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Quotations for Motivation #15 --- Aspiration

Updated on September 23, 2015

Quotations on Aspiration

There are two kinds of ambition, a higher and a lower. The higher is really aspiration. They differ as does day from night. Ambition labors for self alone; aspiration works for the good of all. Ambition makes a fortune for self-gratification, or selfish enjoyment; if aspiration makes a fortune it is to use for the world. Ambition seeks notoriety, or reputation; aspiration, character and nobility. Ambition is a mental quality; aspiration, a spiritual quality. Ambition urges a man to use his power to outdo his neighbor; aspiration aims to help a neighbor along. A man who is guided by a low ambition is cold, unsympathetic, and grasping. One who is led by aspiration is magnanimous, helpful and sympathetic. Ambition tends to deteriorate health and morals; aspiration to improve them, for high ideals elevate everything above one. They express themselves in the body as surely as the thought of the artist expresses itself on canvas. Ambition desires to have more; aspiration, to be more. Ambition often lures us, even to your own destruction. Aspiration is the ladder by which we climb to true greatness.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., August 1903.

Aspirations aren’t worth much unless they’re mixed with a lot of determination—to say nothing of perspiration.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Sept. 30, 1938.

Aspiration proves itself by perspiration.

---Henry F. Cope, Lincoln County Leader, Toledo, Ore., May 12, 1905.

Take inventory of your aspirations. Success refuses to enter where the lamp of zeal and cheerfulness is not kept burning.

---John F. Easley, Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Dec. 18, 1914.

The character we attain in life is a mosaic of our worthier aspiration.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 30, 1958.

Great aspirations do not atone for little actions.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Polk County News, Columbia, N.C., June 25, 1903.

Aspiration is more to life than respiration.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The Columbian, Bloomsburg, Pa., Dec. 31, 1903.

Hope is the heart of aspiration.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The Press-Democrat, Hennessey, Okla., March 27, 1903.

Your aspirations are worth infinitely more to you than your environment.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Nov. 4, 1906.

Aspiration is the breathing out for something higher.

---Octavius Brooks “O.B.” Frothingham, New York Herald, New York, N.Y., Nov. 2, 1874.

You will be miserable if you do not aspire to something out of your reach.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 7, 1929.

Life properly lived is inspiration followed by aspiration.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1929.

You will always find someone to inspire you if you aspire to better things.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 16, 1931.

Success is acquired by a natural law and when that law is complied with one can no more prevent success from coming than he can prevent the falling of an object that is thrown into midair. The law of success is as true as the law of gravitation.

Two men start out in life together with equal acquirements. One will succeed and the other fail. It is not a case of happen so. One finds the law of success and the other does not.

The unsuccessful complains of lack of education, lack of chance, lack of capital and of the wrongs of others. In each instance he is only pleading self-justification and surrenders to the thought that certain limitations surround him and admits his inability to break away from them. He enters a plea to weakness. It is an admission that his handicaps which are his enemies in his own household of thought have more than he can summon to his own aid. He makes of himself the man pictured by John Bunyan who had loaded himself down with more things than he could bear under. The successful man may feel the sting of lack of education, but he prides himself that all he knows he has power to use. He never feels the need of a chance, but finds glory in making one, lack of capital is overcome by using capital others are glad to loan him, the burdens others thrust upon the unsuccessful he thrills with joy at the pleasure of overcoming.

The foundation for success is built upon aspiration. The light of success cannot enter the consciousness that is not waiting to receive it with hope, courage, cheerfulness, good will, zeal and a determination to be somebody, and to accomplish something worthwhile. The man who lacks aspiration lacks the first firm foothold which is depended upon for the next step toward success. Aspiration aflame with zeal leads to industry, self-denial and economy of time. These virtues attract attention, men of influence become your friends, opportunities come and the first business victory is won. The next virtue to be sought is humility. To become vain, proud and puffed up over success is a sure sign that the enemy of vanity has attacked you. It must be defeated with its opposite, humility.

