Aspirations must be pure and free of selfishness. Arising from the depths of the soul, aspirations are spiritual demands penetrating all of a human life and making it possible for a person to die for their sake. A person without aspirations is like a ship without a rudder or a horse without a bridle. Aspirations give consistent order to life.
For my entire career, I wanted to be a director. When I was in the theater, it was very difficult to get directing jobs, and I fell into the acting by default. I got in the habit of accepting whatever came my way. Not things that I disagreed with, though. It's not like I had aspirations - well, I did have aspirations to play Hamlet, which I ended up doing.
Modern man has been in search of a new language of form to satisfy new longings and aspirations - longings for mental appeasement, aspirations to unity, harmony, serenity - an end to his alienation from nature. All these arts of remote times or strange cultures either give or suggest to the modern artist forms which he can adapt to his needs, the elements of a new iconography.
[Seeds Are Small.] Becoming a force of nature doesn't mean that all of our aspirations must be "grand." First steps are often small, and initial visions that focus energy effectively often address immediate problems. What matters is engagement in the service of a larger purpose rather than lofty aspirations that paralyze action. Indeed, it's a dangerous trap to believe that we can pursue onlhy "great visions."
Il ne s'agit point de t'offusquer de ce que l'un diffe¨re de l'autre, de ce que les aspirations de l'un s'opposent aux aspirations de l'autre, de ce que le langage de l'un ne soit point le langage de l'autre, il s'age®t de t'en rejouir. Car si te voile createur tu batiras un temple de portee plus haute qui sera leur commune mesure. Mais je dis aveugle celui-le qui s'imagine creer s'il demonte la cathedrale et aligne dans l'ordre par rang de taille les pierres l'une apre¨s l'autre. (chapitre LXXV)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A sous-chef with dreams of her own restaurant empire may have mastered the art of classical French sauce making, but not yet have developed the signature cooking style she imagines as the cornerstone of her own chain of restaurants. She gauges her progress not only by whether she is moving toward her aspirations, but also by her improving skills. Our chef may not yet have the stature of Chef Auguste Escoffier or Emeril Lagasse, but she can remember a time when she could not name the five French mother sauces, let alone execute them. She's made progress. Appreciating the skills she has developed is a marker along the path toward her culinary aspirations. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies improved skills is one of the rewards we reap when we dedicate ourselves to mastery.