“Ambition is enthusiasm with a purpose.”
— Frank Tyger
Ambition can be defined as a strong desire to reach one’s goals through hard work, perseverance, and determination. Some people say that you can’t create ambition or that some people are born with it while other people are not. However, I think ambition is a characteristic that can be developed in anybody.
If you want to travel the path of success, you will need to develop some ambition to stick with your dreams when the road gets tough and believe that you can accomplish your goals long before you ever see any fruit. Here are 8 things ambitious people do:
1. They set goals and stick to them.
It is one thing to say you want to do something. It is another thing to list the steps you need to take to do it. But it is completely another thing to actually finish what you start. Ambitious people set goals that are simple (not always simplistic), reachable, and based upon a deadline. They are always moving the ball forward to get to where they want to go. They plan their work and then they work their plan.
2. They are willing to do hard stuff.
It is in our human nature to always look for the way out but the easiest way is not always the best way. Sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, even far away from home and familiar surroundings to implement an approach that you’ve never tried before. Ambitious people challenge themselves to go the extra mile and make good on every opportunity.
3. They are intentional about their lives.
Make every action, every word, and even every thought count. Ambitious people are intentional about what they do. They rarely do things for the sake of doing things. There is a reason, a motive, an intention behind what they say or do. This is because when you do things by coincidence or happenstance, almost anything can happen. When you do things on purpose, you are more in control of the results.
4. They are relational.
You can’t do everything by yourself. At one point or another, you will need to include people in your plans and enlist them in your projects to help you reach your goals and objectives. “Many hands make light work” is just as true today as it has ever been. Ambitious people are relational. They reach out to others, they ask for advice, they include others in their plans. Being relational and connecting socially with other people is part of who we are.
5. They use time like money.
If you are a normal person, you don’t waste money. If you are an ambitious person, you don’t waste time. Charles Duhigg references the research that explains that people have limited capacity to employ willpower each day. This means that if you are wasting time on projects that have no end value, then you’re likely not going to stay motivated or achieve your goals. Ambitious people set aside specific times to do their priorities so that they never lost ground on their goals.
6. They stay focused.
It is easy to allow our minds to wander. Thinking about nothing at all gives us many reasons to do nothing at all. However, when faced with a project or task, ambitious people are internally motivated to focus on that one thing until it is complete or at least until their part of it is done. Controlling the direction of the mind allows you to stay in control of situations, demolish agitation, and stay calm under pressure.
7. They learn from mistakes.
We all fail at times. We all make mistakes. We all wish we could go back in time and just do that one thing right or say that one thing over again. But it is not possible. The past is in the past and we can use it as a point of reference but if we are to reach our goals, we can’t use it as a point of referral. Ambitious people know how to separate past mistakes from present life and future goals by learning from what has been done and being committed to continuous improvement.
8. They express gratefulness everyday.
Part of the foundation for a well-lived and balanced life is thankfulness. Ambitious people are continuously grateful, not just in their words but also in their attitude and action. They are thankful for every opportunity and embrace every situation that comes their way. Conscious gratitude causes motivation to accomplish goals and reach dreams to increase because the possibilities are always endless.
“Ambition never comes to an end.”
— Yoshida Kenko