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Self-improvement   /sˈɛlfɪmprˈuvmənt/   Listen
Self-improvement

noun
1.
The act of improving yourself.  Synonym: self-reformation.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Self-improvement" Quotes from Famous Books



... didactic aim with artistic excellence is among the most difficult of literary experiments. If the lesson or principle to be inculcated be given too much prominence, the reader who opens the book for entertainment will shut it very soon in spite of any prospective self-improvement. If narrative interest or artistic beauty be the most striking feature of the work, its serious aim will be unnoticed. The safest plan for the writer of the novel of purpose to pursue, is to openly acknowledge ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... versatility of his genius and achievements, the greatest of our self-made men. The simple yet graphic story in the Autobiography of his steady rise from humble boyhood in a tallow-chandler shop, by industry, economy, and perseverance in self-improvement, to eminence, is the most remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men. It is in itself a wonderful illustration of the results possible to be attained in a land of unequaled opportunity by ...
— Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... place, windowless, dark, and musty, and at this mournful climax one of the tourists who was nervous moved suddenly off that particular stone upon which she had been standing; the school teachers out for self-improvement began to write it all in their note-books, while a stout matron evidently of good old Dutch stock looked sadly down at the flat, gray stones. "Poor things!" she murmured, "and there ain't one of them got a respectable ...
— Golden Stories - A Selection of the Best Fiction by the Foremost Writers • Various

... cities. The true solution seems to be that all these reforms must go hand in hand. We must teach men how to make nobler uses of their incomes and themselves, while we endeavor to bring about reforms that shall give them greater comforts and more leisure to use for either self-improvement ...
— Monopolies and the People • Charles Whiting Baker

... intellect. There are fine passages in his essay, but it is intellectualized, bloodless, heedless of the trifling oddities of human intercourse that make friendship so satisfying. He seems to insist upon a sterile ceremony of mutual self-improvement, a kind of religious ritual, a profound interchange of doctrines between soul and soul. His friends (one gathers) are to be antisepticated, all the poisons and pestilence of their faulty humours are to be drained away ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... Nettley, and sometimes could not endure her presence. Against this evil Winthrop provided as far as he might by giving Winnie little jobs to do for him while he was gone, and by setting her about what courses of self-improvement her delicate system of mind and body was able to bear. He managed it so that all was for him; not more the patching and knitting and bits of writing which were strictly in his line, than the pages of history, the sums in arithmetic, and the little ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... back to their respective villages and towns, or the yet simpler circles of our ordinary city lift, vastly more association with the storied scene than I had brought to it or should bring away. In fact, there is nothing more impressive in the floating foreign society of Rome than its zeal for self-improvement. No one classes himself with his fellow-tourists, though if he happens to be a traveller he is really one of them; and it is with difficulty I keep myself from the appearance of patronizing them in these praises, which are for the most ...
— Roman Holidays and Others • W. D. Howells

... together. Time sometimes hangs very heavily on their hands, for trees are not always blowing down, nor wires snapping through the tension of the cold, and at some stations there will not be a dozen telegraph messages sent the whole winter through. If a young man be at all ambitious of self-improvement, here is splendid opportunity of leisure, but a great many are not at all so disposed. Character, except the most firmly founded, is apt to deteriorate under such circumstances; standards of conduct to be lowered. And what is here written of the young ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... none knew better the strength and the weakness belonging to the lot of labour, stated the result of his experience to be, that Work, even the hardest, is full of pleasure and materials for self-improvement. He held honest labour to be the best of teachers, and that the school of toil is the noblest of schools—save only the Christian one,—that it is a school in which the ability of being useful is imparted, the spirit ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... their letters: Neville was inclined to belittle the divine calling of poets in their teens; while Henry deplored his brother's unwillingness to write at length and upon serious and "instructive" topics. Alas, the ill-starred young man had a mania for self-improvement. If our great-grandparents were all like that what an age it had been for the Scranton correspondence courses! "What is requisite to make one's correspondence valuable?" asks Henry. "I answer, sound sense." (The italics are his own.) "You have better natural abilities than ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... blood-pressure contributed a series of thoughtful essays on "How to be Irresistible in Love," and a sentimental pugilist indulged in reminiscences (per a hired pen from the cheap magazine field) upon "The Influence of my Mother on my Career." An imitator of Banneker developed a daily half-column of self-improvement and inspiration upon moral topics, achieving his effects by capitalizing all the words which otherwise would have been too feeble or banal to attract notice, thereby giving an air of sublimated importance ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... that chiefly interested Nicholas Ferrar, than whom no traveller for study's sake was ever more devoted to the task of self-improvement. At about the same time that the second Earl of Chesterfield was fighting duels at the academy of Monsieur de Veau, Nicholas Ferrar, a grave boy, came from Cambridge to Leipsic and "set himself laboriously to study the originals ...
— English Travellers of the Renaissance • Clare Howard

