What Ambition Is And How To Maintain A Healthy Sense Of It

How To Maintain A Healthy Sense Of Ambition

Ambition is a quality that can motivate an individual and drive their actions toward a particular goal. It can help a person push themselves to engage in hard work and take risks in order to reap specific rewards. Read on to understand what characterizes ambition, how to tell the difference between healthy and potentially unhealthy levels of this trait, and strategies for balancing it in your life.

What Is Ambition?

Ambition is defined as “a desire to achieve a particular end”, but it can also refer to “an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power”—which hints at how varied manifestations of this quality can be. Ambition can be the driving force behind the choices you make, pushing you to achieve your goals. However, a person’s goals and the way ambition plays out in their lives can vary widely.

For instance, two artists may both have strong ambitions and be very motivated to achieve their goals. However, one’s primary goal might be to inspire others, so they focus on getting their art displayed in free, public places. The other might be driven primarily by a desire to achieve wealth or fame, driving them to focus on networking and publicity so they can get a place in well-known galleries or museums. Regardless of the specifics, ambition can help a person work toward their greatest aspirations.

The Potential Benefits Of Ambition

A healthy sense of ambition can have a positive impact on an individual’s life and even on their community. Potential benefits of ambition can include the following.

A Sense Of Purpose

When you have a clear goal, you may be more focused on and motivated to work towards it. Ambition may help you prioritize your actions and make decisions that bring you closer to your goal.

Resilience

Ambition can also give you the energy you may need to persist when you encounter obstacles. When you are ambitious, you might be more likely to take calculated risks and continue to pursue your goals, even when the path is unclear or arduous. This kind of resilience and determination could be critical for success, as they can keep you on track even when times get tough.

Personal Growth

Ambition can potentially foster personal growth and self-discovery. You often learn more about yourself and your capabilities when you challenge yourself and push beyond your comfort zone. This kind of growth can allow you to develop new skills and reach new levels of success, which might fuel your ambition further and equip you to achieve additional goals in the future.

Life Achievements

Ambition can help you get where you want to be in life. If your aim is to hit certain career, financial, relational, or creative milestones, for example, a healthy dose of this quality may help you get there.

A Positive Impact On Society

Finally, ambition can inspire people to make a positive impact on the world, whether through philanthropy, activism, or other forms of service. It can give someone the persistence they may need to effect meaningful change to benefit the lives of those around them.

The Possible Dark Side Of Ambition

While ambition has the potential to bring many benefits, excessive or unchecked levels of this trait can lead to negative outcomes. Too much ambition can lead to stress, burnout, and debilitating perfectionism. In extreme cases, it may also lead to unethical behavior such as cutthroat competition, the manipulation of others, or breaking the law. That’s why it’s generally ideal to look for a healthy balance between striving for success and taking care of yourself and others.

Tips For Cultivating A Healthy Sense Of Ambition

To help yourself find a middle ground between not having enough ambition to achieve your goals and having so much that you burn yourself out, consider the following tips for cultivating a healthy sense of it:

  • Set realistic goals. Identifying what you want to achieve is the first step in working toward almost any goal. Ensuring your goals are realistic can help you avoid pushing yourself past your limits as you work toward them. Using the SMART goals framework may be helpful in this process.

  • Celebrate your progress. As you go, you might celebrate small wins along the way and acknowledge the hard work and effort you’re putting forth. This strategy may help you combat perfectionism or a “never-enough” mindset, which can lead to negative thought patterns and burnout.

  • Prioritize self-care. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being as you work toward your goal can also help you avoid burnout. This might look like making time for activities that bring you joy, help you feel relaxed, or benefit your overall health, such as exercising, meditating, or spending time with loved ones.

  • Stay adaptable. Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. Being open to adjusting your goals, timeline, and/or approach if necessary can help you achieve your aspirations in the face of obstacles and not get too discouraged when things don’t go as you envisioned.

Source: betterhelp.com ~ Image: Canva Pro

9 Proven Tips on How to Be More Ambitious in Life

How to Be More Ambitious in Life

Often referred to as the fire in your gut, ambition is a priceless, timeless, and highly valuable characteristic. It is something that you can create within yourself. It is the raw desire to achieve or succeed in a goal. Ambition can be used as fuel for motivation. It can be combined with a determination to achieve success in literally anything you want. People who are successful in life are described as ambitious. They attract attention and get the best out of life at every turn. You may feel that your life lacks the excitement of achievement. Do you want to join their elite club and be a mover and shaker today? Here is how to be more ambitious in life and achieve more.

