Ambition quotes

My passions are all asleep from my having slumbered till nearly eleven and weakened the animal fiber all over me to a delightful sensation about three degrees on this sight of faintness -- if I had teeth of pearl and the breath of lilies I should call it languor -- but as I am I must call it laziness. In this state of effeminacy the fibers of the brain are relaxed in common with the rest of the body, and to such a happy degree that pleasure has no show of enticement and pain no unbearable frown. Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me.

- Keats, John

It is indolence... Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish; read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work and the business of his own life is to dine.

- Austen, Jane

Big results require big ambitions.

- Champy, James

This force, which is the best thing in you, your highest self, will never respond to any ordinary half-hearted call, or any milk-and-water endeavor, It can only be reached by your supremest call, your supremest effort. It will respond only to the call that is backed up by the whole of you, not part of you; you must be all there in what you are trying to do. You must bring every particle of your energy, unanswerable resolution, your best efforts, your persistent industry to your task or the best will not come out of you. You must back up your ambition by your whole nature, by unbounded enthusiasm and a determination to win which knows no failure... Only a masterly call, a masterly will, a supreme effort, intense and persistent application, can unlock the door to your inner treasure and release your highest powers.

- Marden, Orison Swett

You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

- Voltaire

We grow small trying to be great.

- Jones, Eli Stanley

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.

- Kaufman, Herbert

Time is the only critic without ambition.

- Steinbeck, John

Ambition -- it is the last infirmity of noble minds.

- Barrie, Sir James M.

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

- Timothy Leary

Advertisers are the interpreters of our dreams -- Joseph interpreting for Pharaoh. Like the movies, they infect the routine futility of our days with purposeful adventure. Their weapons are our weaknesses: fear, ambition, illness, pride, selfishness, desire, ignorance. And these weapons must be kept as bright as a sword.

- White, Elwyn Brooks

Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Men would be angels, angels would be gods.

- Pope, Alexander

That's a hell of an ambition, to be mellow. It's like wanting to be senile.

- Randy Newman on middle of the road music

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

- Shakespeare, William

If men cease to believe that they will one day become gods then they will surely become worms.

- Miller, Henry

It is a good idea to be ambitious, to have goals, to want to be good at what you do, but it is a terrible mistake to let drive and ambition get in the way of treating people with kindness and decency. The point is no that they will then be nice to you. It is that you will feel better about yourself.

- Robert Solow

Ambition, the soldier's virtue, rather makes choice of loss, than gain which darkens him.

- William Shakespeare

Marriage is part of a sort of 50's revival package that's back in vogue along with neckties and naked ambition.

- Calvin Trillin

When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.

- Kaunda, Kenneth

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