... go abroad for lazy and impecunious placemen. But two things are certain. Nova Scotia is more contented, if not with its government, at least with the system by which that government is chosen, {90} and it has within itself the capacity for self-improvement. Before Joseph Howe Nova Scotians were under tutors and governors; he won for them the liberty to rise or fall by their own exertions, and fitted them for the expansion that ...
— The Tribune of Nova Scotia - A Chronicle of Joseph Howe • W. L. (William Lawson) Grant

... of Scotland were intensely attractive to me, as being a kind of sublimation of the wild northern landscape that I had already loved in my native Lancashire; but the Highlands were not well chosen as a field for self-improvement in the art of painting. A student ought not to choose the most changeful of landscapes, but the least changeful; not the Highlands or the English Lake District, but the dullest landscape he can find in the south or the east of England. Norfolk would have been a better country ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... root of our Island tongue, and that was something of a distinction in those days. He had learned it, perforce, during his early voyagings. He had been twice round the world, both times on English ships, and he was the kind of man, steady, quiet, thoughtful, to miss no opportunities of self-improvement, though I do not think there ever can have been a man less desirous of gain. His wants were very few, and so long as the farm and the fishing provided us all with a sufficient living, he was satisfied and grateful. He saw his neighbours waxing ...
— Carette of Sark • John Oxenham

... catechizing infection. You are ruffled by the want of another cigar. Take one of these, I entreat. Light it at mine, which is in perfect order. So! Now do me the justice to observe that I am doing all I can towards self-improvement, and that you have a light thrown on those household implements which, when you only saw them as in a glass darkly, you were hastily—I must say hastily—inclined to depreciate. Sensible of my deficiencies, I have surrounded myself with moral influences expressly meant to promote the ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... entirely different tradition. You were educated, and have previously taught, in a large university, and this makes it difficult, perhaps impossible, for you to appreciate the needs and the point of view of the small college. The ideal of the professor in a university is self-improvement and personal achievement; but in the small college, the teacher is expected to give, above everything else, personal service and devotion to the interests of his students. He should stand to a large extent sancti parentis loco. I do not say that you have ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... of the American Federation of Labor, has said: "The workers want more wages; more of the comforts of life; more leisure; more chance for self-improvement as men, as trade-unionists, as citizens. These were the wants of yesterday; they are the wants of today; they will be the wants of tomorrow, and of tomorrow's morrow. The struggle may assume new forms, but the issue is the ...
— War of the Classes • Jack London

... and acquirements of the fellows who had been more favourably placed. Barlow seemed like a paragon of scholarship, and the nonchalance with which he always won in the classrooms was a constant marvel. He had a queer way of turning serious things into fun. With a freshman desire for self-improvement, a thing apt to evaporate in the college atmosphere, we had formed a society for grave writing and debate and hired for our meetings the lodge-room of the "Glorious Apollers" or some such organisation. At an early meeting of the society, while we were solemnly struggling through a dignified ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... fundamentals that the profession of arms is to be mastered. A process of true education is involved,—that of enlarging the viewpoint and broadening the basis of professional judgment (see page i),—and its essentials are the proper foundation for any system of self-improvement in the exercise of mental power. There is no easy road to the ...
— Sound Military Decision • U.s. Naval War College

... contemplating new experiments. But the growing recognition of the duty of the State to protect its members who are unable to protect themselves, and to secure fair opportunities of self-support and self-improvement, as well as the danger of handing over their protection to the conflicting claims of private and often misguided philanthropy, is rapidly gaining ground against the advocates of laissez faire. It is beginning to be felt that the State cannot afford to allow ...
— Problems of Poverty • John A. Hobson