Do not be scared to take risks

One of the things to do so as to become more ambitious is to take risks. You have to be comfortable in risk. Sometimes, you may have to take a leap of faith or bet everything on one decision. In most cases, you will find that the situation you are most afraid of will actually not happen. To become more ambitious in life, you need to give yourself the opportunity to explore and experiment with many options at a time. You could have a big opportunity waiting for you right around the corner if you simply try out for it. According to psychiatrist Neel Burton, ambition makes you willing to experience fear or anxiety and tolerate it. All that you need to develop ambition is consistent drive. Therefore, find out the risks in your life which you can take to achieve more. After that, find out the fear which is holding you back. Once you do this, create a drive within you and face it head-on. This will make you ambitious.

Exercise your imagination

Often encouraged in children, imagination is a beautiful thing. It can help you to escape the mundane nature of day-to-day life. It can also be a useful tool for overcoming negative thoughts. Ambition is a state of being. Whenever you are facing challenges, this state can dwindle. In such times, imagination is your best friend. Imagine the pain away. Military personnel and extreme sports people understand and confess the power of mind over matter. When you feel down and tired, repeat something encouraging to yourself and imagine better times. Experiment by saying and thinking only positive things for 3 days only. You will experience a transformation and develop boundless ambition.

Be willing to invest time into your goal

Time is the most important resource. When invested wisely, it has the best returns. The more time you invest in a project, the faster it grows and becomes better. To become more ambitious, identify a project and work for long hours so as to complete it. People who achieve a lot in life are always willing to do this. They have so many things that they want to accomplish. Hence, they sleep late and wake up early. Do the same and experience the fatigue of working hard for your goal. You will not have to do it forever but you will have to do it in the first stages of your success story.

Expose yourself to new methods of thought

One of the main killers of ambition is group thinking. This is where you accept popular opinion as your own. Group thinking collects the fears and anxieties of the masses and instills them in members. Therefore, you should break away from this method of thinking so as to become more ambitious. Seek to be your own unique person and not blend in with the crowd. This helps you to observe life from a free, unbiased perspective. In this way, you can see opportunities that other people will easily miss. By pursuing them with literally no competition, you will achieve more and eventually become ambitious.

Eliminate negative thoughts and promote positive ones

Thoughts are things. The topics which we think about affect us more than we know. Thoughts affect how we feel and consequently how we work. We all have a constant train of thoughts in our minds. Some are positive and others are negative. Negative thoughts create emotional barriers such as doubt and fear. However, positive ones help us to move forward. They motivate us to experiment with something new, step out of our comfort zones and get excited about life.

Focus on attaining knowledge, not success and recognition

In every opportunity, you can seek to achieve knowledge or profit. You may achieve profit or lose it. However, you always learn something new from every experience. Focus on gaining knowledge. The process of learning, experimenting, exploring, and improving can give you constant motivation. It makes the journey worth it and keeps you interested. Therefore, maintain focus on learning from your experiences more than profiting from them. This will keep you motivated to achieve more in life.

Do not wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect

In life, you have two main options. You can either waste time and effort trying to make perfect plans or you can get ready and begin right now. Many people spend so much time in life waiting for a perfect moment and never achieve it. This is because it does not exist. Every moment is essentially what you make of it. As a matter of fact, a perfect start and an average one are the same if you achieve what you ultimately desire. To become an ambitious person, grab the moment and make it perfect. Focus all your energy and resources on it. Do not waste your time waiting for the myth of perfection. This will help you to achieve more in life.

Stay committed

Commitment is the willingness to do an activity when you had rather not. It is the stubborn willingness to stick to a particularly beneficial activity no matter what. Commitment is painful when conditions are challenging. However, it is an essential activity to perform so as to become ambitious. It requires that you sacrifice the pleasures of life. It makes you ask yourself what you are willing to give up so as to achieve what you desire. Develop a strict schedule to help you stay committed and you will achieve more in life. This will make you more motivated to continue.

Stop babying yourself

Ambition and action are bedfellows. You need to have them together so as to achieve any kind of progress. In some cases, you find that your actions are not bringing about the results you desire. Therefore, you decide to cut back and relax saying that you may be pushing yourself too hard. Under the guise of waiting for a perfect moment, you start to become lazy. This can lead to stagnation and depression too. Therefore, stop being so relaxed about your goals. Do not baby yourself. Push into the unknown and do what needs to be done to get where you want even if you are afraid to do it. This will help you to achieve more.

The Important Takeaway

Ambitious people seem not to have any limits. They do not let fear hold them back. By identifying goals, creating schedules to achieve them, and staying committed, they achieve more in life. The guidelines above can help you to do exactly the same. Learn and apply them in your life. They can bring about the positive change that you desire.

