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Ambition! The desire for success


Chronicles of Experience


Ambition is a word often found under the ‘skills’ category of many a CV, but what does it actually mean?  What type of people are really ambitious and is it a virtue you want in your company?

Ambition is a strong desire to do or achieve something there is usually a determination attached to this desire for success.  Ambitious people are thus ones that are singular in their ideals and stubborn in their resolve.  The question you should ask yourself, or anyone who calls themselves Ambitious for that matter, is what that ambition is?  What is the pinnacle of success that this person strives for?


Purposeless Ambition:

Successful people need both goals and drive to succeed, ambition merely describes the drive associated with that success.  So if, indeed, you find no answer to your question you have before you an ambitious, energetic person with no goal to strive for.  These people will wholeheartedly throw themselves into one venture after another achieving, perhaps limited, but not ultimate, success.  They run around like an untrained dog let loose upon the park for the first time.  They will sniff, taste and press their noses against anything and everything and never be truly at peace.


Ambitionless Purpose:

So what if you are like the owner of the dog, you are calm, collected and have a set goal in mind.  You want to go for a walk.  Seems simple enough.  Without ambition that is what the walk will remain, a simple, mediocre achievement.  You are not crossing Africa with only a backpack or running a marathon, you have a simple goal and you do not wish to overcomplicate things.  You might find that you have reached every simple goal you set out to achieve, but you have never even considered something as complicated as success so it remains forever beyond your reach.



Success is often described as a winding path and it may be that, but it is not a path with many branches.  Success requires a singular ambition.  No one has given a more lucid example of such ambition as Thomas Edison.  After trying and trying and trying and trying and trying he finally achieved his goal and along this road he did not deviate, he did not consider it impossible.  He stubbornly worked towards his goal until he achieved it.  If Edison had wavered in his resolve our world would be very different.  If he had become distracted by some other goal, we would not have the lightbulb as we know it today.

Edison's ambition

‘I have not failed, I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.’

T. Edison.


1 Comment

  1. Declan says:

    Great post! What do you think of the notion that women are less ambitious then men? Is it true and if so, why?

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