Ambition

“When ambition ends, happiness begins.”

` Thomas Merton
Photo by Amira Alamir

More on ambition:

“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

“Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.”
~ Oscar Wilde

“Five enemies of peace inhabit with us – avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.”
~ Petrach

Am bi tion    
 /am’biSH(e)n/     noun
1) A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
Similar: aspiration, intention, goal, aim, objective, object, purpose
2) A desire and determination to achieve success.
Similar: drive, determination, desire, enterprise, initiative, eagerness

Money, Money, Money

“It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.”

~ Gloria Steinem
Photo by seng kui lim

More from Gloria:

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.

“Don’t think about making women fit the world—think about making the world fit women.”

“Revolutions that last don’t happen from the top down. They happen from the bottom up.”

Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. magazine. 

One day . . .

“One day or day one. You decide.”

~ Unknown
Photo by Sama Samir

Here’s what Goethe had to say about it:

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include: four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and color. 

Persist

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi
Photo by Parker Landgren

More from Gandhi:

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. 

Tell the Truth

“If you have value as an artist it’s probably going to be in your capacity to let things inside you get past things that are placed there to keep you from telling the truth. The more you see things as clearly and coldly as you can, the more value you’re going to have.” 

~ Tony Kushner

More from Tony:

“When I’m writing a new play, there’s a period where I know I shouldn’t be out in public much. I imagine most people who create go through something like this. You willfully loosen some of the inner straps that hold your core together.”

“I go into any movie that’s historical fiction thinking, ‘OK, I’m here to watch a work of art, something delivering a series of opinions, and if it’s a good work of art, these opinions become so deeply embedded in complexity and richness that I won’t even be bothered by the opinions. I’ll make my own mind up.”

“Artists know that diligence counts as much, if not more, as inspiration; in art, as in politics, patience counts as much as revolution.”

Anthony Robert Kushner is an American playwright, author and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America, then adapted it for HBO in 2003. He co-authored the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich, and he wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln.

Adapting to Change

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” 

~ Stephen Hawking
Hubble Galaxy Photo

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”

“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”

Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.

Avoiding Schlock

and Missing John Prine

“I think if you write from your own gut, you’ll come up with something interesting, whereas if you sit around guessing what people want, you end up with the kind of same schlock that everybody else has got.”

~ John Prine
Young John Prine

More from John:

“If I can make myself laugh about something that I should be crying about, that’s pretty good.”

“My music has been called so many different things over the years. I figure as long as it’s selling, call it what you want.”

“The only time I ever think about getting old is when I look in the mirror. I feel pretty good about it, actually.”

John Prine was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early 1970s until his death and was known for an often humorous style of original music that has elements of protest and social commentary.

Thank you Bernie

“The problems we face, did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.” 

~ Bernie Sanders
Bernie greets a group of supporters

More from Bernie:

“As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reminded us: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” 

“This campaign was never just about electing a president of the United States—as enormously important as that was. This campaign was about transforming America. It was about the understanding that real change never takes place from the top on down. It always takes place from the bottom on up. It takes place when ordinary people, by the millions, are prepared to stand up and fight for justice.” 

“When we stand together there is nothing, nothing, nothing we cannot accomplish.” 

Bernard Sanders is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The U.S. Representative for the state’s at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007, he is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history and a member of the Democratic caucus.

The Power of Love

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”

~ Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix, live at Woodstock

More from Jimi:

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”

“White collar conservative flashin down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me, they all assume my kind will drop and die, but I’m gonna wave my freak flag high.”

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career lasted only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

Community

“It is probable that the next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth.” 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh returning home to Root Temple in Hue, Vietnam

More quotes from Thay:

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

“We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, founder of the Plum Village Tradition. Thích Nhất Hạnh spent most of his later life residing in the Plum Village Monastery in southwest France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He is currently living out his final days in Root Temple Monastery where he became a novice monk in Vietnam.