AMBITION QUOTES V

quotations about ambition

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 is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment.

THOMAS OTWAY, attributed, A Dictionary of Thoughts

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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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Ambition is all very well, my lad, but you must cloak it.

JONATHAN STROUD, The Amulet of Samarkand

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Ambition hath but two steps: the lowest, blood; the highest, envy.

W. LILLY, attributed, Day's Collacon

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I must get out all my ambitions and dust them.

LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY, Anne of Avonlea

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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 dream with a V8 engine.

ELVIS PRESLEY, attributed, "The many faces of ambition -- is it a virtue or vice?", The Wichita Eagle, February 14, 2016

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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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Men climb from one ambition to another.

NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, Discourses on Livy

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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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Ambition is only bad if it is an ambition for small things.

SCOTT CAIRNS, introduction, Ambition: Essays by members of The Chrysostom Society

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I blame Alexis Carrington and JR Ewing. Then again, Gordon Gecko didn't help matters. The deliciously awful main characters of 1980's television shows such as Dynasty and Dallas, and films such as Wall Street, came to personify the idea that ambition is a dirty word, a short-hand way of describing ruthless, selfish, amoral people mercilessly trampling over each other in their efforts to seize power, money, status or all three.... And over the years the image has stuck. Indeed even the words used to describe ambition are harsh -- raw, naked, burning ambition anyone? The problem is that this cartoon image of ambition is not what true ambition is about at all. In reality, ambition is simply the desire to make the most of your potential to achieve something special.

RACHEL BRIDGE, "Why Ambition Should No Longer Be a Dirty Word", Huffington Post, February 26, 2016

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