The Ambition Gene
If you’ve been blessed (or cursed) with this very curious gene, many times you’ll think to yourself whether this is a blessing or a curse. You see, many would argue that being born ambitious is actually a good thing. That being born with a fire in your belly, always fidgeting, always uncomfortable, never satisfied, always wanting more, chasing a moving (and at times imaginary) target is actually a good thing.
You see, our type is different. We never rest. Never quit. There’s always one more step to take. One more phone call to make. One more notification to check. One more email to send. One more post to publish. It’s never enough. We’re always reaching higher, striving for more, and setting the bar higher as we go along. To a point where it can get very exhausting.
And we always wonder why we’re not like our cousin, or best friend, or neighbor who’s always so mellow, cruising and coasting through life, without a care in the world? Why couldn’t we be born like that? Why can’t we be “normal”? (Whatever that means these days.) Because we simply can’t be.
If you’re born with this gene, you will never be normal. You will always stand out, be the loudest, most hyper, most audacious and most audible. You will always have something more to say and more to do. You will always want to leave your undeniable, unquestionable mark on this universe (because this planet simply isn’t enough for you). And this is not to be confused with having a big ego, either. Far from it. Our types like to serve, make an impact, lend a helping hand, be remembered, make people laugh (or if you’re the more reserved type, at least smile), we like to be of service.
Not an easy route to take in life at all. We tend to envy the cool, calm, collected types — just for being so cool. Because if there’s one thing we’re not: it’s cool. Nope. We are undeniably not cool. Always on the lookout, with countless thoughts whizzing through our brains at any given moment. That’s just how we were built — and there’s nothing we can do about it.
What boggles our mind about this ambition business is that — many times — it has nothing to do with who you really are. You could be born into wealth, utter poverty, the suburbs, or the slums. You could have been blessed with an incredible education, or a not-so-great one, you could have been blessed with great, or average, looks. You see, all those things don’t matter at all. Your country of origin, demographic, location, education — none of these things matter. Ambition is a gene. You are either born with it or you’re not. There’s no other way to explain this inexplicable phenomenon.
The Power of Ambition
If there’s one thing you’ve gleaned from this piece is that ambition is a force. It’s power that cannot be messed with, hampered down, or put out. It’s a power that turns you into a force. That is precisely why you’ll see ambitious people actually do a lot more. (That’s not just the coffee in their systems. There’s a lot more to it than that).
Sometimes ambition gets a bad rap — seen as a negative attribute rather than a positive one. In my experience, it’s ambition that drives people to accomplish great things — without it, nothing great would ever get done.
I actually enjoy working with ambitious people.
They know what they want, they have clear goals and work very hard to accomplish them. They embrace challenges and enjoy them — they know they are necessary to move forward and learn.
Ambitious people take charge of their destiny and don’t expect others to bow down to their needs. They have willpower and determination. They know where they are going and what they have to do to get there. They are capable of changing and measuring up to their dreams, always watchful of the opportunities that are out there for those who are willing to see them and seize them.
Ambition is a major driver for personal growth and development. No one can succeed without a healthy dose of ambition. Those who wish to be more, know more, do more, give more or have more, have a purpose and a powerful internal drive that leads them to dream bigger and go further. Ambition drives them to advance and accomplish their goals. Well-aimed and supported by values, ambition reflects a healthy self-esteem and higher power of abstraction and visualization of the future. Ambitious people have a gleam in their eyes as they approach their goals. They vibrate at a higher level and have a contagious enthusiasm about accomplishing things. They inspire and motivate others.
It should be noted that being ambitious does not imply a lack or values or ethics. Neither lack of control or being manipulative, as many in Western civilization
often think. Here, we don’t value ambition. We fear it and mistrust it (almost as much as the success of others). We are very quick at mistaking it with ambition unchecked. It is as if every ambitious person was inherently capable and willing to harm others. Of course there are many out there with unbridled ambition — stereotyped as the bad guy in the story — capable of doing anything and running over anyone to get whatever they want. But this does not automatically disqualify those with a healthy and positive level of ambition from succeeding and doing good at the same time.
On the other hand, people without ambition ask very little of life and that is what they get, little or nothing. They have no dreams, no vision, no direction or clear intent and, therefore, they get nowhere. Some are conformists, others passive or perhaps unmotivated. Many of them are embittered towards life and don’t understand that it is precisely their lack of ambition which sabotages their future: they are unable to imagine their future and, therefore, to create it for themselves. People without ambition aren’t truly honest with themselves: they don’t have the courage to take the risks required to be successful, they don’t build themselves up in order to live up to their potential. Unfortunately, it’s as if their wings are tied behind their backs and they don’t even realize it…
We must teach our children the power of ambition and dreaming big. These are major motivators of personal and collective success. And we must also teach them that ambition can, and should, work to benefit others and society in general.
Today, we should demand those who will lead us into the future to provide us a clear vision, with ambitious and challenging goals that inspire all of us to accomplish them. Only in this way will be have the thriving, fair and equitable workplace — and world — that we all want and deserve!
Incredible advice. We couldn’t agree more.
Find your passion. Research it. Pursue it. And one day, you’ll find your very own place within the ranks of the truly ambitious.