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Saint Augustine’s lesson on ambition

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A man who was working hard to serve an emperor one day said to a colleague, “What is it we are trying so hard to accomplish? If we succeed, we will only become friends of the emperor, which is itself a state that is full of danger.”

The lesson is to examine the greatest success you can achieve in your current path, and change course if the best you can achieve is not worthwhile.

—Adapted from The Confessions, Saint Augustine, Random House.

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