Ambition Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old ambition quotes, ambition sayings, and ambition proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

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
Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment. Thomas Otway
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
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
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes; The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods. Alexander Pope
Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. Elvis Presley
Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals. Sir John Denham
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
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
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
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
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
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
Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with great ambitions. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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
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 (on ambition)
Ambition begets vexations. Singhalese (on ambition)
If you would get ahead, be a bridge. Welsh (on ambition)
Ambition is putting a ladder against the sky. Anonymous
Ambition and the belly are the two worst counselors. German Proverb
Love, a pleasant folly; ambition, a serious stupidity. Nicolas Chamfort
Though ambition in itself is a vice, yet it is often the parent of virtues. Quintilian
The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. William Shakespeare
Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. John D. Rockefeller
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
Big results require big ambitions. Heraclitus
Great minds have purposes; others have wishes. Washington Irving
Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. Bill Bradley
Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Salvador Dali
I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom. Thomas Carlyle
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal, nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson
Ambition can creep as well as soar. Edmund Burke
Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Abraham Lincoln
Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory. Herbert Kaufman
Ambition has no rest. Edward Bulwer-Lytton
All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. Joseph Conrad
When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees. Joseph Joubert
Ambition is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. Henry Ward Beecher
Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable. Joseph Joubert
Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens. William Lilly
To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition. Samuel Johnson
Men rise from one ambition to another. First, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others. Niccolo Machiavelli
There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher. Henry Van Dyke
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step, only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road. Dag Hammarskjold
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure. Oscar Wilde
An once of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition. Michael Korda
Beauty is the sole ambition, the exclusive goal of Taste. Charles Baudelaire
Ambition is not a vice of little people. Michel de Montaigne
A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive. Pearl Bailey
Ambition breaks the ties of blood, and forgets the obligations of gratitude. Sallust
Though ambition in itself is a vice, it often is also the parent of virtue. Edgar Quinet
A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions. Marcus Aurelius
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. Carl Sagan
Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust. John Webster