quotations about ambition
I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something -- the eternal "what's the use?" -- sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis.
GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
Ambition spells the difference between those who are content to let random circumstances determine their journey through life, and those who would like to have a say in where they end up.
RACHEL BRIDGE, Ambition: Why It's Good to Want More and How to Get It
Ambition is the fuel that holds the many opposing fragments of my life together. Ambition is a buffer zone. A war zone. All the contradictions that are within me.
DIANE GLANCY, "Dreams Are Dangerous; They Uncover Your Bones", Ambition: Essays by members of The Chrysostom Society
If you're like me, accolades make you want more accolades. Though responsible for great success and progress, ambition can also cause feelings of worthlessness, mania and anxiety.... At its worst, ambition mirrors the sick cycle of addiction.
CAROLINE BEATON, "Addicted To Ambition: 3 Ways Millennials Can Manage Their Stress", Forbes, February 10, 2016
Once set fire to the train of a man's ambition, and it will never cease to burn until it reaches the glittering "Catharine Wheel" by which he has been dazzled, or, failing that, has scorched the luckless aspirant to a cinder.
CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos
Where ambition can be so happy as to cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of all human passions.
DAVID HUME, The History of England
On what strange stuff ambition feeds!
ELIZA COOK, Thomas Hood
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
JAMES MADISON, The Federalist, Feb. 6, 1788
We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.
LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY, Anne of Green Gables
It is ordained that to the ambitious, who derive no satisfaction from the gifts of life and the beauty of the world, life shall be a cause of suffering, and they shall possess neither the profit nor the beauty of the world.
LEONARDO DA VINCI, Thoughts on Art and Life
To appear unambitious amongst the ambitious is to invite loathing or fear. To be in the game, but not playing with intent to win, is to be the enemy.
JOSEPHINE HART, Damage
Few are more unhappy than those who have great ambition, but little energy to urge it into activity.
NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections
Ambition is but Avarice on stilts and masked.
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, Imaginary Conversations
An ambition which has conscience in it will always be a laborious and faithful engineer, and will build the road, and bridge the chasms between itself and eminent success by the most faithful and minute performances of duty.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts
There is no climax in Ambition's scope, Behold her wrestling with the angel, Hope, And beating back the Demon of Despair, Yet looking for a brighter crown to wear; Despair enchains her, Hope her transient guest, Unfurls her wings, and leaves her still unblest; But naught can keep her quenchless ardor back; She bears the struggling Demon in her track, Mounts on the wind's wild wings, her zeal on fire; And treads the paths to which her dreams aspire.
MARTHA LAVINIA HOFFMAN, "Ambition's Climax"
According to a British poll, you've only got a one in five chance of achieving your childhood career ambition. Which probably explains why you don't run into that many cowboys, princesses, or space rangers.
JAY LENO, The Tonight Show, Jun. 22, 2012
Be sure of this, O young ambition, all mortal greatness is but disease.
HERMAN MELVILLE, Moby Dick
They that soar too high, often fall hard.
WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude
Ambitions tend to remain undisturbed by realities.
FRANK HERBERT, Children of Dune
It seems idle to rail at ambition merely because it is a boundless passion; or rather is not this circumstance an argument in its favor? If one would be employed or amused through life, should we not make choice of a passion that will keep one long in play?
WILLIAM SHENSTONE, Essays on Men and Manners