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Quotes about Ambition


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116 art quotes about Ambition found | Share this page of quotes about Ambition on Facebook

- b.1782 d.1850...
Father, in spite of all this spending of money in learning Latin, I will be a painter. (William Allan)

To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve. (James Allen)

A man's worth is no greater than the worth of his ambition. (Marcus Aurelius)

I got serious about painting at 12, when most people give up. (Robert Bateman)

Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day. (Brendan Francis Behan)

A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with - a man is what he makes of himself. (Alexander Graham Bell)

Ambition often puts Men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same position with creeping. (Arthur Christopher Benson)

ambition, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead. (Ambrose Bierce)

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. (William Blake)

It's stasis that kills you off in the end, not ambition. (Bono)

In ambition, as in love, the successful can afford to be indulgent toward their rivals. The prize our own, it is graceful to recognize the merit that vainly aspired to it. (Christian Nestell Bovee)

How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it. (Robert Brault)

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, said Browning, and so it has - extended by the length of an artist's brush. (Robert Brault)

I don't believe in this business of being behind; better to be in front. (Mel Brooks)

Ambition is not what man does... but what man would do. (Robert Browning)

The slave has but one master; the ambitious man has as many as there are who can help his career. (Jean de La Bruyere)

The object of ambition, unlike that of love, never being wholly possessed, ambition is the more durable passion of the two. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either. (Leo Burnett)

Set your sights high, the higher the better... Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way. (Eileen Caddy)

I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom. (Thomas Carlyle)

Those who desire to rise as high as our human condition allows, must renounce intellectual pride, the omnipotence of clear thinking, belief in the absolute power of logic. (Alexis Carrel)

The fact of the matter is, you don't give up what's natural. Anything I've fantasized about, I've done. (Ray Charles)

A heartfelt sense of aspiring cuts through negativity about yourself; it cuts through the heavy trips you lay on yourself. (Pema Chodron)

We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint box. And, for this, Audacity is the only ticket. (Winston Churchill)

If you aspire to the highest place it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third. (Cicero)

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. (Salvador Dali)

Aim high, and you won't shoot your foot off. (Phyllis Diller)

Everything starts with yourself – with you making up your mind about what you're going to do with your life. (Tony Dorsett)

Be nice to people on your way up because you might meet 'em on your way down. (John Dryden)

We do not need to have an agreed set of goals before we do something ambitious! (Freeman Dyson)

As the peculiar faculty of the eye is to see form and colour, and of the ear to hear sweet tones and voices, so is aspiration peculiar to the soul. (Meister Johann Eckhart)

If I had not had so much ambition and not tried to do so many things, I probably would have been happier, but less useful. (Thomas Edison)

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? (T. S. Eliot)

Hitch your wagon to a star. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The high prize of life, the crowning glory of a man is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness – whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords or canals, or statues, or songs. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Set up a situation that presents you with something slightly beyond your reach. (Brian Eno)

Don't let ambition get so far ahead that it loses sight of the job at hand. (William Feather)

The tragedy is that so many have ambition and so few have ability. (William Feather)

Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all. (Richard Feynman)

My ambition is to construct a painting so that the whole of its surface is alive, however I look at it. Each mark, and the interval between each mark must give something back on its own terms. (Andrew Forge)

I've known ambitious people with no aptitude for the thing they did. Most of whom, rather terrifyingly, tended to succeed. (Neil Gaiman)

Infinite striving to be the best is man's duty; it is its own reward. (Mahatma Gandhi)

It is good to follow one's own bent, so long as it leads upward. (Andre Gide)

Men are so constituted that everybody undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Aim high, beyond your capacity. (Irwin Greenberg)

You are the person who has to decide. / Whether you'll do it or toss it aside; / You are the person who makes up your mind. / Whether you'll lead or will linger behind. / Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar. / Or just be contented to stay where you are. (Edgar A. Guest)

It takes a certain level of aspiration before one can take advantage of opportunities that are clearly offered. (Michael Harrington)

Having climbed to a height, it is easier to slip from it than to stay there after the zest of striving is removed. (Henry S. Haskins)

If you want to do a film, steal a camera, steal raw stock, sneak into a lab and do it! (Werner Herzog)

You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. (Napoleon Hill)

-in an art gallery as a young man...
I am going to paint - Something like that, only a damned sight better. If a man wants to be an artist, he should never look at pictures. (Winslow Homer)

If you ask people what they've always wanted to do, most people haven't done it. That breaks my heart. (Angelina Jolie)

Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career. (Abdul Kalam)

One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar. (Helen Keller)

You have to be driven. You have to be focused. You have to be aware. (Thomas Keller)

