Do you ever look at the successful people and wonder what made them go this far? Do you ever wonder what qualities do they possess that make them different from the others? If you observe them, you will find they each have one thing in common; ambition.
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Ambition seems to be the driving force for successful people. In many instances, ambition overrides talent, allowing people who may not have the appropriate skill set to skyrocket to the top. Ambition is the work that goes into achieving your dream.
What is Ambition?
Ambition is our desire to receive recognition and importance within various facets of our lives. Ambition may manifest itself in the way behave and can motivate us to do things others might never accomplish in their lifetime (Source).
Unfortunately, ambition has a bad reputation as it relates to how others may see and how it may affect your mental wellness if you are not resilient in the face of challenging or stressful situations. There is some thought that ambition can cause us to behave in ways that signal aggression and acquisitiveness for self-aggrandizement (Source). Also, some people see ambition as a facet of greed or a desire for something more than you deserve or physically need.
What Does It Mean to Be Ambitious?
Ambition is not greed. What separates greed from ambition is the idea that enthusiasm for success allows us to flourish (Source).
However, there is something to be said for being driven in ways that many people are not. Ambition motivates us to change our current state of existence and push for something more significant.
Some of us confuse ambition with aspiration. Aspiration is a journey we take when we are looking to achieve a specific goal. Ambition, on the other hand, is a trait. It is a behavior that recycles over and over again, challenging us to continuously set and achieve new goals. (Source)
What Might an Ambitious Person Do? [12 Key Traits]
What do ambitious people have in common? Ambitious people are self-driven and determined, but they also seek recognition from others. Think of them as your highest of achievers in the spectrum of top performers.
They are leaders and they do not slow down for much on their way to success. Studies show that ambitious people attain higher levels of education and achieve successful careers. Also, they have a higher income. They tend to lead a more satisfying life.
Here are eleven actions ambitious people take.
Ambitious People and Positive Mindset
Ambitious people have a positive mindset. They possess the skills to:
- Focus on the positive
- Find humor in a crazy situation
- Consistently translate failures into successes
- Sidestep negative thoughts and negative talk for positivity
- Live in the now
Positive mindsets allow for a positive emotional and mental attitude thereby yielding positive results as well as:
- Acknowledgment of the good and the bad
Next, these individuals only see opportunity. They are often looking for the next thing they can do to change the state of the world. These individuals understand the importance of cultivating a positive mindset so that there is a sense of physical and mental wellness.
Ambitious People Set Goals And Achieve Them
Ambitious people are goal setters. They have the acronym SMART goals branded in their minds, and they are always working towards the next big thing. Some of these individuals will share their goals with you but many will not, choosing to keep their plans close to the vest unless that person can be a means to an end. These individuals can be somewhat superstitious about jinxing big plans before they get off the ground if they dare to divulge any inkling of where they are going next.
Ambition and Sacrifice
Ambitious people have very few qualms about sacrificing some aspect of their lives to achieve their goals if they are confident it will get them what they want in the future.
Ambition in Life and Risk
Ambitious people are risk takers. Where other people might turn away and stay within their comfort zone, ambitious individuals operate with a distinct level of drive and are rarely reluctant to confront their fear and head-on.
Ambitious People are Courageous And Deliberate
In addition to being risk takers, ambitious people are bold, and they are deliberate in all that they do. In addition to goal setting, they do not do anything without a purpose.
Self-Regulation and Ambition
According to a 2016 study featured in the Journal of Process Management, the psychology of ambitious people and the way they engage with others shows that these people have a unique approach to life and the people in it (Source). This particular trait can get in the way sometimes because it can cause problems during collaborative activities.
Ambitious People Have a Positive Self-Esteem
Ambitious people have a high level of self-esteem, but it does not mean they are not sensitive to criticism. They receive criticism, and they use it to look for ways to improve their potential. They learn from their victories but they also learn from their defeats, setbacks and they use it as fuel to motivate them to succeed (Source).
Individuals with high self-esteem are likely to strive for big things because they genuinely believe they can accomplish them.
Ambitious Individuals Keep An Open Mind
Ambitious people embrace new ways of thinking and adapt it to meet their needs. Open-minded people view various situations and events differently than most. Open-minded individuals may not engage in a debate in the same way as someone who has already established an opinion. Instead, he/she might choose to listen to all views on a matter then leverage the additional information as a kernel of information.
Open-minded individuals are willing to be wrong and listen to others. They are okay with not being the expert and welcome others to weigh in and provide their thoughts. Open-mindedness allows us to be more compromising. We are willing to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else and see things from their perspective.
They can effectively communicate with others. They know when to ask questions, and they know when it is time to be quiet and listen to what others are saying simply. These individuals may be perceptive and flexible but do not mistake silence for acquiescence. The wheels are always turning.
Ambitious Person Stays In Competition With Self
These productive beings only compete with themselves, looking for ways to “one-up” their coworker, peers or frenemies. They always in search of ways to best themselves, seek new opportunities and measure themselves against their last most significant accomplishment.
According to a study conducted by two professions on the topic of ambition, some people are not necessarily looking to become the CEO at a major corporation. Instead, these people are merely looking to be the best salesperson they can be (Source). They are resilient and readily bounce back after a failure.
Ambitious People are Accountable
They are responsible and often step up to take responsibility for things when they go awry. They do not shy away from disaster. Amazingly, they are not highly likely to depend on others to clean up their mess.
