How to be ambitious

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Are some people born ambitious?

Why are some people so ambitious while some others seem to care about nothing?
Is ambition related to genes? or can anybody be ambitious?
And what's the difference between ambitious people and normal ones?

So many people think that ambition is a trait that people are born with and as a result they give in to the fact that they are unambitious. The good news i have for you is that after understanding why ambitious people are ambitious you will be able to learn how to become ambitious the way they learned it.

Yes there is a practical way to become an ambitious person even if you are not but first you need to understand how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Why are some people ambitious?

Jason was extremely financially troubled. He was having serious difficulties paying his bills and he was about to be kicked out of his house. While Jason was struggling to find few more dollars to support himself during the month he got laid off and lost his main source of income. Jason's wife was pregnant and she gave birth to two twins just few weeks after Jason lost his job.

Within few month Jason was making 4 times his old income and by the end of the year he managed to save extra 20K. Jason decided to become rich and within few years he actually did it.

Now when examining such a story you should pay special attention to how Jason's goals changed from someone who wanted to pay his bills to someone who wants to become rich (or in other words someone ambitious).

Its clear that the pressure people get subjected to forces them to become more ambitious. Had Jason not been laid off or had he managed to get a salary raise during that hard time he might have not thought about being rich.

In other words, the first requirement for becoming ambitious is putting yourself under pressure. (see also How to turn negative emotions into positive force)

Why do some people never become ambitious even when put under pressure?

Now am sure that while reading the previous story someone you know came to your mind who faced similar conditions but never became ambitious. In fact the majority of people don't respond to pressure by being ambitious because for pressure to be turned into ambition certain conditions must be fulfilled, here they are:

  • 1) Healthy belief system: What if Jason believed that all rich people are thieves? Would he have managed to become rich? No he would have never done it simply because he would have never tried. In my previous article Are you afraid to get motivated i explained how an unhealthy belief system can kill your motivation and prevent you from being ambitious. To summarize it all, ambitious people are the ones who believe that there is hope
  • 2) The ability to learn new skills: This point is an extension to the previous one. There is no way you would become ambitious unless you believe that you have a way out. Because the ability to learn a new skill can get you out of so many problems it might be very hard to become ambitious unless you develop that ability. In short if you believe you don't have a way out then life pressure will make you depressed not ambitious. In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that people get depressed when they get pressured and fail to find hope to end this pressure. The ability to learn a new skill can be the way out of so many life pressures
  • 3) Being brave: Jason could have taken another path like claiming that being rich will make him unhappy (as if he was already happy) or using drugs to forget about his problems. Ambitious people are the ones who don't run or try to forget their problems. They are the ones who take the decision to face the odds no matter what the are. If Jason wasn't brave he would have found an escapement method and he would have never became ambitious.

So what's the final conclusion? Ambition can be learned! Fix your belief system, learn how to learn new skills and be brave. After you are done with that add some pressure to your life or remind yourself of the existing pressures, only then you will become truly ambitious. Not easy but 100% doable.

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