Take hope from the heart of man and you make him a beast of prey.
—Ouida (Maria Louise Rame) (1839–1908) English Novelist
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
Hope is the major weapon against the suicide impulse.
—Karl Menninger (1893–1990) American Psychiatrist
At first we hope too much; later on, not enough.
—Philibert Joseph Roux (1780–1854) French Surgeon
In all pleasure hope is a considerable part.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
We can do whatever we wish to do provided our wish is strong enough. But the tremendous effort needed – one doesn’t always want to make it – does one? … But what else can be done? What’s the alternative? What do you want most to do? That’s what I have to keep asking myself, in the face of difficulties.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
—Cynthia Ozick (b.1928) American Novelist, Short-story Writer, Essayist
I take it as a prime cause of the present confusion of society that it is too sickly and too doubtful frankly to use pleasure as a test of value.
—Rebecca West (1892–1983) English Author, Journalist, Literary Critic
I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
—Leo Rosten (1908–97) Russian-born American Humorist, Teacher, Academic, Short Story Writer
A bull does not enjoy fame in two herds.
The soul that has no established aim loses itself.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
—George Goodman (b.1930) American Economist, Author
Life has a meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
He who begins many things finishes but few.
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Aim at nothing and you’ll succeed.
Respectable men and women content with good and easy living are missing some of the most important things in life. Unless you give yourself to some great cause you haven’t even begun to live.
—William P. Merrill (1867–1954) American Presbyterian Clergyman, Pacifist, Hymn Writer
As you emphasize your life, you must localize and define it … you cannot do everything.
—Phillips Brooks (1835–93) American Episcopal Clergyman, Author
The thing which sets off the American from all other men, and gives peculiar color not only to the pattern of his daily life but also adds to the play of his inner ideas, is what, for want of a more exact term, may be called social aspiration
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object.
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) German Philosopher
We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
What can we know?. What are we all?. Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts.
—Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) Scottish Writer
A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
Pleasure is the only thing to live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Having a dream isn’t stupid … It’s not having a dream that’s stupid.
In this life we get only those things for which we hunt, for which we strive, and for which we are willing to sacrifice. It is better to aim for something that you want-even though you miss it-than to get something that you didn’t aim to get, and which you don’t want! If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it, no matter what that objective may be.
—George Matthew Adams (1878–1962) American Columnist, Journalist
The nineteenth century was completely lacking in logic, it had cosmic terms and hopes, and aspirations, and discoveries, and ideals but it had no logic.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
People have many different kinds of pleasure. The real one is that for which they will forsake the others.
—Marcel Proust (1871–1922) French Novelist
Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it.
—Joseph Campbell (1904–87) American Mythologist, Writer, Lecturer
To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.
—Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) Polish-born British Novelist
Repentance is another name for aspiration.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Clergyman, Writer
Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
What I’m out for is good time. All the rest is propaganda.
Never try to catch two frogs with one hand.
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
Happiness is the overcoming of not unknown obstacles toward a known goal.
—L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86) American Scientologist Religious Leader, Novelist, Author
Happy is said to be the family which can eat onions together. They are, for the time being, separate, from the world, and have a harmony of aspiration.
—Charles Dudley Warner (1829–1900) American Essayist, Novelist
There’s some end at last for the man who follows a path; mere rambling is interminable.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
People are more inclined to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision. Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision.
—John Kotter (b.1947) American Management Consultant
My business is to teach my aspirations to confirm themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.
—Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95) English Biologist
America has been a land of dreams. A land where the aspirations of people from countries cluttered with rich, cumbersome, aristocratic, ideological pasts can reach for what once seemed unattainable. Here they have tried to make dreams come true. Yet now… we are threatened by a new and particularly American menace. It is not the menace of class war, of ideology, of poverty, of disease, of illiteracy, or demagoguery, or of tyranny, though these now plague most of the world. It is the menace of unreality.
—Daniel J. Boorstin (1914–2004) American Historian, Academic, Attorney, Writer
The most absurd and reckless aspirations have sometimes led to extraordinary success.
—Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues (1715–47) French Moralist, Essayist, Writer
He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is a like a ray of life which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
Lord save us all from… a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Life’s objective is life itself.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
If a man makes best use of whatever means he has at his disposal and also has the blessings of God, then he will certainly fulfil all his aspirations and dreams.
—The Vedas Sacred Books of Hinduism
Who begins too much accomplishes little.