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21 Tony Robbins Quotes on Discipline

Tony Robbins Quotes >>  Quotes on Self-Discipline


Habits and rituals are the basis for everything. We reap the rewards or pay the price for what we consistently do. This post is a compilation of the 21 best quotes from Tony Robbins exploring the subject of self-discipline.

Tony Robbins Discipline Quotes and Will Power

It seems counter-intuitive that Discipline equals Freedom, but it’s true.

A lot of people say they have a habit to self-sabotage, they can’t stick with something and begin to believe they don’t have ‘discipline gene’ but Tony would say that’s B.S (A bad belief system).

Self discipline is a learned behavior. It comes from within you and no where else. It’s understanding that no one is coming to rescue you, that you are alone, and if you want a fulfilled life it’s up to you to get after it.

And like any other skill it requires practice and repetition in your day-to-day life. And guess what happens if you stop trying, you lose the skill.

Discipline also goes beyond daily actions, it expands into the discipline of controlling your thoughts, your emotions, and speech towards improving yourself.

Trust me, once you get on track you’ll never look back.

If you listen to Tony’s describe his childhood and look at the stats of abused children, you’ll never have guessed that he would be where he’s at today. It’s because he had the internal drive, hunger, and obsession to find a way and he eventually did.

Below I’ve organized notes from different talks and lectures around the topic of discipline that will hopefully inspire you to make the change or give you the fuel to stay the course.

Hope this helps!

Tony Robbins discipline quotes


1. Lesson #1 – Don’t be a dabbler.

“Would you agree we have more choices, more freedoms, more opportunities today than any time in human history? Yes or no? Are most people happy? Is their happiness tied to the quality of life they really have? Because we’re living in a world now that’s shallow. Most people are dabblers. They try something for a while, doesn’t work out. They do something else.”

don’t be a dabbler quote

Tony elaborates further, “Think about this. Even with all the economic challenges that exist, most people in North America for sure have a better quality of life than ninety-five percent of the planet. Two thirds of the planet is living on two and a half dollars a day.”

“Your worst nightmare is somebody else’s greatest dream, most of the planet’s greatest dream. Your idea of economic downfall is somebody’s dream. That’s the truth.”

2. Psychology – The need to be consistent

“One of the most powerful forces in the human personality, the need to stay consistent with how you define yourself.”

need to be consistent with how we define ourselves

Human beings absolutely follow through on who they believe they are. If you said to me, well, I’m really going to work hard to stop smoking, but, you know, I’ve been a smoker my whole life and you know, I am a smoker. I know your days are numbered.

I know you’re going to be back smoking cigarettes again because

We all act consistent with who we believe we are

Said in another way, “I tell people the strongest force in the whole human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.”

3. Emotion, passion and repetition lead to mastery

Context: referring to training employees but you could see this as you’re a company of 1. You’re both the owner and the player of the team.

“You train your person, they do well for a while and then they drop off in their skill set. I don’t care if it’s sales. I don’t care if it’s a technical skill. Now, you’re highly motivated, it’s your business or you’re the leader in the business or you’re the manager or you’re the head of department. So, you got a lot of drive. You bring emotion to the table and you do enough repetition that you master it. They don’t.”

tony robbins quote on mastery

If you give up on them, you’re losing and missing out on what it takes to train someone. So, here’s what our training looks in the beginning. When you first start doing something, how fast do people learn?

mastery requires discipline

Plateau? So think of it this way. Some people, their philosophy of life is dabbling. Here’s what a dabbler does. They take on a sport like, let’s say, tennis. And when their brand new they know nothing about tennis, they don’t hold the racket right. They don’t how to swing or to keep score. They think love is an emotion when it’s a zero (a tennis joke, took me a while to get it). But from not knowing anything, in a short time with a little bit of training, do they get pretty damn good, yes or no?

If this is one hundred percent mastery and this is zero, they might go to twenty or thirty percent growth like that within a few days, or a few weeks. What’s interesting is will they top out. They’ll be a point which they plateau. What’s a plateau. It’s when you’re doing the same amount of effort but you’re not getting the same level of reward, you’re not making the same progress.

They hit this plateau. Wrong sport. Not a tennis player. All of a sudden working hard not getting the result. Wrong thing, wrong relationship, wrong job, wrong mission. So, then they go out and play golf and they flop. They don’t even get the progress. And they go, I’ve never used the F word more times in my life. And by the way, dabblers by their nature are unhappy.”

4. Avoid the buddy system

Context: Most people who want to lose weight get their other buddy who’s not in shape and they make a pact to lose the weight together! Yay, right?