Source: greatperformersacademy.com  ~ Image: Canva Pro

How to Balance Ambition and Happiness: 5 Tips

Balance Ambition and Happiness

Too much ambition makes life miserable, too little makes it meaningless. Here’s how to strike a balance.

Many people believe that success will make them happy. But science shows that it’s the other way around.

Being happy seems to increase your chances of success, while study after study indicates that chasing success tends to make you unhappy. In short, both science and personal experience demonstrate that ambition for one more accomplishment or one more dollar is a never-ending rat race that results in misery.

But that’s not the whole story. While playing the status game is a surefire route to dissatisfaction, a complete lack of ambition is untenable too. Without dreams to strive for, not only will you have no impact on the world, you’ll also probably end up unfulfilled. Just chilling — for all but the most supernaturally mellow among us — feels both boring and pointless.

So how do you resolve this conundrum, balancing a healthy dose of striving with a wise desire to avoid ‘keeping up with the Joneses’? It’s one of the hardest problems professionals face, which is probably why entrepreneur and author Ben Casnocha recently devoted thousands of words to the issue on his personal blog.

1. Be process-driven, not goal-driven.

What’s the problem with goals? “If you don’t achieve the goal, you’re unhappy. If you do achieve the goal, you’re happy but only for a moment because there’s inevitably someone else you can compare yourself to who achieved a more audacious goal. The pleasure is fleeting,” explains Casnocha.

What’s the alternative? “Ideally, you love the process of the work itself and are non-attached to a specific outcome. Ideally, your work is more about doing the thing itself and reaping intrinsic rewards in the process,” he writes.

How do you know if you’re focused on the outcome or the process? Ask yourself, if I accomplished this but couldn’t tell anyone, would I still do it? If your answer is no, you’re goal-driven. If you can honestly say yes, then you genuinely love the process.

2. Pick your friends wisely.

This is wise advice for so many reasons, but it’s also key to avoiding getting caught up in the status rat race, according to Casnocha: “If everyone around you is on the more status, more status, more status track, and straining their necks to check the leaderboard, it’ll be hard to resist doing the same.”

3. Diversify your identity.

You wouldn’t put all your financial eggs in one basket, so don’t invest all of your egos in a single pursuit either. Focus on only one track to success, he warns, and “you compare yourself more easily to all the other professionals who are also specializing in that single line of work.” Far better to pursue a bundle of projects. That way you’ll always have at least one area in which you’re excelling.

“This strategy can stretch beyond career activities and into the realm of hobbies, personal interests, friends, political affiliations, faith, and so on. The more idiosyncratic the bundle of things that makes up who you are, the harder to compare yourself to others,” he asserts.

4. Operate a dashboard, not a leaderboard.

A dashboard — like your car’s speedometer — helps you gauge your own progress. A leaderboard perpetually compares you to others. No surprise then that Casnocha advises you to use the dashboard model to measure your progress.

“You should measure yourself in the spirit of improving upon your last best record, not what an opponent has accomplished. Leaderboards turn your attention to others; dashboards turn your attention within,” he writes.

5. Be a big fish in a smaller pond.

Sure, physically locating yourself at the beating heart of your industry can be a huge leg up in your career, but the hottest hubs are often the least livable in the longer term. If you’re a techie in Silicon Valley, it’s going to be nearly impossible to feel accomplished when you pass Mark Zuckerberg in the Starbucks parking lot twice a week. Moving somewhere slightly smaller is often the solution, suggests Casnocha.

He recommends this strategy: early in their careers people should “live in the place where their industry is headquartered. Bay Area for tech, New York for finance and publishing, LA for movies, Michigan for furniture and cars, Nashville for country music, etc. Soak up everyone’s expertise. Study. Learn. Even if you don’t want to start the next Google, you’ll learn a lot by way of ‘network intelligence‘ from physically living in Silicon Valley. But feel free to leave and join a lower-cost-of-living secondary market if and when you begin to feel perpetually not quite good enough.”

Source: inc.com ~ BY JESSICA STILLMAN ~ Image: Canva Pro

11 Examples of Ambition in Life and Work to Get You Inspired

Ambition in Life and Work

Sometimes you need a little kick-start — something to spark some energy and help you move forward. You know what you need to hear right now: examples of ambition.

Ambition affects everyone differently. But it always creates a strong desire to improve and achieve. It’s what human beings need to reach their goals and live more meaningful lives.

Just to be clear, ambition isn’t something you mix into your smoothie each day to accelerate a transformation. It takes plenty of grit and effort to develop and maintain. But after you’ve learned how to be ambitious, you’ll realize you know more about yourself than you thought.

