An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.


James Allen (1864-1912, British-born American essayist, author, "As A Man Thinketh")


He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature… is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull's eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim -- improve yourself.


Gilbert Arland


Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.


Isaac Asimov (1920-1992, Russian-born American author)


The deeper interior you have the more you have in your library.


Jacqueline Bisset (1946-, American screen actor)


Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record each and everyday, and you are a success.


William Boetcker


If one sticks too rigidly to one's principles, one would hardly see anybody.


Agatha Christie (1891-1976, British mystery writer)


There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.


Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919, American industrialist, philanthropist)


I think the inner person is the most important.... I would like to see an invention that keeps the mind alert. That's what is important.


Julia Child (1912-2004, American gourmet cook, author, and television personality)


Without continuous personal development, you are now all that you will ever become, and hell starts when the person you are meets the person you could have been.


Eli Cohen


I won't be concerned with other people not knowing me; I will be concerned with my lack of ability.


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.


Jo Coudert (American author)


True genius doesn't fulfill expectations, it shatters them.


Arlene Croce


He who stops being better stops being good.


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658, British Parliamentarian General)


Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.


Anthony J. D'Angelo


Calamity is the perfect glass wherein we truly see and know ourselves.


William Davenant


Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.


Bernadette Devlin


The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.


John Dewey (1859-1952, American philosopher, educator)


People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher or better than themselves.


Tryon Edwards (1809-1894, American theologian)


Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it. We solicitously and apologetically caress and celebrate him, because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. The gods loved him because men hated him.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


As it turns out, social scientists have established only one fact about single women's mental health: employment improves it.


Susan Faludi


I make my weaknesses my strengths and my strengths stronger.


Lisa Fernandez


Saying "yes" to yourself means acknowledging what you have that's good and working on the things that aren't.


Patricia Fripp (British-born American author, speaker)


Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.


Thaddeus Golas


I just want to leave the world a little better than I found it, and that's my goal in life.


Armand Hammer


If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.


Lou Holtz (1937-, American football coach)


There is no good reason why we should not develop and change until the last day we live.


Karen Horney (1885-1952, American psychiatrist)


There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.


Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909, American author)


Self-help books are making life downright unsafe. Women desperate to catch a man practice all the ploys recommended by these authors. Bump into him, trip over him, knock him down, spill something on him, scald him, but meet him.


Florence E. King (1936-, American author, critic)


In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.


Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986, Indian theosophist)


Whoever will cultivate their own mind will find full employment. Every virtue does not only require great care in the planting, but as much daily solicitude in cherishing as exotic fruits and flowers; the vices and passions (which I am afraid are the natural product of the soil) demand perpetual weeding. Add to this the search after knowledge... and the longest life is too short.


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British society figure, letter writer)


We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.


Madeleine L'Engle


I am a bad, wicked man, but I am practicing moral self-purification; I don't eat meat any more, I now eat rice cutlets.


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924, Russian revolutionary leader)


He was always smoothing and polishing himself, and in the end he became blunt before he was sharp.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


By these things examine thyself. By whose rules am I acting?  In whose name, in whose strength, in whose glory? What faith, humility, self-denial, and love of God and man have there been in all my actions?


Jackie Mason (1931-, American comedian)


The best thing you can do is get good at being you.


Dennis the Menace


When you are through improving yourself, you are out of the game. You learn until your last breath.


Richard A. Nelson


Live to live and you will learn to live.


Portuguese Proverb (Sayings of Portuguese origin)


The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.


Robert M. Pirsig (1928-, American author)


The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.


Robert M. Pirsig (1928-, American author)


Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but for what is still possible for you to do.


Pope John XXIII (1881-1963, Italian head of Roman Catholic order)


A man who develops himself is twice born.


Argentine Proverb


Before preparing to improve the world, first look around your own home three times.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


A person should live if only for curiosity's sake.


Yiddish Proverb (Sayings of Yiddish origin)


Commit to CANI! -- Constant And Never-ending Improvement


Anthony Robbins (1960-, American author, speaker, peak performance expert, coach)

Author's website:


Sacrifice alone, bare and unrelieved, is ghastly, unnatural, and dead; but self-sacrifice, illuminated by love, is warmth, and life.


Frederick W. Robertson


Better is not something you wish, it is something you become.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


What you become directly influences what you get.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


You can change all things for the better when you change yourself for the better.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


The problem with self-improvement is knowing when to quit.


David Lee Roth (1954-, American rock musician)


Woman must not accept; she must challenge.


Margaret Sanger (1883-1966, American social reformer and founder of the birth control movement)


All of us, who are worth anything, spend our manhood in unlearning the follies, or expiating the mistakes of our youth.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822, British poet)


I've always... tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.


Beverly Sills (1929-, American opera singer)


The widening of woman's sphere is to improve her lot. Let us do it, and if the world scoff, let it scoff-if it sneer, let it sneer.


Lucy Stone


But you think that it is time for me to have done with the world, and so I would if I could get into a better before I was called into the best, and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


I don't agree with the idea that you have to live in a bubble and sacrifice all your time to something if you want to succeed. I need to be interested in things outside my sport, and I need to meet new people. For me, judo is an expression of the harmony I achieve in my life.


Ryoko Tamura


The best rules to form a young man, are, to talk little, to hear much, to reflect alone upon what has passed in company, to distrust one's own opinions, and value others that deserve it.


Sir William Temple (1628-1699, British diplomat, essayist)


To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.


Brian Tracy (1944-, Canadian-born American trainer, speaker, author, businessman)

Author's website:


Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future.


Brian Tracy (1944-, Canadian-born American trainer, speaker, author, businessman)

Author's website:


You must love and care for yourself, because that's when the best comes out.


Tina Turner (1938-, American musician, actress)


Before a diamond shows its brilliancy and prismatic colors it has to stand a good deal of cutting and smoothing.


Author Unknown


If you always do what you've always done, you'll always be what you are now.


Author Unknown


Ten rules for getting rid of the blues: Go out and do something nice for someone else, then repeat it nine times.


Author Unknown


The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.


Author Unknown


No matter what business you're in, you can't run on the spot, or someone will pass you by. It doesn't matter how many games you've won.


Jim Valvano (1946-1993, American college basketball coach)


You can change the way you feel by changing the way you think.


Author Unknown


If I smashed the traditions it was because I knew no traditions. I'm the girl with the unquenchable thirst.


Anne Waldman


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