Ambition is an expensive impulse, one that requires an enormous investment of emotional capital. Like any investment, it can pay off in countless different kinds of coin. (Jeffrey Kluger)

I always wonder what drives us as Artists. (Diana Krall)

My lifelong ambition has been to unite the utmost seriousness of question with the utmost lightness of form. (Milan Kundera)

Ambition has but one reward for all: A little power, a little transient fame; A grave to rest in, and a fading name! (Walter Savage Landor)

It is all very well to talk about being the captain of your soul. It is hard, and only a few heroes, saints, and geniuses have been the captains of their souls for any extended period of their lives. (Walter Lippmann)

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Ambition and aesthetic are often courted by a jester named 'Group Acceptance.' (Juan Lugo)

Aim high, aim at the highest, and all lower aims are thereby achieved. It is looking below on the stormy sea of differences that makes you sink. (Ramana Maharshi)

Ambition is vital, but dangerous: it is a keen motive and a driving force, but over what edge can it drive the artist? (Eric Maisel)

I never knew a person who suffered from overwork. There are many, however, who suffered from too much ambition, and not enough action. (Dr. James Mantague)

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. (Orison Swett Marden)

My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. (Yann Martel)

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little. (Thomas Merton)

- Anne of the Island...
The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth. (Lucy Maud Montgomery)

Don't take the will for the deed; get the deed. (Lewis Mumford)

Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

I will be an artist or nothing! (Eugene O'Neill)

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential. (Barack Obama)

Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals. (David Ogilvy)

My ambition is always to know, see and understand more of the visual world and to acknowledge the role of my inner world. (Betty Paris)

I aspire to be a minimalist, but I don't have the discipline. (Alda Pereira)

The student's ambition should be to become a painter's painter, rather than a popular painter. The approbation of fellow artists based on sympathy and understanding is manifestly better than the fickle or fast homage of the greater public. (Walter J. Phillips)

I had no ambition to make a fortune. Mere money-making has never been my goal; I had an ambition to build. (Eden Phillpotts)

My mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier you'll be a general; if you become a monk you'll end up as the Pope.' Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. (Pablo Picasso)

As to what I would like to be, it is difficult to say. An artist of some kind. If nothing else I shall always study the Arts. (Jackson Pollock)

Ambition is the grand enemy of all peace. (John Cowper Powys)

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. (Elvis Presley)

Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise. (Ayn Rand)

One inconvenience... may attend bold and arduous attempts: frequent failure may discourage. This evil, however, is not more pernicious than the slow proficiency which is the natural consequence of too easy tasks. (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things... that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers. (Salman Rushdie)

Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition. (John Ruskin)

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. (Carl Sagan)

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud. (Carl Sandburg)

- A Sweeper-Up After Artists: A Memoir ...
I had come to believe that I was not as clever as some other kids who were my friends. And yet I knew even then that I wanted to do something of an intellectual nature, and excel at it. I also realized that if I was going to succeed at all, it would be through hard work. (Irving Sandler)

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three. (Marilyn vos Savant)

Start wide, expand further, and never look back. (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. (William Shakespeare)

The very substance of the ambitions is merely the shadow of a dream. (William Shakespeare)

I tell you that as long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it to existence or clearing the way for it. (George Bernard Shaw)

Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon. (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Man cannot aspire if he look down; if he rise, he must look up. (Samuel Smiles)

Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement. (Snoopy)

I want to be everybody, and I want to be everything. One life is not enough. (Vladimir Sokoloff)

My only ambition was to create an honest picture that would interpret nature as she really is, as she ought to be seen. (Joaquin Sorolla)

You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him. (Saint Teresa of Avila)

Aim High, Drive hard. (Donald Trump)

There seems to be a hypnotic quality to ambition and speed, so that you feel that you are standing still just because you want to go so fast. You might actually be getting close to your goal. (Chogyam Trungpa)

I didn't care what, how much adversity life threw at me. I intended to get to the top. (Ted Turner)

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. (Mark Twain)

Ambition is enthusiasm with a purpose. (Frank Tyger)

Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens. (Lao Tzu)

The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambition. (Marquis de Vauvenargues)

Ambition is a very important part of the painter's personality, and without it there is no stimulus to arouse your enthusiasm and compel you to go forward in the face of failure and rejection. (Robert Wade)

Nobody who takes on anything big and tough can afford to be modest. (Orson Welles)

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. (Oscar Wilde)

Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. (Ella Williams)

Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give. (Edward O. Wilson)

I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph. (Tom Wolfe)

One has to stop sitting in the back, waiting. Come to the front. The front row of life. (Miles Patrick Yohnke)

Ambition! powerful source of good and ill! (Edward Young)


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Last modified: October 21, 2014