There is no law to lead one onward who seeks wealth for power to crush or to satisfy a mere empty vanity, but there is a law that leads to accumulation of wealth to break down barriers of self-limitation, to open up new fields of useful endeavor, and to broaden powers of worthy accomplishment.

---John F. Easley, Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Dec. 20, 1914.

Aspiration is the blessed inheritance of every freeborn human being—the desire to want something, something fitting the personality, the heart urge and the ability to make good.

Every hope starts with a want. Almost the first uttered word of a child is this one of want—“I want my mama!” Later that child enters a world of wants and makes them known in no uncertain tone.

The fortunate are those who have many wants and who go after them, for they are of no value unless they are pursued. But to have them in abundance stimulates the imagination and every creative instinct. Some of these wants are easily satisfied, but many are so elusive that we needlessly run after them and waste a precious part of our lives in the chase.

The poor man has the advantage over the rich man in that he was wants aplenty and is strengthened and vitalized by his efforts to attain them. The rich man, having attained many of them, worries himself over what to do with them!

To want is a laudable ambition—to always want, to want something more, however, than mere monetary gain or transitory fame. Rather, to want to be of some honest use in the world, to be a creator, a pioneer, and a builder.

Always want—and no one can predict how far these wants will lead you.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Dec. 6, 1944.

Each person has a vision in his mind of what he aspires and hopes to become, and his creative imagination impels him to higher achievement. We see ourselves as the men and women we want to be. We, as artists, must work with considerable freedom, but with care and caution, knowing that each stroke of the brush will leave a lasting mark upon the canvas of time which will either mar the painting or add to its beauty.

—Hugh B. Brown, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 2, 1966.

Aspiration and anticipation are closely linked. Aspiration is heightened by anticipation. We may invariably anticipate the things to which we aspire. ... Anticipation plays a real prominent part in these lives of ours. Much of its joy would not be experienced were this not true. Life is really made up of what two words involve--anticipation and realization, and I am of the opinion that these will constitute our pleasure in the land of perpetual bliss. Anticipation is looking out and expecting something really or unconsciously good in the future. Anticipation is to the soul what oxygen is to the body. Take this out of life and you have subtracted therefrom an essential element.

—Charles C. Carson, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., July 24, 1904.

Aspiration is one of the finest of all human endowments. Our minds can mount on wings like eagles and so can our thoughts, our purposes, our souls. It is a tragedy that so many men never try their wings and never aspire to higher altitudes.

—Charles L. Allen, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 30, 1958.

Aspiration is a lot higher than ambition. It is true ambition, plus. It is that high romance, that blend of illusion and imagination, daring and audacity, focused in the irrepressibly human reach for better things that may be won.

—Arthur B. Kinsolving, New York Times, New York, New York, June 9, 1930.

Aspiration is more valuable than performance. Circumstances may limit your performance, but your aspiration may soar beyond the stars.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Dec. 5, 1927.

Aspiration is the prophecy of achievement.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Jan. 16, 1928.

Aspirations are the wings of the soul.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 5, 1928.

Hope and aspiration are the background of all education–aspiration on the part of the individual and hope on the part of all that he will succeed and thereby contribute more to mass satisfactions.

—Ray Lyman Wilbur, New York Times, New York, New York, June 11, 1931.

Aspiration, not contentment, is the law of life. Aspire for the highest and best in life. Have ideals and strive always to attain them, but remember that without mastery of one’s self, success of any sort will be limited. Self-mastery does not mean self-annihilation, but it means the subjugation of one’s passions so that they are his servants rather than his masters.

—David O. McKay, The Journal, Logan, Utah, June 5, 1915.

