skills you need for a successful life, this is for YOU.


The Master Key to Riches

This book deserves your time and thought; if you carefully consider it, you will be rewarded.

The Master Key to Wealth is based on the Andrew Carne­gale formula for making money. Each chapter of the book provides insights into the habits, types, and skills essential for humans. 

The book explains the steps in implementing today’s most significant practical philosophy of success. This philosophy helps readers realize how to succeed in whatever goals they set for themselves.


Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman, Patrick Egan and Random House (Audiobook)

Daniel Kahneman’s bestseller Thinking Fast and Slow has already been mentioned in our Emotions Intelligence section but is still worth mentioning here.

He argues that we can operate in two modes – one that is emotional and impulsive and another that is more rational and controlled.

Everyone struggling with emotional regulation will likely benefit from this, and some may argue it’s pretty profound.

The central thesis of this book is a dichotomy among two systems: System 1 (fast, intuitive, and emotional) and system 2 (slow, deliberate, and logical).

The book outlines cognitive bias associated with each type of thinking, starting with Dan Kahneman’s classic research on loss aversion.


Willpower: – Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

The book gives you a premise that says we have a limited supply of willpower. Along with IQ, it has been argued that it is one of life’s most important determinants of whether we succeed or fail.

This book explains how self-control is linked very closely with emotions, mental health, social support, physical health, and more.

Self-control is when you consciously control how you use energy (for example, by not overeating). 

It’s about using them wisely so you don’t deplete them unnecessarily, and it’s also about knowing when to let some things go.

It’s been cited over and over again by countless other self-development authors. It’s an exciting book covering fascinating experiments to make solid and convincing arguments.


Drive: – Daniel H. Pink (Audiobook)

It’s a highly, highly popular business book with leaders, managers, and organizational development professionals.

Its central premise is that three factors underlie intrinsic motivation: a sense that one has a purpose, the freedom to choose how to achieve one’s goals, and the feeling of mastering something.

Self-discipline is not about struggling tenaciously against all odds to do so. 

When we are intrinsically motivated, it moves us toward achieving our goals much better despite the odds than if we were extrinsically motivated.

According to Pink, this is his premise, and he provides plenty of scientific evidence to back it up. 

It’s roughly six hours long and packed with plenty of corporate and academic examples to keep the listener engaged.


Mini Habits: Stephen Guise

Most people want freedom above all others. Few people know what to do when they get it.

The most excellent opportunities you miss in life, you’ve likely allowed to pass by you in the pursuit of your freedom.

Most people who claim to feel free don’t use their freedom to do much. And this is where “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” can make a difference in your life.

Learn how to use the freedom you feel when you’re not trying to control yourself. Instead of wasting your time doing nothing, start feeling free by working on your deepest desires, taking one tiny step at a time. You’ll feel free to take action because you’ve accomplished something small.

This book contains all the knowledge you need to build self-disciplin­e. Start with small steps and then continue building on them until you reach the top of the mountain.


Eat That Frog! : Brian Tracy.

It would surprise you to see how fast you can get out of procrastination when you just start what you want to do instead of waiting for others to do it for you.

This book is easy to understand and fun to read. It’s filled with lots of helpful information, so it’s ideal for your needs if you want to be more productive, master yourself, stay focused on your dreams, and achieve your potential.

Procrastination is an old habit we keep digging up and falling into. If you delay doing something, the longer it takes to get done and the worse it gets.

Read this book and get inspired. Start moving towards your bright future!


The Marshmallow Test: – Walter Mischel

Walter Mischel was a renowned psychologist who conducted the famous marshmallow test, which looked at the complexities of delayed and immediate gratification in children.

He conducted his first studies with children during the 1960s. He offered them either one marshmallow now or two in ten minutes.

After following up on these children’s development, he looked at their academic performance, weight, and other variables, which paved the way for many more research studies to follow up on his findings.

This book is more than a helpful guide to enhancing your self-control; It also provides the reader with an absorbing look into one of the most eye-opening experiments in modern psychology.


The 5 Second Rule: Mel Robbins

Other people often pushed us forward. We grew up and became adults when we were left alone to figure out what we wanted.

Yes, that is a natural progression of events. There will be someone who will hold your hand to help you cross the bridge. As you reach the other side, you get quite the clarity to move further.

But that “way forward” doesn’t come with a map. Does it?

This book is like an atlas you receive as a gift once you begin your journey toward what you want. It’s an easy-to-follow and detailed map helping to develop self-discipline, self-reliance, and self-confidence.

The main idea behind the book is to provide solid, actionable and quickly grasped information.

We often complicate things instead of taking shortcuts to the obvious solutions.


Essential Zen Habits: – Leo Babauta

Essential Zen Habits help readers to change their habits when they want to change them and deal with life’s frustrations, resistance, and unhappiness. It’s one of the most gentle guides to forming good habits.

Leo Babauta suggests simple but powerful instructions without lengthy explanations or stories.

He shares a unique technique and a six-week plan to change habits that outline specific steps to quit bad ones and find mindfulness. You will find only the things you need to implement changes in your business.


Grit: – Angela Duckworth (Audiobook)

Angela Duckworth argues that through hard work and discipline, we can accomplish what our goals are, even if we don’t have any innate talent for them.

Her success was mainly due to her passion, deliberate practice, hard work, and determination.

