quotations about ambition
I would like to think that ambition is a gift if looked at from a Christian perspective. It seems to me that God was ambitious when He made the world and all that is in it. His plans for us are ambitious. He sees us redeemed to Himself--worshipping Him in this life and for eternity. How amazing--creatures who follow the flesh can, by His power of transformation, be made into spiritual beings--saints actually. That is ambition! Was not Christ ambitious when He went to the cross? His act would redeem mankind--or those who believed on His name. It is a message that is not accepted by everyone, of course, though His ambition is for everyone to come to the Father through Him.
DIANE GLANCY, "Dreams Are Dangerous; They Uncover Your Bones", Ambition: Essays by members of The Chrysostom Society
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
There is scarce any passion so heartily decried by moralists and satirists, as AMBITION; and yet, methinks, ambition is not a vice but in a vicious mind: in a virtuous mind it is a virtue, and will be found to take its color from the character in which it is mixed. Ambition is a desire of superiority; and a man may become superior, either by making others less or himself greater.
FULKE GREVILLE, Maxims, Characters, and Reflections
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"
Never doubt what small men will do for great power.
PAOLO BACIGALUPI, The Windup Girl
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
Say what we will, you may be sure that ambition is an error; its wear and tear of heart are never recompensed, --it steals away the freshness of life, --it deadens its vivid and social enjoyments, --it shuts our souls to our own youth, --and we are old ere we remember that we have made a fever and a labor of our raciest years.
EDWARD BULWER LYTTON, The Student