49+ Best Ambition Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Inspirational ambition quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

Most Famous Ambition Quotes

Ambition is a good servant but a bad master. – unknown

Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them. – Napoleon Bonaparte

Blood only serves to wash ambition’s hands. – Lord Byron, Don Juan

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

My ambition is handicapped by my laziness. – Charles Bukowski, Factotum

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

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 beats genius 99% of the time – Jay Leno

Take away ambition and vanity, and where will be your heroes and patriots? – Seneca

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. – Cesar Chavez

A man without ambition is like a beautiful worm–it can creep, but it cannot fly. – Henry Ward Beecher

Ambition is to the mind what the cap is to the falcon; it blinds us first, and then compels us to tower, by reason of our blindness. But alas, when we are at the summit of a vain ambition, we are also at the depth of real misery. We are placed where time cannot improve, but must impair us; where chance and change cannot befriend, but may betray us; in short, by attaining all we wish, and gaining all we want, we have only reached a pinnacle where we have nothing to hope, but everything to fear. – Charles Caleb Colton

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? – Robert Browning, “Andrea del Sarto”

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller

Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes; The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods. – Alexander Pope

The tallest trees are most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of Fortune. – William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. – Elvis Presley

Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals. – Sir John Denham

Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them. – Napoleon Bonaparte

Ambition is an uncomfortable companion many times. He creates a discontent with present surroundings and achievements; he is never satisfied but always pressing forward to better things in the future. Restless, energetic, purposeful, it is ambition that makes of the creature a real man. – Lyndon B. Johnson

So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased, when things go backward. – Francis Bacon

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

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

Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. Its appetite grows keener by indulgence and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the more to inflame its insatiable desires. – Benjamin Franklin

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there. – Jim Henson

Ambition is an idol, on whose wings great minds are carried only to extreme, to be sublimely great, or to be nothing. – Thomas Southerne

Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit, and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking. – Edward Dahlberg

At the age of 6, a teacher full of ambitions, who taught in the small public school of Biran, convinced my family that I should travel to Santiago de Cuba to accompany my older sister who would enter a highly prestigious convent school. Including me was a skill of that very teacher from the little school in Biran. – Fidel Castro

Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions. – David Hume

Ambition often puts Men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same position with creeping. – Jonathan Swift

It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, to hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their mouths, to cut all friendships and enmities to the measure of their own interest, and to make a good countenance without the help of good will. – Sallust

I’ve been looking around, and I noticed something: how much you really need to be loved. Ambition isn’t just a desperate quest for positions or money. It’s just love – lots of love. – Janis Joplin

Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead. – Ambrose Bierce

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. – Edgar Bergen

Say what we will, we may be sure that ambition is an error. Its wear and tear on the heart are never recompensed. – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The ministers of kings should learn to moderate their ambition. The higher they elevate themselves above their proper sphere, the greater the danger that they will fall. – Louis XIV

It will not be amiss to distinguish the three kinds and, as it were, grades of ambition in mankind. The first is of those who desire to extend their own power in their native country, a vulgar and degenerate kind. The second is of those who labor to extend the power and dominion of their country among men. This certainly has more dignity, though not less covetousness. But if a man endeavor to establish and extend the power and dominion of the human race itself over the universe, his ambition (if ambition it can be called) is without doubt both a more wholesome and a more noble thing than the other two. – Francis Bacon

Everyone succumbs to finitude. I suspect I am not the only one who reaches this pluperfect state. Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past. The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present. – Paul Kalanithi

Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with great ambitions. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them. – Liberty Hyde Bailey

Ambition is a gilded misery, a secret poison, a hidden plague, the engineer of deceit, the mother of hypocrisy, the parent of envy, the original of vices, the moth of holiness, the blinder of hearts, turning medicines into maladies, and remedies into diseases. – Thomas Brooks

I wasn’t the typical pageant girl – I was a little more nerdy, and they gave me a voice. I created the Queen of the Universe pageant, which is charity-based, to benefit UNESCO. For me, the most important thing is that contestants have a charity-based platform or charity ambition. – Joyce Giraud

Ambition has but one reward for all: A little power, a little transient fame, A grave to rest in, and a fading name! – William Winter

Ambition destroys its possessor. – Hebrew

Ambition begets vexations. – Singhalese

The aphorism in which I am the first master among Germans, are the forms of ‘eternity’; my ambition is to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book – what everyone else does not say in a book. – Friedrich Nietzsche

If you would get ahead, be a bridge. – Welsh

Ambition is putting a ladder against the sky. – Anonymous

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