The added emphasis is mine, and I added it because it hasn't been the case in my experience, which is mostly in other Japanese martial arts. It seems to me that the notion of persistent effort and improvement is pretty deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and that is by and large reflected in martial arts practice. Unfortunately, many aikidoka don't see this, perhaps because they lack the experience in other styles...and, unfortunately, because some people within aikido are serving koolade in the form of the notion that aikido alone is the repository of various virtues. Always beware when someone tries to convince you of the superiority of your chosen path: when someone is telling you what you want to hear, there's an agenda at work.
I also read somewhere a quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba who said something along the lines of:
"The point of training is so that you can look back on your life and say: "I trained." And that's all there is to it, really."