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46 Quotes About Ambition To Fuel Your Soul
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Erika Jenko

I’m not a quote-loving or dreamboard-making type of girl. I consider myself to be extremely ambitious, but I’m also very human. Like other ambitious people, sometimes that means that I’m down on myself or I hit a wall in my efforts to pursue my dreams. In moments like this, when I want to overanalyze the heck out of what I’m doing wrong, it’s helpful to zone out for a second and let the pros fill my brain with a bit of a pick-me-up.

As we're putting in the hard work to reach our goals, life gets in the way and causes us to lose focus. Personal ambition can stall, our mind can get distracted and, if we're not careful, our dream can die.

Therefore, I present to you a cocktail of quotes about success and ambition. These will help to lift you up, to give you back the strength you already have within you, to remind you that you’re already kicking some serious butt. The next time you need some inspiration, look to these quotes about ambition:

  1. “A lot of people dream, and while they are busy dreaming, the powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.” — Shonda Rhimes
  2. “I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” — Estee Lauder
  3. “Power is not given to you. You have to take it.” — Beyonce
  4. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” — Henry David Thoreau
  5. “A ship is always safe at shore, but that’s not what it’s built for.” — Albert Einstein
  6. “Human behavior flows through three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.” — Plato
  7. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald ("The Great Gatsby")
  8. “Start by starting.” — Meryl Streep
  9. “Above all, be the heroine in your life. Not the victim.” — Nora Ephron
  10. “I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. I’m going to figure out what that is.” — Emma Watson
  11. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” — Lucille Ball
  12. “The question isn’t who is going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
  13. “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.” — Carl Sagan
  14. “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” — Mary Tyler Moore
  15. “Life continues to be fascinating.” — Maila Nurmi
  16. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for forever be able to do it.” — -J.M. Barrie
  17. “Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” — Tim Burton
  18. “I don’t dream at night. I dream all day. I dream for a living.” — Steven Spielberg
  19. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
  20. “I’m tough, ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” — Madonna
  21. “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” — Caroline Myss
  22. “Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe you can become great too.” — Mark Twain
  23. “A dream without ambition is like a car without gas. You’re not going anymore.” — Sean Hampton
  24. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” — Steve Martin
  25. “Tis immortality to die aspiring.” — George Chapman
  26. “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.” — Barack Obama
  27. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” — Maya Angelou
  28. “If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I’m not frightened of anyone’s perception of me.” — Angelina Jolie
  29. “Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story — because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are.” — Michelle Obama
  30. “I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It’s just believing in yourself and your abilities.” — Reese Witherspoon
  31. “You cannot live your life looking at yourself from someone else’s point of view.” — Penelope Cruz
  32. “Don’t ever lose hope. Even when life seems bleak and hopeless, know that you are not alone.” — Nancy Reagan
  33. “Opportunity does not knock.  It presents itself when you beat down the door.” — Kyle Chandler
  34. “Confidence is attractive. Not arrogance, confidence. Be proud of who you are and the gifts you’ve been given to share with the rest of this world. Only you can be you, so go out there and bring the best of you that you have to offer.” — Laura Osnes
  35. “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” — Audrey Hepburn
  36. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” — Robin Williams
  37. “You know what’s really cool? Wake up every morning, decide what you feel like doing, and do it.” — Amanda Palmer
  38. “The most effective way to do it is to do it.” — Amelia Earhart.
  39. “With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas. Thought by thought. Choice by choice.” — Oprah Winfrey
  40. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” — Coco Chanel
  41. “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” — Tina Fey
  42. “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that — that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” — Amy Poehler
  43. “I’ve been called many things by many people. Quitter is not one of them.” — Hilary Clinton
  44. “You are not a definition. Be limitless. Be definitionless. Be a pain in the ass for whoever writes your obituary.” — Santino Fontana
  45. “We almost didn’t have a show. We made a pilot for another network and they rejected it. We sent the pilot to every other network in Hollywood and got six rejections in one day. There is a musical comedy on network TV and I can’t believe I’m saying that.” — Rachel Bloom
  46. “I get to do for a living what I did as a child for fun. It’s pretty cool.” — Alison Bechdel


Erika Jenko is a playwright and theme park junkie trying to navigate the magical world of adulting. Also, a YouTuber and blogger at www.subwaymouse.com.


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