A mental state will be required that will constantly center attention upon the high places of attainment, and such a state we find in aspiration. The attitude of aspiration causes the mind to think of the marvels that lie beyond present attainment and thereby inspires the creation of great thoughts, which is vastly important. There must be great thoughts before the mind can become great, and the mind must become great before great results can be secured. Aspiration concentrates attention upon superiority always, and therefore elevates all the qualities of the mind into that state. When we are simply ambitious we proceed as we are, and seek to make a mark for ourselves with what power we already possess; but when we are alive the with spirit of aspiration, we seek to make ourselves larger, more powerful, and far superior to what we are now, knowing that a great light cannot be hid. When we are simply ambitious, we prevent ourselves from ascending into superior states of thought and power which alone can make greatest possible. Therefore, the attitudes of aspiration should constantly be kept in mind, realizing the boundless possibilities that are within us, and deeply desire with heart and soul a greater and greater realization the boundless possibilities in practical life. To be successful in life we must have an aspiring attitude, but, at the same time we have to cultivate a state of contentment. When contentment is absent, the present seems barren, and when aspiration is absent, the present seems sufficient. But the present is never barren, nor is it sufficient. But the present is never barren, nor is it ever sufficient. The present is rich with many things of extreme value, if we only train ourselves to see them. These things, however, are not sufficient to the advancing soul. Greater things are at hand, and it is our privilege to press on to those greater things. We must therefore conclude that the true attitude of the mind in this connection is to be content with things as they now are, and at the same time reach out constantly for greater things. Every moment therefore should be filled with a strong desire for still greater attainments and achievements. In such a state, where contentment and aspiration are combined, we shall find such a life to be the path to perpetual growth and continuous joy.

—William T. Goulee, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, March 1917.

Our present days cannot be disunited from those which are to come. It is from the future that the present receives its significance and interest, or rather from its relationship to the future. It would be a dull, gray life if it were not for the “tomorrows” and the aspiration, which it fosters. ... The young man, full of vital energies, would not look upon the green fields of life with the eagerness of the champion racer about to try for the goal. We believe there will be a “tomorrow.” It is from this that life gains its significance. There would be no advancement for those who did not gaze through the vista of the years that are to be. The one who looks farthest along the pathway he is about to tread is the one who plans with the greatest wisdom. ... It is necessary that a man should look to the end of life to comprehend its meaning. ... Strength, ambition, resources, energies, hope are the weapons with which young men enter the arena of life. ... The qualities which have put the young men in the leadership now must be carried into the [future]. ... The great question is, what use shall you make of those qualities? ... Will it be to tear down evil and build up good, or to build up vice and undermine virtue? ... [Are you] working for a broader culture, for more receptive minds, and a better equipment in education; integrity and faith? ... The world is not going to be bettered by blasphemers; it will not be aided by cynical doubters; canting hypocrites will not ameliorate it, and tricksters have no place on the highway of progress. When the world becomes better, it will be through the efforts of men who have convictions and who live up to them. ... It is essential that the hands be strong, the brain clear, the hand steady, that the memory be a spur to more strenuous effort.

—Alfred H. Henry, Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 15, 1897.

We overheard a man say the other day: "I am never satisfied the way I do things; I have never done my work in a manner entirely satisfactory to me." This man is a genius in his line. If ever a man should be found capable of doing his work "entirely satisfactory" to himself, it occurred to us that this was the man. The statement, however, provoked another thought. It was this: If a man should become entirely satisfied with himself and the results of his work and effort, that moment his ambition would be gone--gone forever, never to return. When one is entirely satisfied, one no longer anticipates the future, no longer hopes to make tomorrow outdo today, no longer strives to better his already attained best. The life of an individual must constantly be refreshed by new and invigorating aspirations. If it is not so, it is like the stagnant pool, which becomes impure from inactivity. The moving waters are the waters that sustain life and are pure and refreshing. It is a mistake to teach the youngster to be entirely satisfied with his lot. To teach him thus is to kill his ambition and hope in life. He should be taught not to fret and chafe under conditions he cannot avoid, but to push forward, sustained by hope and ambition, to attain what he sets out for in life. If he should cultivate a spirit of entire satisfaction with himself, there will be for him no tomorrow with its reward. There is no such thing in this life as entire satisfaction; and when an individual says he is not entirely satisfied, he gives expression to one of the most hopeful signs in the world.

—Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., July 6, 1938.

All of our aspiration has to be measured by our perspiration.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., April 25, 1909.