Why is ambition important?

Let’s start by outlining the definition of ambition. Ambition is a strong desire to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. It’s the spark inside you that compels you to keep putting effort into whatever you’re doing.

So why is ambition important? Without it, you wouldn’t work toward your goals — and you probably wouldn’t do any goal-setting at all. This driving force springs you into action and keeps you looking to the future. It motivates you to face new challenges head-on and works hard to develop. And it’s all about pursuing your purpose and trying to live a more meaningful life.

No one is born with ambition, and it isn’t a trait you do or don’t possess. Some days, you might feel like your ambition is lower than usual, but it never truly disappears. Your ambition helps you focus on what you desire to achieve and gives you a reason to succeed. Your focus isn’t always as strong or intent, but it’ll always return. Your desires will still be there in the back of your mind.

An ambitious person has a few qualities that set them apart from the unambitious. Research has found seven groups of important psychological characteristics in ambitious people that help them achieve their goals:

  1. Continuously planning and setting specific goals to keep them focused
  2. Staying motivated to achieve their goals and desire for self-actualization
  3. Only being satisfied with themselves when they reach their goals
  4. Competitively working alongside others, but for the sake of growth and success
  5. Willingly making changes in their lives to better pursue their goals and purpose
  6. Willingly taking risks but maintaining rational thinking and self-regulation
  7. Keeping flexibility in critical thinking and staying open to new ideas to help solve problems

6 examples of ambition in life

Ambition in life is displayed in many ways. You display your ambition in subtle and not-so-subtle ways to those around you. It also subtly impacts your mindset, causing you to strive to do better, sustain your efforts, and think of the future but still be present.

Heads up: these ambition examples aren’t too specific to show you that you can adopt any of them into your life. They’re all ways to let your ambition shine and can act as a template for you to set your specific goals.

Here are six ambition examples in life to review:

  1. Wanting to be great at something: If you’re going to have a hobby or skill set, you want to be great at it. Not OK or decent, but it great. Spending hours practicing this will help elevate you from amateur to expert.
  2. Being passionate: Life’s too short to live without what you’re passionate about. You’ll strive to find meaning in life and enjoy your lifestyle.
  3. Being persistent: You want to be an ambitious person, so you won’t give up easily. You’ll be willing to learn new skills and set long-term goals if it means achieving success.
  4. Making a difference: You’ll strive to make a difference in both your community and life. You’ll always try to see how things might be improved for you and others.
  5. Having a vision: Visualization is key. You’ll have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in life. Even if you don’t know how you’ll achieve it yet, you’ll still know your values and dreams.
  6. Exuding self-motivation: Nobody has to tell you twice to work hard toward your personal goals. Your great ambition won’t let you sit around and scroll on social media all day. This motivation will extend to everything you do, helping you act with purpose and intention.

5 examples of ambition at work

Ambition is a desirable skill at work. Think about it; it’ll make you strive to do better, set new goals, and stay dedicated to your work. It will even make your resume stand out by showing that you have a growth mindset. You’re interested in growing and moving up, not just staying where you are.

Ambition at work has three categories: performance, growth, and achievement. But what’s key is to find a balance between all of them. Well-rounded career ambitions help you be more creative, aid your work-life balance, and leave you more satisfied.

With that in mind, here are five examples of ambitions at work:

  1. Creating a plan for your career path: If you’re ambitious, you often think about the present and the future. Your ambition helps you plan your career, where you want to end up, and how you’ll develop as a professional.
  2. Listening to feedback: You’re bound to make mistakes. Everyone is. But your mistakes are learning opportunities to help improve your performance for next time. Seize the opportunity to receive feedback and note how you might improve.
  3. Wanting to be an expert: Being an expert is what all the goals you’ve set and achieved have brought you after years of hard work. If you aren’t yet a master at your craft, it might mean you just need more time — but the desire shows the grit and determination of ambition.
  4. Owning your own business: After years of working for others, you might want to be your own boss. The desire to start a new company and invite others to join you might be one of your main motivators.
  5. Striving to be a mentor: Someone likely mentored you when you entered the industry, and maybe you’d like to return the favor. Mentors guide others on their career paths by teaching them new skills and offering career advice. In this position, all of your growth and achievements help you give back to others and feel fulfilled.

Habits you can put into practice

You want to be an ambitious person, but how do you put your goals and ambitions into practice? Knowing what you want is one thing. Doing it is another.

Ambitious people have certain habits that help them stand out compared to people who aren’t as ambitious. You might not notice it right away, but it’s in the details. Small things contribute to how ambitious you are and your mindset toward achieving personal or career aspirations.

