Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Control

"More than all, and above all Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example." - Charles Francis Adams II

"The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"Self-control and understanding, righteousness and courage, there is nothing in life more profitable than these." - Apocrypha NULL

"The greatest of virtues, self-control." - Apocrypha NULL

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"In the government you called civilized, the happiness of the people is constantly sacrificed to the splendor of the empire. Hence the origin of your codes of criminal and civil laws; hence your dungeons and prisons. We have no prisons; we have no written laws; and yet judges are as highly revered among us as they are among you, and their decisions are as much regarded. We have among us no exalted villains above the control of our laws. Daring wickedness is here never allowed to triumph over helpless innocence. The estates of widows and orphans are never devoured by enterprising swindlers. We have no robbery under the pretext of law." - Joseph Brant, aka Thayendanegea

"In early youth, if we find it difficult to control our feelings, so we find it difficult to vent them in the presence of others. On the spring side of twenty, if anything affects us, we rush to lock ourselves up in our room, or get away into the street or the fields; in our earlier years we are still the savages of nature, and we do as the poor brutes do. The wounded stag leaves the herd; and if there is anything on a dog’s faithful heart, he slinks away into a corner." -

"All of our controlling behavior - our anger, blame, pouting, teaching, explaining, caretaking, compliance, and denial - comes from believing that we can control what others think of us and how they treat us, and that how they think of us and treat us defines us." - Erika Chopich and Margaret Paul

"The essence of all education is self-discovery and self-control. When education helps an individual to discover his own powers and limitations and, shows him how to get out of his heredity its largest and best possibilities, it will fulfill its real function, when children are taught not merely to know things but particularly to know themselves, not merely how to do things but especially how to compel themselves to do things, they may be said to be really educated. For this sort of education there is demanded rigorous discipline of the powers of observation, of the reason, and especially of the will." - William Congreve

"It could be written, for most of us: due to circumstances within our control." - Marcelene Cox

"The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"What man's mind can create, man's character can control." -

"He is one of the noblest conquerors who carries on a successful warfare against his own appetites and passions, and has them under wise and full control." - Tyron Edwards

"The freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, an control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development." - Friedrich Engels

"The secret of all success is to know how to deny yourself. Prove that you can control yourself, and you are an educated man; and without this all other education is good for nothing... To you self-denial may only mean weariness, restraint, ennui; but it means, also, love, perfection, sanctification." - Roswell Dwight Hitchcock

"War some day will be abolished by the will of man. This assertion does not in any way invalidate the truth that war is fundamentally caused by impersonal, political, economic and social forces. But it is the destiny of man to master and control such force, even as it is his destiny to harness rivers, chain the lightning and ride the storm. It is human will, operating under social forces, that has abolished slavery, infanticide, dueling, and a score of other social enormities. Why should it not do the same for war?" - John Haynes Holmes

"Anger is a momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"The thinker in all of us is the creator of the universe... Within the dominion of our minds we are surely God, for we can control what we think, and what we conceive to be true becomes the truth." -

"Many people are mistaken about how they can improve their situation. They think they will have peace of mind only when they have obtained everything they desire. But this is erroneous. Gratifying desires does not bring lasting satisfaction. The only path to achieve satisfaction is to stop desiring more things. As long as a person is unable to control his desiring, his problems will not be overcome... The only way to find real satisfaction in life is to stop desiring what is beyond your reach." - Yosef Y. Hurwitz

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." - Thomas Jefferson

"A person who is truly in control of his desires is able to separate himself from any desire he chooses." - Ya’akov Dov "Katzele" Katz

"A person who accepts calmly whatever is beyond his control is the truly wealthy person." - Yehuda Leib of Ofina

"A man may lose his strength; he may lose his money; he may lose every earthly thing which he possesses. Yet he may still attain and control his happiness if it stems from service to others." - George E. Mathieu

"The God-given rights of parents are not understood or are ignored by our secularist educators and by many school administrators who, in the delusion of sovereignty, act as though they, not the parents, have complete control of the education of the child." - John T. McNicholas, fully John Timothy McNicholas

"Conscience is justice’s best minister; it threatens, promises, rewards, and punishes and keeps all under control; the busy must attend to its remonstrances, the most powerful submit to its reproof, and the angry endure its upbraidings. While conscience is our friend all is peace; but if once offended farewell the tranquil mind." - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

"You possess the ability to control your thoughts. Even if your thoughts wander, you can bring them back and focus on what you wish." - Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman NULL

