The trouble with fulfilling your ambitions is you think you’ll be transformed into some sort of archangel, and you’re not. You still have to wash your socks.
—Louis de Bernières
Ambition is the growth of every clime.
First things first; second things never. —Shirley Conran
If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of the earth. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There is always room at the top.
All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific. —Jane Wagner
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. —Psalm 20:4
’Tis not what a man does that exalts him, but what a man would do. —Robert Browning
Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar. —Edmund Burke
At age 6, I wanted to be a cook. At 7, I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.
Ambition, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
Would you give up the craft of your hands, and the passion of your heart, and the hunger of your mind, to buy safety?
—Ursula K LeGuin
Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade. —Marcel Proust
The future is what matters, because one never reaches it, but always stays in the present.
Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.
—Sir Walter Raleigh
Ambition is best not naked.
Image: Bernières: Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters; Conran, Wagner, Browning: Getty Images; Dalí: Shutterstock ; Leguin: Dan Tuffs / Getty Images; Plath: Bettmann / Getty Images
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(This story appears in the 16 February, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)