Self-Improvement

Issue #15 — 3.5 min read

👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers

I’ve been on vacation the past week visiting family, so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet by diving right into some of my favorite quotes about self-improvement.


Diane Ackerman

Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant?

Flora or fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.

~~~

Zeno of Citium

Man conquers the world by conquering himself.

~~~

Blaise Pascal

Our achievements of today are but the sum total of our thoughts of yesterday. You are today where the thoughts of yesterday have brought you and you will be tomorrow where the thoughts of today take you.

~~~

Marcus Aurelius

Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.

~~~

Ernest Hemingway

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

~~~

Lao Tzu

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

~~~

Andrew Gide

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

~~~

Epictetus

Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.

~~~

Plato

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

~~~

William Faulkner

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

~~~

Rufus

You will earn the respect of all if you begin earning the respect of yourself.

~~~

Epictetus

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.


To wrap up, I want to call out three important caveats when it comes to self-improvement:

1. Go at your own pace and leave the space needed to rest and recharge to avoid burnout

2. It’s safe to say you’ve already made many improvements and changes in your life over the last year, 5 years, decade, etc. It’s great to think about where you want to go, but remember to acknowledge how far you’ve traveled already.

3. You don’t need to make drastic changes to see improvement in your life. James Clear talks about the benefits of getting 1% better every day in his book Atomic Habits (this is not an ad, I just love the book and think everyone should read it). Along these lines, here’s one quote I want to leave you with:

Lao Tzu

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

~~~

✌️ Until next week, happy philosophizing.


Upcoming Issues:

  • Philosophy Phocus: Stoicism

  • Gratitude

  • Love