... sound judgment, secured their usual reward, and the firm became known as one of the most thriving and enterprising in Manchester. Long years after, when addressing an assembly of working men, Mr. Fairbairn, while urging the necessity of labour and application as the only sure means of self-improvement, said, "I can tell you from experience, that there is no labour so sweet, none so consolatory, as that which is founded upon an honest, straightforward, and honourable ambition." The history of any prosperous business, however, so closely resembles every other, ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... old established men's colleges, giving her in every country, in every State, and in nearly every large town almost the same free and easy access to learning enjoyed by her brothers. Coeducation and coeducational institutions have rendered it possible for every woman desirous of self-improvement to find the highest advantages immediately at hand, only waiting for her ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... to do the work for you. No, my purpose is to urge you to do the work yourself. In this connection that idle passing of resolutions, the will to will, some time or other, are not sufficient, nor is it enough to remain sluggishly satisfied until self-improvement sets in of its own accord. On the contrary, from you is demanded a determination which is identical with action and with life itself, and which will continue and control, unwavering and unchilled, until it ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... time Woolman lived with his parents and worked on the plantation. His schooling was, consequently, meagre, but he gave a generous portion of his leisure to his self-improvement. At the age of twenty-one, he left home to tend shop and keep books for a baker in Mount Holly. Meanwhile, his religious fervor was growing more intense, and with it his genuine philanthropy. The inevitable sequence of his accelerated enthusiasm for spreading the teachings ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917 • Various

... of self-improvement lay towards the north-west, as was previously decided. We were very impatient to see these status in statu of Anglo-India, but.... Do what you may, there always will be ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... purpose to teach, forgive, and deliver men—as it seemed to Mohammed to have been— but a mere brute necessity, an unchangeable purpose to have His own way, whatsoever that way might be. That dark fatalism, also, has helped toward the decay of the Mohammedan nations. It has made them careless of self-improvement; faithless of the possibility of progress; and has kept, and will keep, the Mohammedan nations, in all intellectual matters, whole ages behind the Christian ...
— Alexandria and her Schools • Charles Kingsley

... tramps, for scamps (he even bestowed special attention and pains on Villon, the poet-scamp); he was rather impatient with poor Thoreau, because he was a purist solitary, and had too little of vice, and, as Stevenson held, narrow in sympathy, and too self-satisfied, and bent only on self-improvement. He held a brief for the honest villain, and leaned to him brotherly. Even the anecdotes he most prizes have a fine look this way—a hunger for completion in achievement, even in the violation of fine humane feeling or morality, and all the time a sense of submission to God's will. ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... for a moment deny that there may be, and occasionally is, a magnificent force of will and persistency of purpose in efforts at self-improvement on the part of perfectly irreligious men. But, if by the occasional success of such effort, a man conquers one form of evil, that does not deliver him from evil. You have the usurping dominion deep in your nature, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Japan, by right of self-acquired strength, has entered into the circle of the modern civilized powers,—formidable by her new military organization, respectable through her achievements in the domain of practical science. And the force to effect this astonishing self-improvement, within the time of thirty years, she owes assuredly to the moral habit derived from her ancient cult,—the religion of the ancestors. To fairly measure the feat, we should remember that Japan was evolutionally younger ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... child ignored it. For some years the boy "just growed," after the manner of Topsy. Nobody helped him. But the boy differed in one way from his thoughtless little playmates. There was a mysterious something in him that drove him eagerly to avail himself of any opportunity for self-improvement that came along. If the opportunity, as generally happened, failed to "come along," he went after it with all his might ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume III (of 6) - Orators and Reformers • Various

... commonly the extreme rear, of the second balcony; a house of ill fame might flourish next to his own little home; and from public libraries he was shut out altogether, except where a little branch was sometimes provided. Every opportunity for such self-improvement as a city might be expected to afford him was either denied him, or given on such terms as his ...
— A Social History of the American Negro • Benjamin Brawley

... a word about cultivation!" Billy, who had been apparently deep in his book, looked up to snap angrily. Any allusion to his efforts at self-improvement always touched him ...
— Saturday's Child • Kathleen Norris

... evidences of progress toward "transmuting days of dreary work into happier lives" is the reduction in the hours of toil in many industries, and the consequent increase of leisure for the enjoyment of life and for self-improvement. ...
— Community Civics and Rural Life • Arthur W. Dunn

... understand, a sealed book to you; but you may congratulate yourself upon the hunting-field which awaits you. You will, no doubt, have the opportunity of describing in the Field how you brought down the rocketing dimorphodon. And good-bye to you also, Professor Summerlee. If you are still capable of self-improvement, of which I am frankly unconvinced, you will surely return ...
— The Lost World • Arthur Conan Doyle

... soul, is never in this mortal state repaired." The magnitude of the evil of course makes a difference; but do we not all live in a continual state of sinning, and self-correction? That is the road to self-improvement, and those who adhere most closely to inflexible rules of conduct discover at length that the rules themselves have become an evil. Mankind has not yet fully decided as to what things are evil, and what are good; and neither ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns



Words linked to "Self-improvement" :   auto-suggestion, self-suggestion, autosuggestion, reform, improvement



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