If you need some healthy habits to support the goals you’re chasing, try these out:

  • Find a social group with similar goals. Do your friends shrug off goal-setting, or do they share your enthusiasm for growth and hard work? Your social health impacts your attitude, so be mindful of who you hang out with. Surround yourself with like-minded people who share your focus.
  • Be punctual. Organize your schedule and manage your time to ensure you’re not late or keeping others waiting. Things like job interviews and coffee with mentors demand that you’re on time and prepared. But your friends, family members, and loved ones deserve the same level of respect for their time — even for casual things. Punctuality means you’re serious and intentional with your time.
  • Learn from your mistakes. How do you feel about failure? Learning to be ambitious requires that you learn from your mistakes. You’re a human being who, occasionally, fails. Try to view this as a learning opportunity for the future.
  • Accountability. Owning your failures also means being accountable for your actions. This applies to everything — both good and bad. Make sure you celebrate your wins and be proud of yourself, but know when to admit that you’ve done something wrong.

Perhaps you’re already practicing some of these success tips. But if you find some of these are new suggestions, give them a try. You won’t be perfect at them on the first try, but these habits will help lay a foundation for the pursuit of your ambitions.

Take the inspiration and go

Ambition loves inspiration. You need to feel empowered and motivated to work toward your goals, but you need the inspiration to start. All of these examples of ambition demand a little spark.

Maybe you’ve met someone who’s their own boss, and you’re feeling inspired to finally pursue one of your business ideas. That inspiration help ignite your ambition, and before you know it, you’re an entrepreneur.

Wherever you find inspiration, run with it. Listen to your thoughts, and follow what’s pulling you somewhere. And by establishing habits that’ll set you up for success, you’ll cultivate an all-in mindset. Soon you’ll be planning how to turn your dreams into reality. Perhaps you’ll start working on your bucket list, because why not?

With enough grit and determination, you’ll find that this is the driving force you need to live a purposeful and happy life for years to come.

Source: betterup.com ~ By Elizabeth Perry ~ Image: Canva Pro

 

People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves

Sell the Lifestyle not the Product
I have a saying hanging on the wall next to my monitors: “People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.” (I would cite it, but it’s so well-known that I’m not sure anyone really knows who said it initially.) I like to keep it there to remind me that I’m not really selling online marketing services – I’m selling business exposure and growth. It’s just like shampoo. 

No shampoo company uses the pitch that their product will get your hair clean because everyone knows shampoo gets your hair clean and that won’t set it apart from any other product on the market. Instead, shampoo commercials feature attractive people with friends and dates… oh yeah, and great-looking haircuts. They do this because they want you to know that if your hair looks good, you’ll feel good about yourself and your life will be better. They’re not selling shampoo – they’re selling confidence in your appearance.

But saying that you’re selling more than just products/services and actually accomplishing that are two totally different things (especially for small businesses). So how do you sell a lifestyle rather than a product?

Focus on Benefits not Features
Every product has features that businesses can focus on, but focusing on benefits is far more appealing to consumers. Don’t tell your audience what your product is, tell them what it can do for them. 

In the case of shampoo, people really don’t care if it has pomegranate oil in it or if it’s less sudsy than its counterparts. People want a shampoo that will leave their hair with fewer split ends or keep it looking shiner because those benefit their appearance.

Solve a Problem
Some of the best benefits that consumers can get from your products/services are the solution to problems that are plaguing them. This is especially true in the case of B2B products/services because solving problems means increasing efficiency, reducing pain points, and breaking down barriers to growth. But regardless of the product involved, everything solves a problem of some sort. 

This is why shampoo makers target their products toward niches of people with specific issues. There are shampoos for dry hair, thinning hair, curly frizzy hair, color-damaged hair, flat hair – you name it! These shampoos solve the main problems affecting people with these hair types.

Use the End Result
Benefits are great, but often times they don’t tell the whole story. The “end result” is where the benefits of a product/service can take consumers. Sticking with this shampoo example, just having better-looking hair is a benefit for sure because no one wants to look in the mirror and feel ugly. But why do people really want better-looking hair? What is the end result that they are seeking?

Most people want good-looking hair so that they’ll get noticed – garnering compliments and attention from other attractive people. This is why shampoo commercials don’t show people standing in the bathroom looking at their reflection with a smile and then just ending there. They show people going out to lunch with friends, meeting up for a hot date, going to work and turning heads, etc. This is the end result that really motivates people to buy.

Source: lionsharkdigital.com ~ By Kate Pierce ~ Canva Pro

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