"The perfection of virtue is from... long art and management, self-control." - Lord Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

"Virtue does not consist in the absence of the passions, but in the control of them." -

"A person easily becomes a slave to his habits. The most difficult habits to break are the habits of thinking in a certain manner. You can have a large amount of control over yourself by working to obtain positive habits. Even with habits of thoughts, we have the ability to utilize the power of habit to form the habit of thinking rationally and productively, and to elevate our thoughts to such a degree that we will have changed our entire thought patterns for the better." - Yitzchok Isaac Sher

"Self-control is promoted by humility. Pride is a fruitful source of uneasiness. It keeps the mind in disquiet. Humility is the antidote to this evil." - Lydia Sigourney, fully Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley

"The impotence of man to govern or restrain the affects I call bondage, for a man who is under their control is not his own master, but is mastered by fortune, in whose power he is, so that he is often forced to follow the worse, although he sees the better before him." -

"The best of us still have our aspirations for the supreme goals of life, which is so often mocked by prosperous people who now control the world. We still believe that the world has a deeper meaning than what is apparent, and that therein the human soul finds its ultimate harmony and peace. We still know that only in spiritual wealth does civilization attain its end, not in a prolific production of materials, and not in the competition of intemperate power with power." -

"Unless you learn to control your desires for things you lack, your entire life will be full of pain and suffering. Even an extremely wealthy person will always find some new thing to desire." - Menachem Taryash

"Surely the shortest commencement address in history - and for me one of the most memorable - was that of Dr. Harold E. Hyde, President of New Hampshire's Plymouth State College. He reduced his message to the graduating class to these three ideals: 'Know yourself - Socrates. Control yourself - Cicero; Give yourself - Christ'" - Walter T. Tatara

"To attempt to resist temptation, to abandon our bad habits, and to control our dominant passions in our own unaided strength, is like attempting to check by a spider’s thread the progress of as ship of the first rate, borne along before wind and tide." - Benjamin Waugh

"Educate your children of self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes from society." - Daniel Webster

"A truly happy person does not allow his happiness to be dependent on any external factor over which he may not have control." -

"Prayer is an excellent training ground for practicing control of one’s thoughts." -

"The greatest potential for control the ends to exist at the point where action takes place." -

"With monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has already outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science, too few men of God." -

"The first steps toward spiritual freedom from the worldly bonds and fetters are to control one's mind, to stop idle talk, and to be somewhat pensive." -

"By the time the child can draw more that scribble, by the age of four or five years, an already well-formed body of conceptual knowledge formulated in language dominates his memory and controls his graphic work. Drawings are graphic accounts of essentially verbal processes. As an essentially verbal education gains control, the child abandons his graphic efforts and relies almost entirely on words. Language has first spoilt drawing and then swallowed it up completely." - Karl Bühler, fully Karl Ludwig Bühler

"There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornados, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control." -

"Just as we can dig a channel to control the direction of a stream, we can control the direction of our children's activities through praise and recognition." - Natalie Cole

"Our memories are card indexes consulted, and then put back in disorder by authorities whom we do not control." - Cyril Connolly, fully Cyril Vernon Connolly

"Those who devote themselves to the peaceful study of nature have but little temptation to launch out upon the tempestuous sea of ambition; they will scarcely be hurried away by the more violent or cruel passions, the ordinary failings of those ardent persons who do not control their conduct; but, pure as the objects of their researches, they will feel for everything about them the same benevolence which they see nature display toward all her productions." - Georges Cuvier, fully Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier

"To decide, to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life." -

"Holding-in creates horrid poisons which wear us out before our time. There are more deaths caused by ingrown, suppurating self-control than the medical profession know of." - Robertson Davies

"Man-made barriers, laws, social customs and prejudices continue to keep a majority of women in an inferior position without full control of our lives and bodies. From infancy throughout life, in personal and public relations, in the family, in the schools, in every occupation and profession, too often we find our individuality, our capabilities, our earning powers diminished by discriminatory practices and outmoded ideas of what a woman is, what a woman can do, and what a woman must be... We lack effective political and economic power We have only minor and insignificant roles in making, interpreting and enforcing our laws, in running our political parties, businesses, unions, schools and institutions, in directing the media, in governing our country, in deciding issues of war or peace. We do not seek special privileges, but we demand as a human right a full voice and role for women in determining the destiny of our world, our nation, our families and our individual lives." - Declaration of American Women NULL