Is there a word which describes a person that is always looking for self-improvement (i.e. is aiming for perfection, never satisfied and is always looking for areas of improvement)?

Thank you.

  • 3
    Ambitious is the first word that comes to mind
    – Othya
    Jun 16 '15 at 12:07
  • 1
    – nickson104
    Jun 16 '15 at 12:10
  • Not as an exact answer, however may be considered inspirational: "The art of continuous self-development can be summed up in a single word. Change. The Japanese have added goodness to this simple concept through their term Kaizen. Kaizen literally means the following: To become good through change". (workawesome.com/general/self-development)
    – Eilia
    Jun 16 '15 at 12:25
  • a progressive person.
    – Misti
    Jun 16 '15 at 12:48
  • Idialist??? (in a non-philosophical definition)
    – hrexen
    Jun 16 '15 at 12:52

Though the word has a negative connotation attached to it, "emulous" is one word with right vigor to describe a person that is always looking for self-improvement.



From Oxford Dictionaries Online:

‘Certainly, immigrant strivers have always done astonishingly well in national academic contests, not to mention in school in general.’


Optimizer? Seems to be a popular current term.

  • Please add references to your answer.
    – CJ Dennis
    Feb 5 '20 at 21:46

Maybe "Driven Person" you can use for that.

Driven Person / People;

Passion. Driven people have a clear passion for what they are doing. If the focus of their passion comes up in a conversation, you can see/hear the passion practically bursting out of them.

A huge amount of mind share. The more driven a person is, the more time they spend thinking about it. This eventually leads to learning the seemingly small details that separate the best from the average.

Hard work. With just the first two traits, they aren't driven but simply dreamers or spectators (think obsessed pro sports fan). Driven people are doers.

Competitive. Usually driven people have an internal need to win (at least in the area where they are driven).


Self-perfectionism? Albeit with the connotation of striving for perfection, rather than merely better.

Actions include:

  • Self-betterment
  • Self-cultivation
  • Self-refinement
  • Self-development
  • Self-perfecting

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