Many a man thinks he has praiseworthy aspirations when he only aspires to be praised.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 29, 1905.

Complacency is the worst curse. No man aspires to be what he isn't until he's sick of what he is.

—Robert Quillen, quoted in Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 13, 1926.

All of us have our moments of moral aspiration, or spiritual yearning, of upward reaching after the highest and best. And to all of us there come times when contrary tendencies assert themselves, and when black slimy hands seem to reach up from beneath and seize and drag us down toward the abyss. Those of us who have managed somehow to hold fast to the best and maintain the integrity of our souls, until, in middle or later life, we have attained some measure of steadiness and serenity, often look back with mingled gratitude and terror and wonder how we were ever able to escape the thousand snares that lay along our pathway. A long, grim battle against our lower nature–that is part of the price which each of us must pay for triumphant manhood.

—E.B. Chappel, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, June 10, 1912.

The man or woman that lives the most fruitful and interesting life is the one that has wholesome, vigorous aspirations. Without these a person’s life may be commonplace or even a failure, though his abilities are great; possessing them he must attain influence and success, whether his abilities seem at first great or small. Aspirations, if they are real, create a need for abilities to carry them out. If abilities are present, they are put to use; if absent, they are cultivated. ... Our life plans should be carefully made and should always be subject to reasonable change. The most prominent thought in them should be excellence, and combined with this determination to work.

—George Q. Cannon, Juvenile Instructor, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 1, 1898.

Genius is the spontaneous coordination of inspiration, aspiration and execution; it requires for its perfect development the most harmonious culture of the spirit, the intelligence and the senses. He is master of the world who can both plan and achieve, who keeps his plans within bounds of the achievable and brings his achievements up to the requirements of his plans.

—Claire Stewart Boyer, Relief Society Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 1930.

It is well to aspire but we should bear in mind that we cannot remake ourselves all at once–improving here a little and there a little, overcoming one fault and then another, thus we mount one step at a time. So in making resolves we should be sure that they are such as we can keep. We should make fewer and then rigidly keep on until the goal is attained and the victory won.

—Ivy Stone Williams, Young Woman’s Journal, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 1923.

A noble aim is not only an impetus to effort, but also deters from doing what is inimical to true progress. The man of lofty aspirations lives in the future rather than the present. He resists the temptation to be satisfied with present pleasures, for he works for something more enduring. ... Unwavering faith in one’s possibilities, coupled with a determination to make the most of them, is necessary to highest success. ... The aspiring soul knows no defeat. He is not daunted by difficulties, nor hindered in his progress by obstructions in the way. By the sovereignty of his determination, he masters every situation. If his opportunities are few, he uses one in such a way that it counts for ten. Prosperity does not beguile him into inactivity, nor adversity dishearten him. Praise does not blind him to his defects, nor criticism lessen his faith in ultimate victory. Whether the hearts beats strong of weak, resolution never fails him. ... It is nobler to be than to have. The power to think right, act wisely and live beautifully is more to be desired than gold. ... To be a man, true-hearted, high-minded and courageous, is the highest aspiration one can have.

—Nephi Jensen, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 1907.

If there were more aspiration and perspiration there would be less desperation.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 27, 1928.

Genius is one part aspiration and nine parts perspiration.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 5, 1928.

Joy is the thrill of pure aspiration expressed in noble achievement.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 9, 1928.

Pure aspiration and noble realization is the sweetest joy of life.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 27, 1934.

When aspiration is transmuted into perspiration it begins to be effective.

The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., May 14, 1917.

Great aspirations do not atone for little actions.

Christian Observer, Louisville, Ky., Dec. 25, 1907.

A goal begets aspiration, aspiration begets inspiration, and inspiration begets perspiration. Without aspiration there would be very little perspiration. Aspiration is just another name for your goal–ambition. Effort causes perspiration, and aspiration causes effort. That's an unbeatable combination–aspiration, inspiration, perspiration. If you have no goal you are without aspiration. This means there'll be no perspiration--no effort. Without effort there is "nothing doing."

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 8, 1930.


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