Pico Iyer on Luck

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Luck is more important than either. Talent is indispensable — and the discipline to make use of it. Ambition seems to me counter-productive — winning the battle to lose the war.

~ Pico Iyer / Financial Times, 06 September, 2019

 

Karine Polwart on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Ambition without purpose is empty. Talent without focus is often squandered. A lot of what matters is turning up, being persistent and taking opportunities. And believing you’re entitled to try.

~ Karine Polwart / Financial Times, August 16th 2019

Francis Spufford on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I suppose there must be an irreducible minimum of talent required to make things with words, but after that a lot of it is learnt skills, and a willingness to go on playing with patterns. You also need, if not ambition, then chutzpah: an unreasonable determination to do it because you want to. You can’t be authorised to write books. You have to appoint yourself to it.

~ Francis Spufford / Financial Times, October 13, 2017

Chris Riddell on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

My friend Neil Gaiman says that, as a freelance, you need talent, you need to be dependable and you’ve got to be likeable. Neil says two out of the three will lead to success.

~ Chris Riddell

Randy Newman on Ambition

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Ambition. People I’ve met who’ve been enormously successful, mainly in music, have really wanted it a great deal. They also had talent, but I think it was their drive that propelled them forward.

~ Randy Newman / Financial Times, August 04, 2017

Jools Holland on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

People who are successful have a certain sort of determination. You need a bit of luck as well. And a little bit of couldn’t-care-less-ness.

~ Jools Holland / Financial Times, July 27, 2018

Rona Munro on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Graft and talent are the two things you need. Ambition can lead you to some false summits.

~ Rona Munro / Financial Times, May 03, 2019

Lena Headey on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I think it’s resilience. Ambition can trip you up, talent doesn’t always get recognised.

~ Lena Headey / Financial Times, April 12 2019

Matt Haig on Ambition

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I can’t differentiate between the two — the right kind of ambition is a talent. All my writing comes from a sense of some lack of fulfilment, like I’ve got a point to prove.

~ Matt Haig / Financial Times, March 20 2019

Bob Dylan on Life

“When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up.”

~ Bob Dylan

Buddha on Ambition

“Do not ask for family or power or wealth, either for yourself or another. Can a wise person wish to rise unjustly?”

~ Buddha