For those interested in how grit and self-discipline relate, Duckworth and Gross (2005) wrote an excellent paper on Self-Discipline and Grit: Related But Separate Determinants of Success in Life and Work.


The ONE Thing: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan

Distractions are everywhere; it’s hard to escape them. It’s hard to focus on your goals and dreams… But let’s keep it simple and stay on everyday tasks.

Some people won’t be able just to disconnect themselves, but others need total silence not to lose their thoughts.

Discover in this book:

  • What is the one thing that can help you become more successful and disciplined?
  • Six lies can trap or derail you from achieving your big goals.
  • There are three simple truths about productivity.
  • How to unleash your true potential and take full advantage of your ability to stay focused.

Mastery by Robert Greene

Mastery is the unique way each person can fully actualize their potential for greatness and enjoy an enjoyable life.

The book talks about a lot of things that are collected about what it takes to be a master. It’s about becoming a master of one’s craft, one’s job, a master of one’s life.

Mastery is a lot of hard work but also a path to a flourishing life. The author shares brilliant ideas and strategies that anyone who wants to improve their business processes can use.

If you feel that you’re doing “just so-so” at work and you lack a sense of purpose in life, this book will give you serious advice and help you use your time better.


Time Warrior: – Steve Chandler

Don’t you get annoyed when people show up late for your meetings? It’s frustrating to be kept waiting for something without knowing when it might end.

Do you see? Your time is valuable. You don’t want to allow others to take your time, right? However, lack of organization, organization, and consistency are doing precisely that! Spending your time.

Discover how to become a time warrior even if you’re not already one. Don’t waste your time fighting for respect from others and yourself.

Without self-discipline, there is no cherishing of time. Is there anything else?


The War of Art by Steve Pressfield

This book on self-discipline includes chapters that motivate people who want to write, paint, draw, sculpt, act, sing, dance, play an instrument, compose music, or create anything else.

It can inspire anyone wanting to exercise, lose weight, or quit an addiction.

The book is divided into three parts: Resistance, Combating Resis­tance, and Beyond Resistance. The War of Art: A lightweight guide for creative people.

Even if you’re not an artist, author, or entrepreneur, it will give you a better understanding of the struggles involved in creating something new.


Why You’re Stuck: Your Guide To Finding Freedom From Any Of Life’s Challenges – Derek Doepker

We have two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of dying. That makes us do anything we can to avoid hitting rock bottom. If you’re not at rock bottom, you’re not in a bad situation. You’re just stuck.

Which would be worse for you: being stuck in a position where you cannot move or hitting the ground and breaking something?

If you’re at rock bottom, there is only one thing for you to do: move up. Is it not? When you’re stuck, you don’t move forward.

Learn from this book about how it might happen to us to get stuck and how we can free ourselves from being suspended in mid-air.


Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert (Audiobook)

Professor Daniel Gilbert has been awarded multiple prizes for his psychological teachings and research, including the 2007 Royal Societies of Science Prize.

His look at habitual behavior thought patterns, and well-being makes it a good read if you’re curious about cognitive biases and how we might start to control them.


List Of Best Self-Disciple And Self-Control Books 

  •  As a Man Thinketh – James Allen

  •  How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie 

  • The Art of Living – Epictetus

  •  Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers

  • Essential Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change by Leo Babauta

  • The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz 

  • Law of Success – Napoleon Hill

  • The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman 

  • Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert (Audiobook)

  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck 

  •  On the Shortness of Life – Seneca 

  • Mastery by Robert Greene

  •  The Gifts of Imperfection – Brené Brown

  • The Now Habit – Neil Fiore

  • Failing Forward – John C. Maxwell

  • The War of Art by Steve Pressfield

  •  The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy 

  • The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge 

  •  Whole Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn 

  • The ONE Thing: – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan

  • The Science of Self Control – Howard RACHLIN

  •   Strength Training Anatomy – Frédéric Delavier

  •  Influence – Robert B. Cialdini (Summary)

  •  Getting to Yes – Roger Fisher 

  • Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results – Stephen Guise

  • No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline – Brian Tracy

  •  Emily Post’s Etiquette – Peggy Post

  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth (Audiobook)

  •  Mastery – George Leonard 

  •  The Conquest of Happiness – Bertrand Russell

  •  The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan

  • . How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie )

  •  The Strangest Secret – Earl Nightingale 

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill 

  •   Your Erroneous Zones – Wayne W. Dyer

  •  Winning with People – John C. Maxwell

  • The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit – Amy Johnson Ph.D. and Mark Howard PhD

  •  Crucial Conversations – Kerry Patterson 

  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change – Charles Duhigg

  •  The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles 

  •  The Food Revolution – John Robbins

  • The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control – Walter Mischel

  •   The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

  •  Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – Shunryu Suzuki (Summary)

  •  Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed 

  •  The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale

  •   The 33 Strategies of War – Robert Greene

  •  Being Mortal – Atul Gawande 

  •  Daring Greatly – Brené Brown

  • Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength – Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

  •  How to Read a Book – Mortimer J. Adler 

  •  Peace Is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh

  • The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It – Kelly McGonigal 

  • When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chödrön 

  •  Be Here Now – Ram Dass

  •   Psycho-Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz 

  • Time Warrior: How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises, and chaos – Steve Chandler

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