Character and Self-Discipline

6, 7, 8

The learners will reflect on quotations about self-discipline and relate them to personal goals.

Lesson Rating 
One 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • participate in a class discussion about self-discipline and character.
  • select and reflect on a quotation about self-discipline.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display this anonymous poem:

    Watch your thoughts; they become words.

    Watch your words; they become actions.

    Watch your actions; they become habits.

    Watch your habits; they become character.

    Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny!!!

    Teacher: Do you agree or disagree withthe poet? Why or why not? How does the poem relate to self-discipline? Allow time for discussion.

  2. Display these quotes and ask the students to choose one to reflect on in their character education journals:

    • "Self-Discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear and doubt. Self-Discipline allows a pitcher [person]to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions." --The Mental ABC's of Pitching by H.A. Dorfman
    • "Self-disciplineis when your conscience tells you something and you don't talk back." --W.K. Hope
    • "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." --Vince Lombardi
    • "The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. What ever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work." --Oprah Winfrey
Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to