Self-Improvement Quotes (displaying: 1 - 18 of 18 quotes )
I think I should learn to get along better with people," he explained to Miss Benson one day, when she came upon him in the corridor of the literature building and asked what he was doing wearing a fraternity pledge pin (wearing it on the chest of the new V-neck pullover in which his mother said he looked so collegiate). Miss Benson's response to his proposed scheme for self-improvement was at once so profound and so simply put that Zuckerman went around for days repeating the simple interrogative sentence to himself; like Of Times and the River, it verified something he had known in his bones all along, but in which he could not placed his faith until it had been articulated by someone of indisputable moral prestige and purity : "Why," Caroline Benson asked the seventeen-year-old boy, "should you want to learn a thing like that?
When April with its sweet showers has pierced the drought of March to the root, and bathed every vein of earth with that liquid by whose power the flowers are engendered; when the zephyr, too, with its dulcet breath, has breathed life into the tender new shoots in every copse and on every hearth, and the young sun has run half his course in the sign of the Ram, and the little birds that sleep all night with their eyes open give song (so Nature prompts them in their hearts), then, as the poet Geoffrey Chaucer observed many years ago, folk long to go on pilgrimages. Only, these days, professional people call them conferences. The modern conference resembles the pilgrimage of medieval Christendom in that it allows the participants to indulge themselves in all the pleasures and diversions of travel while appearing to be austerely bent on self-improvement. To be sure, there are certain penitential exercises to be performed - the presentation of a paper, perhaps, and certainly listening to papers of others.
It is possible to be honest every day. It is possible to live so that others can trust us-can trust our words, our motives, and our actions. Our examples are vital to those who sit at our feet as well as those who watch from a distance. Our own constant self-improvement will become as a polar star to those within our individual spheres of influence. They will remember longer what they saw in us than what they heard from us. Our attitude, our point of view, can make a tremendous difference.
I was jut vamping for time to make a few self-improvements: I knew damn well I'd never be a movie star, it's too hard; and if you're intelligent, it's too embarrassing. My complexes aren't inferior enough: being a movie star and having a big fat ego are supposed to go hand-in-hand; actually, it's essential not to have any ego at all.
As he watched Joe stand, blazing, on the fire escape, Sammy felt an ache in his chest that turned out to be, as so often occurs when memory and desire conjoin with a transient effect of weather, the pang of creation. The desire he felt, watching Joe, was unquestionably physical, but in the sense that Sammy wanted to inhabit the body of his cousin, not possess it. It was, in part, a longing--common enough among the inventors of heroes--to be someone else; to be more than the result of two hundred regimens and scenarios and self-improvement campaigns that always ran afoul of his perennial inability to locate an actual self to be improved. Joe Kavalier had an air of competence, of faith in his own abilities, that Sammy, by means of constant effort over the whole of his life, had finally learned only to fake.