Tony advises against this and here’s the reasoning:

“Don’t take on a goal or dream or desire with somebody else, buddies are fantastic because it’s a way to keep yourself on target. I mean, the ideal is you get a coach. If you want a coach, get a mentor, but don’t get a buddy that has not accomplished what you want to accomplish. You want somebody who will say I don’t give a damn what you feel we’re doing this. A buddy or friend can’t do that for you.”

get a coach quote tony robbins

There’s are relationships where this can work. But Tony says they are uncommon. You’ll avoid wanting to step on each other’s toe to motivate one another. If your friend spirals down, you may give yourself an excuse to not be consistent either. More often that not, the buddy system fails.

On one of Gary Vee’s podcast episodes, he talks about hiring a trainer. It was the best motivation for him to be consistent in the gym because he didn’t want to let the trainer down. He was empathetic towards someone invested in seeing him grow and this drove him to show up. I thought this was a good lesson in knowing thyself.

5. Increase your retention rate

“If you listen and write notes down or you type them in, whatever you do, research shows you’ll retain about 40 to 50 percent of what’s been said. The most powerful one is if you physically engage your body. What that does, it brings up engagement, 80, 90 percent retention, because now it’s not just a thought, it’s a feeling in your body as well.”

improve memory quote

6. Break whatever goal into small actionable steps (Stop analysis paralysis)

“Complexity is the enemy of execution.”

complexity is the enemy of execution quote

The more you build up something in your head, the more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to do it. People who like to run just put on their shoes and go. Those that fail think about not having the right shoes, I need to first get this smart watch, the weather’s not right, it’s bad on the knees, I need running headphones, plan my route, etc.

7. You’re capable of change, but you begin by changing your definition of your identity.

“I mean, very often we made decisions in our youth or when we were very young about what to believe, about what we were capable of, about who we are as a person. And that becomes the glass ceiling, if you will, that controls us.”

tony robbins limiting beliefs

Tony continues with this example:

There’s a corny metaphor, but it’s true.

I remember one time I was with my family at the circus and there was a person, and they had this big giant elephant. And you look at this elephant, and they take this little rope put around their neck, and they drive the stake into the ground.

You look at this, you know that elephant could rip down the entire tent with almost no effort. And yet the elephant doesn’t struggle. Doesn’t try. Why?

Because the elephants conditioned. They condition the elephant when it was a baby elephant. That’s how they train them when it’s a little baby elephant and it doesn’t have the power yet. They put a big rope around it’s neck, and they drive this huge stake in the ground and the elephant fights and fights and fights. And one day, finally, that elephant decides I’m not capable of pulling this out.

Once that becomes the definition of an identity of anyone, an elephant in this case, they don’t even try anymore.

It’s just who I am.

That’s how it is.

That’s just the way it is in my life.

I’d like to ask you to take a look at any place you’ve got a limitation and ask yourself, when did I decide to accept that limitation?

8. What are your rituals?

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
it’s not what you do once in a while quote tony robbins

“Whenever I study, people that are successful what I look for is what’s the standard they hold himself to and what are all the little rituals that add up?

Because think about it, success and failure are not giant events. They don’t just show up. You don’t just suddenly become successful or suddenly have this cataclysmic event that makes you fail. It may look that way, but failure comes from all the little things. It’s failure to make the call. It’s failure to check the books. It’s failure to say I’m sorry. It’s failure to push yourself to do things physically that you don’t want to do.”

9. Two pains in life.

“There’s always two pains in life. There’s the pain of discipline or is the pain of regret. And discipline weighs ounces and regret ways tons.”

discipline weighs ounces regret weighs tons

A ritual, something you do consistently, usually at a specific time. So it becomes automatic. Let me tell you something. Willpower doesn’t last, but rituals can last a lifetime. I bet you have some rituals in your life right now. You’ve been doing for years, even though some of them don’t serve you. Wake yourself up. If you want a new year and a new life, you don’t need to start on January 1st. Start today. You don’t want to have regret. So right now, what do you want to change? What’s it really like?

10. Don’t just stand there, do something.

“I’m going to do something. You have to do something to change your life. In order for you to be happy, if you can’t change your life, you’re going to have to change your blueprint. Usually in life, it requires a little bit of each.”

You have to do something to change your life

Tony in one of his talks discusses that you have three choices when your blueprint doesn’t match reality.

You can either play the blame game, blame the event, someone else, or yourself.

Or you can say, I’m not making the money I want to make, I need to learn a new skill and re-tool. I need to change something because unless I change I’ll get what I’ve always got. If you don’t want to do that, you can change your blueprint and learn to be happy with what you have.

