Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Improvement

"The improvement of the mind improves the heart and corrects the understanding." - Agathon NULL

"It is in periods of apparent disaster, during the sufferings of whole generations, that the greatest improvement in human character has been effected." - Archibald Alison

"He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous moral progress toward inward contentment and religious submission, is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life." -

"Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. He who is a stranger to it may possess, but cannot enjoy; for it is labor only which gives relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good to man. It is the indispensable condition of possessing a sound mind in a sound body." - Hugh Blair

"When working on improving yourself, it is easy to become discouraged because you do not see sufficient progress. Keep trying and do not give up. Every small amount of improvement is a success." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"We never reach our ideals, whether of mental or moral improvement, but the thought of them shows us our deficiencies, and spurs us on to higher and better things." - Tyron Edwards

"Whatever deprives a man of personal individual motive for self-improvement and robust exertion will not make him free, but on the contrary more servile and in the long run less intelligent, industrious and free, for freedom is a matter of character and will power." - Charles W. Eliot

"Any person who thinks rationally will not feel discouraged in the area of personal growth and obtaining wisdom. He realizes that perfection is impossible and not required of him. Constant improvement is what is required and everyone has the ability to improve." - Avraham Grodzinski

"A person not aware of his faults and failings will not work on self-improvement. But if he overexaggerates the extent of his negative qualities and behavior, he will become discouraged and his discouragement will prevent him from improving." - Yehoshua Heller

"An honor-seeker is not really interested in self-improvement. He is only interested in gaining approval from others. Hence, he will disregard any fault he has if he knows that others will not notice it. On the other hand, a person who is able to forego his honor is able to focus on truth. His only thought is to do the right thing and he is willing to sacrifice his honor for his principles. Such a person will eventually receive honor, for he will constantly work on improving himself." - Yosef Y. Hurwitz

"Liberal minds are open to conviction. Liberal doctrines are capable of improvement. There are proselytes from atheism; but none from superstition." -

"Optimists do not wait for improvement; they achieve it." -

"Anyone who works on self-improvement will find faults. An honest look at ourselves will show we are not on as high a spiritual level as we thought. Do not be excessively upset about this for it is a universal experience and should not disturb your peace of mind to the degree it will prevent you from further growth." - Yechezkail Levenstein

""Know thyself" means: devote time each day to studying yourself... ferreting out your weakness, working at self-improvement, purifying your immortal soul." - Israel Salanter Lipkin

"God has so framed us as to make freedom of choice and action the very basis of all moral improvement, and all our faculties, mental and moral, resent and revolt against the idea of coercion." -

"Learning is not to be tacked to the mind, but we must fuse and blend them together, not merely giving the mind a slight tincture, but a thorough and perfect dye. and if we perceive no evident change and improvement, it would be better to leave it alone; learning is a dangerous weapon, and apt to wound its master if it be wielded by a feeble hand, and by one not well acquainted with its use." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Self-acceptance is more important than self-improvement. There is no possibility of self-improvement without the prerequisite of self-acceptance... Interdependence is more important than independence." - Paul Pearsall

"Charity should be the habit of our estimates; kindness of our feelings; benevolence of our affections; cheerfulness of our social intercourse; generosity of our living; improvement of our progress; prayer of our desires; fidelity of our sex-examination; being and doing good of our entire life." - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Let's learn and label properly Disappointment and Discouragement for what they are - two completely different states of mind. Disappointment can be a spur to improvement that will contribute to success. But Discouragement is a mortal enemy that destroys courage and robs one of the will to fight. It is not circumstance that causes Discouragement, but one's own reaction to that circumstance. Everyone must meet Disappointment, many times; it is simply a part of life. When it is met, we may resign ourselves to Discouragement and failure. Or we may recognize each Disappointment as an asset by which we can profit, and take new strength from a lesson learned. The choice is ours, each time, to make." - John M. Wilson, fully John Moulder Wilson

"Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. He who is a stranger to it may possess, but cannot enjoy, for it is labor only which give relish to pleasure. It is the indispensable condition of possessing a sound mind in a sound body, and is the appointed vehicle of every good to man." -

"Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius." - William Blake

"Religion, in its purity, is not so much a pursuit as a temper; or rather it is a temper, leading to the pursuit of all that is high and holy. Its foundation is faith; its action, works; its tempter, holiness; its aim, obedience to God in improvement of self and benevolence to men." - Tyron Edwards