Ambitious People’s Emotional Wellness
These individuals are emotionally healthy. Emotionally well individuals recognize that to remain in good, emotional health; they must confront even the most difficult of situations. There must always be a sense of control or self-care and self-management.
Each of these perceptions feeds into our overall quality of life. When we have emotional wellness, we are capable of controlling our feelings. We can participate in decision-making activities without the confusion of other influences that may be internal to who we are or from the environment surrounding us.
Ambitious Person Networks With Other Ambitious Individuals
Ambitious people tend to surround themselves with like-minded people. They get their energy from interacting with people who understand what it means to experience successes and failures.
7 Signs You May Lack Ambition
Some people lack ambition as a result of not having direction and discipline. With this thought in mind, we must ask ourselves if lacking discipline is the reason some of us do not have ambition.
Here are a few symptoms of limited ambition to consider.
#1. Feeling That You Have No Purpose
If you think that you have no purpose in life, there is no drive to propel you forward to do big things.
#2. You Never Finish What You Start
When you lack ambition, you are at particular risk for not finishing what you start leaving you with multiple incomplete projects.
#3. Bad Attitude
Often, when we have a bad attitude, we are not likely to participate in activities that challenge us. People may even see us as untrustworthy and unaccountable, further diminishing our perception of self and drive to complete a simple task.
#4. Lack of Awareness
Self-awareness feeds our conscious and feeds our willpower and willingness to do things challenge us. When there is a lack of awareness, it creates a gateway to negative thoughts and feelings.
#5. Inability to Commit
Our interest in or willingness to commit to people or job duties diminishes in the face of low ambition. When our commitment is high, we are likely to give our all but as commitment wains, so does our confidence and willingness to meet a specific target or goal.
People who lack ambition are at risk of putting off the next step that will take them closer to achieving great things.
You may know the signs and wait until you “have the feeling” to do something. Often purposefully allow other items or events to take priority over the real tasks you need to complete first. There is no willpower, motivation or enthusiasm to trigger action.
#7. Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can have a detrimental effect on your enthusiasm to attempt to do new or exciting things. It can make it difficult to be promoted within the workplace or take on new responsibilities in your life. It can feel like you are in a prison of your own making and generate feelings of frustration, aggression, and depression. Low self-esteem can trigger other symptoms such as:
- Negative thoughts
- Lack of pride in your appearance
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices
- Social withdrawal
- Poor self-confidence
Ambition plays a significant role in achieving success. It is not something that is necessarily measurable from person to person.
6 Reasons Ambition Is Key To Achieving Great Things
Ambition is the key to achieving great things in life. There are those who would rank this trait as being more important than real talent. As long as we are willing to put forth our best effort and take practical steps to achieve expected outcomes, people often won’t mind if you are not perfect as long as you are trying.
Sets the right mindset to achieve. Without an ambitious mindset it is difficult to achieve much in life.
#1. Provides Focus and Creates Opportunity
Ambition creates focus and motivates us to work hard in accomplishing our goals. That focus enables us to jump over hurdles and achieve great things. Ambition creates the opportunity for excellent experiences and inspires us to take the initiative in situations the average person might avoid.
Keeping your ambitions in focus also ensures that we don’t participate in activities that create an unsafe environment for us physically, mentally or emotionally. Focus requires concentration, awareness, and a sense of boundaries under the umbrella of ambition. Focus and planning have a unique relationship.
#2. Boosts Confidence and Strength
Ambition feeds our strengths and enhances confidence. Ambition and confidence go hand-hand, particularly in the workplace. Determination and enthusiasm can propel you to places that your actual knowledge, skills, and ability might otherwise keep you from going. Of course, they can be that much more effective when you have the talent to back them up.
#3. Keeps You in Competition with Yourself
Ambitious people compete with themselves, not with anyone else. They do not care about what others are doing in their lives, as they are more in tune with themselves. This action not only helps them with securing success but also keeps activities associated with jealousy and aggression at bay between two or more high-performing individuals.
#4. You Attract Other Ambitious People
Ambitious people respect hard work and passion and gravitate to those who possess the same qualities. They prefer spending their time with people possess an equal hustle in life instead of being with people who do not have any goals in their life and do not work hard to achieve them.
#5. Better Decision-Maker
#6. Ambition is Humbling
Ambition grounds us and shows us the way to improving ourselves as a better individual. It reminds us that we should continue to strive towards goals. One must be careful not to allow ego and arrogance to take hold of their day to day interactions with other people.
What Does Ambitious Mean? [Summary]
Ambitious people possess a unique set of traits that enable them to succeed and achieve great things. These individuals are risk takers and relish the opportunity to take on stretch opportunities within and outside of the workplace. If you are hoping to improve your ambition gene, you must seek opportunities that allow you to be a risk-taker.
Ambitious people recognize that persistence is the only way to get what they want. They rarely slow down if at all to catch their breath.
Be a risk-taker who embraces every opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Celebrate your successes. Ditch the excuses that hold you back. Expand your network. Partner with others who are also ambitious and can help you elevate your game.
Stay in competition with yourself . Do not spend too much time obsessing about how you are performing in comparison to others in your profession, age group, town or school. Establish your baseline. Set goals that allow you to move the needle each time.
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