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Chinese Symbols for Hope, Dream, and Ambition

Chinese Characters for Hope, Dream, and Ambition:

  • Hope: 希望

  • Dream: 梦想

  • Ambition: 志向

  • Ideal: 理想

  • Desire: 愿望


Chinese Phrases about Hope, Dream, and Ambition:


  • 如愿以偿: Obtain what one has wished.

  • 大喜过望: Overjoy for having achieved more than expected.

  • 求仁得仁: Pursued benevolence hence acquired virtue, meaning obtain everything one expects.

  • 旭日东升: The sun rises from the east in the morning, representing hope and vitality. 

Cranes on Poyang Lake

Sunrise and Cranes on Poyang Lake, Photo by Hu Yeqing.

  • 众望所归: Trusted and respected by everyone.

  • 壮志凌云: Ambition soars to clouds, meaning great aspiration. 

  • 鸿鹄之志: The goals of wild gooses and swans, are representative of great ambition. 

  • 志在四方: Pursuing one's dream all over the world.

  • 胸怀大志: Hold great ambitions. 

  • 精诚所至,金石为开: Absolute sincerity could crack metal and stones, meaning everything would be solved through dedication, diligence, and faith.

  • 鹏程万里: Mythical bird Peng can easily fly tens of thousands of miles, representing a bright, promising future. 

Mythical Bird Peng in Chinese Mythology.

Mythical Bird Peng in Chinese Mythology

Chinese Poems about Hope, Dream, and Ambition:


  • 老当益壮,宁移白首之心?穷且益坚,不坠青云之志。Wang Bo (about 650 — 676)


Aged and more vigorous, how can one change their dreams for oldness? Destitute yet firmer, and never abandon one's soaring ambition.


  • 路漫漫其修远兮,吾将上下而求索。Qu Yuan (about 340 BC — 278 BC)


The road ahead is long and narrow; I shall search for the greater truth in heaven and down to earth. 


Aspiration is high as the moon broad, virtue is noble as autumn rime unflawed.

full moon
  • 松花酿酒,春水煎茶。Zhang Kejiu (about 1270 — 1350)


Brewing wine with Pinus Massoniana; boiling tea with spring water.


  • 老骥伏枥,志在千里。烈士暮年,壮心不已。Cao Cao (155 — 220)


An old steed in the stable is still ambitious to gallop for thousands of miles; a hero in his later years is still eager to establish a great career. 

  • 长乐未央,长毋相忘。


Infinite happiness, unforgettable love.


Carved on belt hooks given by Liu Fei (168 BC — 128 BC) to his beloved woman, now preserved in Nanjing Museum. 

Liu Fei was a brave and accomplished king of the Han Dynasty, half-brother of Emperor Wudi (156 BC — 87 BC).

The Silver Belt Hook Unearthed from Tomb of King Liu Fei — Nanjing Museum

The Silver Belt Hook Unearthed from Tomb of King Liu Fei — Nanjing Museum

  • 为天地立心,为生民立命,为往圣继绝学,为万世开太平。Zhang Zai (1020 — 1077)


To ordain conscience for Heaven and Earth, to secure life and fortune for the people, to continue lost teachings for ancient sages, and to establish peace for all future generations. (Translated by Qiu Ke'an)


  • 如月之恒,如日之升。The Classic of Poetry, or The Book of Songs, or Shijing, compiled by Confucius (551 BC  — 479 BC).


Constant as the moon, upward as the sun. 


  • 春水碧于天,画船听雨眠。Wei Zhuang (about 836 — 910)


Under blue sky, spring river is emerald and deep; on a painted boat, I listen to the rain and sleep.  


  • 提三尺之剑,立不世之功。General Taishi Ci (166 — 206)


A hero should carry a sword and obtain unparalleled victories on battlefields (during chaotic wartimes). 

Unearthed Bronze Sword of the Spring and Autumn Period

Bronze Sword of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC — 403 BC) — Hebei Provincial Institute of Archaeology (Photo by Dongmaiying)

  • 长风破浪会有时,直挂云帆济沧海。Li Bai (701 — 762)


A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves; I'll set my cloud-white sail and cross the sea which raves. (Translated by Xu Yuanchong)


  • 大鹏一日同风起,扶摇直上九万里。Li Bai (701 — 762)

The (mythical bird) Peng will take off with the wind someday, soaring tens of thousands of miles away. 

  • 已识乾坤大,犹怜草木青。Ma Yifu (1883 — 1967)

After seeing the big world and grand universe, one would still be impressed by little beauty like grass.

  • 唯愿当歌对酒时,月光长照金樽里。Li Bai (701 — 762)


Wishing that when we drink and sing, moonlight can shed light on our gold cups forever. Representing hope for eternal peace and happiness. 

Gilding Cup of the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907)

Gilding Cup of the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907) — Shaanxi History Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)

  • 掬水月在手,弄花香满衣。Yu Liangshi (? — about 756)


Scooping the water, the moon is in my hand; playing with flowers, my dress is full of scent. (Translated by Jiang Yi or Chiang Yee)


  • 不畏浮云遮望眼,只缘身在最高层。Wang Anshi (1021 — 1086)

Unfazed that floating clouds might obscure my sight, simply because I am standing at the highest site.

  • 俱怀逸兴壮思飞,欲上青天揽明月。Li Bai (701 — 762)


With an ambitious desire to fly up high; to pluck the moon from the sky.

  • 山寺月中寻桂子,郡亭枕上看潮头。Bai Juyi (772 — 846)


Amidst the mountain temple, seeking laurel blooms in moonlight; at the county pavilion, appreciating the magnificent tides. 

Pavilion on Top of Mount Lu, Photo from Official Site of Lushan.

Pavilion on Top of Mount Lu, Photo from Official Site of Lushan.

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