"The great task of peace is to work morals into it. The only sort of peace that will be real is one in which everybody takes his share or responsibility. World organizations and conferences will be of no value unless there is improvement in the relation of men to men." - Frederic Eggleston, fully Sir Frederic William Eggleston

"The fear of losing one's job has kept education in America fifty years behind its possible improvement." - Charles W. Eliot

"The fear of losing one's job has kept education in America fifty years behind its possible improvement." - Robert Eliot

"Improvement of one's economic position is helped more by cool persistence than by hot enthusiasm." - William Feather

"Humanity may endure the loss of everything; all its possessions may be turned away without infringing its true dignity - all but the possibility of improvement." -

"Aristotle said that all creative people are dissatisfied because they are looking for happiness in perfection and seeking for things that do not exist. This is one of the hopes of the world. There is no progress where people are satisfied. Discontent is perhaps the most potent challenge to improvement." - Clarence Edwin Flynn

"Send your audience away with a desire for, and an impulse toward spiritual improvement, or your preaching will be a failure." - Meyrick Goulburn, fully Edward Meyrick Goulburn

"Remember you have not a sinew whose law of strength is not action; not a faculty of body, mind, or soul, whose law of improvement is not energy." - Edwin Bradford Hall

"The civilization malaise, in a word, reflects the inability of a civilization directed to material improvement - higher incomes, better diets, miracles of medicine, triumphs of applied physics and chemistry - to satisfy the human spirit." - Robert Heilbroner, fully Robert Louis Heilbroner

"Improvement is nature." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"All intellectual improvement arises from leisure; and a leisure arises from one working for another." -

"To realize in its completeness the universal beauty and perfection of the works of God, we must recognize a certain perpetual and very free progress of the whole universe, such that it is always going forward to greater improvement... Although many substances have already attained a great perfection, yet on account of the infinite divisibility of the continuous, there always remain in the abyss of things slumbering parts which have yet to be awakened, to grow in size and worth, and, in a word, to advance to a more perfect state. And hence no end of progress is ever reached." - Gottfried Leibniz, fully Gottfried Wilhalm von Leibniz, Baron von Leibnitz

"The improvement of the understanding is for two ends; first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others." - John Locke

"All weighty things are done in solitude, that is, without society. The means of improvement consist not in projects, or in any violent designs, for these cool, and cool very soon, but in patient practicing for whole long days, by which I make the thing clear to my highest reason." -

"The faculty of imagination is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement. As it delights in presenting to the mind scenes and characters more perfect than those which we are acquainted with, it prevents us from ever being completely satisfied with our present condition, or with our past attainments, and engages us continually in the pursuit of some untried enjoyment, or of some ideal excellence. Destroy this faculty, and the condition of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes." - Dugald Stewart

"If meditation is aimed at curing an illness the practicer should forget all about the thought of curing it, and if it is for improving health he should forget all about the idea of improvement, because when mind and objects are forgotten everything will be void and the result thus achieved will be the proper one... If the thoughts of curing an illness and of improving health are clung to the mind will be stirred and no result can be expected." - Yin Shih Tsu

"Always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men’s minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, the construction of peace, progress and independence are hollow words devoid of any significance unless they can be translated into real improvement of living conditions." - Amilcar Cabral

"The hope that technology will save us or will miraculously effect our moral improvement is a kind of modern idolatry." - Rudolf Diesel, fully Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel

"Every small improvement is a part of the bridge between today’s location and your heart’s desire." - Emmet Fox

"The grand instrument for forwarding the improvement of the mind is the publication of truth." - William Godwin

"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson

"In this world the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when they are wrong, they are positive, and they is the way of achievement, correction, improvement and success." - David Landes, fully David Saul Landes

"The system of equality… must result from, rather than precede, the moral improvement of humankind." -

"Betterment does not require the best as a goal. It only requires the idea of improvement." - Garrett Thomson

"The improvement of life was only accomplished to the extent to which it was based on a change of consciousness, that is, to the extent to which the law of violence was replaced in men’s consciousness, that is to the extent to which the law of violence was replaced in men’s consciousness by the law of love." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others." - John Locke

"If an international system could be established which would remove the fear of war, the improvement in everyday mentality of everyday people would be enormous and very rapid. Fear, at present, overshadows the world." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"When in the company of sensible men, we ought to be doubly cautious of talking too much, lest we lose two good things - their good opinion and our own improvement; for what we have to say we know, but what to say we know not." - Charles Caleb Colton