AMBITION QUOTES V

quotations about ambition

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"

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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

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Be sure of this, O young ambition, all mortal greatness is but disease.

HERMAN MELVILLE, Moby Dick

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They that soar too high, often fall hard.

WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude

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Ambitions tend to remain undisturbed by realities.

FRANK HERBERT, Children of Dune

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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

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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

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Ambition is but Avarice on stilts and masked.

ELIZA COOK, Diamond Dust

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Ambition is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh adust, and thereby malign and venomous.

SIR FRANCIS BACON, "Of Ambition", Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral

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Ambition destroys the pleasures of the present in ardent aspirations after an imaginative future.

F. W. THOMAS, attributed, Day's Collacon

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Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.

LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY, Anne of Green Gables

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Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries.

MARY SHELLEY, Frankenstein

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Covetous ambition, thinking all too little which presently it hath, supposeth itself to stand in need of that which it hath not.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH, attributed, Day's Collacon

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A wise man is cured of ambition by ambition itself; his aim is so exalted that riches, office, fortune, and favor cannot satisfy him.

JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of Personal Merit", Les Caractères

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The ambitious deceive themselves in proposing an end to their ambition; that end, when attained, becomes a means.

FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Moral Maxims

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The ambitious sacrifices all to what he terms honor, as the miser all to money.

JOHANN KASPAR LAVATER, Aphorisms on Man

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Ambition! We must be careful what we mean by it. If it means the desire to get ahead of other people -- which is what I think it does mean -- then it is bad. If it means simply wanting to do a thing well, then it is good. It isn't wrong for an actor to want to act his part as well as it can possibly be acted, but the wish to have his name in bigger type than the other actors is a bad one.

C. S. LEWIS, God in the Dock

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I am unsettled by ambition. I am settled by ambition. I am torn with ambition. I am certain about ambition. Ambition is a blessing. Ambition is a curse.

DIANE GLANCY, "Dreams Are Dangerous; They Uncover Your Bones", Ambition: Essays by members of The Chrysostom Society

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Ambition is a moot point when inequality remains so entrenched in modern society.

DAWN FOSTER, Lean Out

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The burden of ambition is the strain of seeking approval. It is the taxing effort to earn the envy of others, many of whom are in competition with us. It is the weight of self-imposed anxiety over the recognition we believe is due us. The burden of ambition is the back-breaking labor required to maintain our place on the record board and defend it against all comers. It is the grief we feel when someone else matches or surpasses our achievement.

JOHN KOESSLER, The Radical Pursuit of Rest: Escaping the Productivity Trap

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