11. How you frame the challenge ahead.

“Most people’s idea of exercise is fill the tub, pull the plug and fight the current people.”

discipline quote for exercise

If that’s your view on exercise how excited do you think you’ll be to keep up this habit?

You have to find some physical activity or a workout regimen that’s fun for you.

There’s two kinds of people, those that view weight training as a chore and those that see the gym as their happy place, their sanctuary.

A friend once said to me, I don’t want all those muscles because then I’ll have to maintain it. You can see why he doesn’t work out. This is true in all areas and values you uphold in your life. What it comes down to is what’s important to you? What do you want to make a priority?

12. Growth

There is no business that’s going to grow dynamically and consistently and give you huge levels of financial and emotional and spiritual rewards without you growing. But you have to have a way to do it that’s disciplined that gives you both the psychological change, but also the skill change. Some people do have a great psychology, but they know how to make a great product or service, but they’re terrible at marketing.

small business quotes

13. When fear, anger, hurt is dangerous

“To indulge in your fear and your hurt, your anger. Indulging means you keep focusing on the feeling instead of getting the message and moving on, learning. Guilt can be valuable.”

guilt quote tony robbins

In this talk he mentions how fear, guilt, anger is harmful for most people. But if used correctly and understand the message these emotions convey, you have power.

14. How to use guilt to propel you:

“The pain of guilt – your brain is saying you just violated one of your most important standards of your life. You violated one of your values. And you’re going to keep getting this pain until you make yourself certain you’re not going to do this again.”

the paint of guilt

Tony continues, “You know, some people do they just keep going back and feeling guilty about what they did in the past. The message is saying, get clear, you broke your own rules and commit no matter what, you’re not going to do it again.”

15. Interviewer, “Tony, where does your drive come from?”

“I think the drive part is falling in love with your customers. I love people. I’ve always loved people. And I hate suffering because I’ve suffered.”

Motivation comes from the word motive, what’s the purpose? What’s your reasons for being disciplined? Why?
fall in love with your customer

Knowing what motivates you gives you the strength to keep on keeping on. Being clear and specific with what it is you want. Most people don’t know what they want.

16. Changing your pattern

“I know that whatever we do, it’s the result of our patterns. If you think your pattern is you it’s you because you’ve done a pattern so long, it’s hard to change yourself. We learn these patterns through our conditioning. When you first born, you can do anything in your life.”

pay attention to your patterns

17. Tony’s one message for all entrepreneurs

“Entrepreneurs out there, here’s what I’d say to you. I’d say don’t be so damn hard on yourself. I know that sounds counter to being an achiever, but when you’re beating yourself up, you’re sucking out the energy you need to move forward.”

don’t be so hard on yourself, move forward

”If you allow your disappointments to create these inner conflicts and fears and you let them run wild within you, they’re going to suck the energy out. You need to go to the next level in your business. You have to discipline your disappointment.”

The way habits are formed is the through reward. You eat bad foods not because they taste disgusting but because they taste good. Addictive junk food are engineered to activate reward systems of your body, so you’ll keep eating them.
The same could be said about coming down too hard on yourself. You are not rewarding the behavior. If you miss one day, it’s okay, just try not to miss two.

18. Change your story, change your life

“I would say change your story, change your life, because whatever your story is, becomes the shaper of all your perceptions. What you’re going to try or not try to do. The problem is most people are so addicted to telling that same story all over again. It does become their prison.”

change your story change your life quotes

19. What’s your ideal day look like?

“The most important thing that’ll drive you is your ability just to sit down and create a vision of how you want to be and each day to live it in your mind.”
create a vision
“That simple visualization or, if you don’t think you make pictures, that simple sense of feeling what you’re going to feel like when you’ve achieved your goals, when you are living in the body that you deserve. That’s what’ll give you the drive, that’s what’ll give you the power.”

20. Being a leader is not having followers, it’s about leading yourself

“Leadership is the capacity to disappoint your disappointment because you’re going to have to go through failures.”

leadership quote tony robbins

21. Decisions shape your destiny

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped

In this talk Tony mentions the importance of decisions.

”If you look back at your life, there were certain decisions you made that if you choose something else you would’ve had a completely different life. What great leaders or those who achieve a level of financial freedom we dream about do differently is they make a lot of great decisions. That doesn’t mean that their never wrong, and a decision isn’t just I’ll take path A instead of B, it’s deciding everyday to do something consistently that will have a radical impact on how their life shapes out.”

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