Ambition - what does it mean? Description of the concept, character traits

Ambition and ambitiousness - how often do you hear this word? Perhaps there are ambitious individuals in your environment. Or you yourself are one. Either way, you stand out in the crowd. You are probably confident in yourself, you know how to get what you want and achieve your goal. Is it good or bad? How does ambition affect your life and the lives of those around you?

What is ambition

Experts tried to figure out the mysterious definition of ambition - what it means in a person’s character and whether it should be perceived exclusively in a negative way. First of all, this is an individual intention and desire to achieve goals. A person can feel confident only if he understands his specific tasks and how to solve them. An ambitious person is one who does not allow himself to be manipulated because he has a sense of self-worth.

In the absence of personal ambitions, life becomes boring and monotonous. A person lives by inertia, not trying to fix anything and meekly accepting all the vicissitudes of fate. This means that a person’s ambitions shape his character and make him an independent, responsible and independent person.

Is it good to be an ambitious person?

It's difficult to say for sure. What do you mean by ambition in a person? If it is the ability to confidently go towards achieving goals, there is nothing wrong with it. If this is arrogance, pride and arrogance, it’s worth thinking about.

In general, being ambitious is a good thing. After all, a person is constantly developing and moving forward. The problem arises when there is ambition, but the person remains stagnant.

The ideal option is that a person wants and knows how to get what he wants. This is the golden mean. There are also 2 extremes. The first is those who believe that nothing will work out. The second is inflated, naked ambitions. A person sets obviously unattainable goals and, of course, fails.

Types of Ambitions

Ambitions come in different forms—there are many different aspects hidden in this concept. They may vary over time and change depending on circumstances. There are common expressions: “a person lives by ambition” or “a flash of ambition.” This means that there is either constant uncompromisingness in the character, or the person suddenly felt a surge of energy and confidence in his abilities. But the classical understanding of the meaning of ambition dictates the presence of three main forms:

  1. Understated. A person initially sets goals that are achieved on their own. He doesn't have to make any special efforts to implement them. Low ambitions can also be characterized as a lack of direction in life. A person is not upset because he did not receive something, because he did not expect anything. And in the event of a successful combination of circumstances, when success comes on its own, he rejoices and perceives it as a random gift of fate.
  2. Adequate. An adequate form of ambition means that a person distributes his forces wisely, does not have his head in the clouds and does not dream of what is a priori impossible to achieve. He sets clear goals for himself, systematically moves along the path to achieving them, and is ready at any moment to adjust his plans depending on the circumstances. This is a fully formed personality who strives for spiritual growth.
  3. Overpriced. This is the case when a person is not aware that he is striving to comprehend the impossible. Currently, this type of ambition has become especially popular. More and more people are ready to set unrealistic goals for themselves, do not measure their objective capabilities, and are not ready to stop and think through their further actions. They act ahead, encounter constant failures, but do not draw any conclusions. They are ready to blame everyone around them or circumstances for their troubles, but they never admit their mistakes.


Believe in yourself, believe in your strength, be grateful for everything you have and strive for more. Look around you and help other people achieve their goals. Believe me, this will bring much more benefit to both them and you, because the self-perception of a generous and kind successful person is better than that of a lonely and proud successful person. Both there and there you are successful, but what do you have besides success? Loving and devoted friends, proven over the years, reliable partners, or a snake-like ball of ill-wishers, greedily watching your mistakes? It's up to you to decide. Be honest, kind and patient! And you will be rewarded.

Factors influencing the development of ambitions

Ambition is the psychology of human thinking. It depends on many aspects of influence on personality development. There are three fundamental factors that shape ambition:

  • Personality type. A lot depends on the personality type to which a person belongs. Extroverts strive to communicate, they need a large audience, so their circle of acquaintances is constantly expanding. They are very dependent on the opinions of others; they need recognition from society. These people definitely have their own ambitions, since this trait is fundamental to their character. Introverts are the exact opposite of extroverts. They communicate little with others and care little about their reputation. The ambitions of these people are at the lowest level or completely absent.
  • Self-esteem. People with high levels of self-esteem necessarily have inflated ambitions. They are so confident in their superiority that they do not notice obstacles to self-affirmation along the way. The situation is also indicative when a person has no ambitions, which means a low level of self-esteem.
  • Family environment. An important factor is the environment in which the child was raised. If parents have succeeded in life and have great hopes for their child, they will involuntarily lay the foundation for the formation of an ambitious personality.

Ambitionism - as an incentive for self-improvement

Normally, an ambitious person is someone who has self-esteem and a sense of dignity. Usually such people are confident in themselves and their right to lead. They readily take the reins into their hands and develop strategies that lead to meaningful work results. The reward for success is recognition of others, material values, high social status.

An individual without ambition is often deprived of the incentive to achieve high results in the personal, professional, and social spheres. It is no coincidence that ambition underlies perfectionism – the desire for ideal standards and solutions. Perfectionism is expressed in inflated demands on oneself, which forces an individual to constantly engage in self-improvement.

Wikipedia defines the word “ambition” as ambition, which is associated with success in professional activities and personal relationships. When inflated ambitions are implied, character traits such as pride, unreasonably high self-esteem, and selfishness come to the fore.

The Wiki Encyclopedia offers a progressive view of ambitious goals, viewing these objects of conscious pursuit of the individual in the context of shaping social influence. Leadership and power, as methods of social influence, the ability to manage and lead the masses are properties that are usually demonstrated by extraordinary representatives of society, possessing extraordinary mental abilities and high moral qualities.

Leadership involves inspiring and motivating people to perform certain actions that will ultimately lead to planned, intended results. The definition of the word “ambition” gives an idea of ​​what motivates an individual to develop leadership qualities, to strive for a position in society that will secure for him the right to rally and guide other members of society.

A leader is a person who enjoys authority, instills confidence in others, helps to unlock the potential of each follower, and strives to improve living conditions for himself and others. He determines his path and helps others find their path in life. He thinks rationally and constructively, choosing life priorities for himself and the masses of other people who are incapable of properly organizing their own lives and everyday life.

It is impossible to advance in the field of leadership without the guiding force that rests on ambition, so to decide whether it is good or bad to be an ambitious person is to engage in sophistry and demagoguery, because everything ultimately depends on the intentions of the individual and the means of achieving goals.

Positive sides

Ambition is necessary for a person to be realized in all areas of life. Without a reasonable amount of this quality, success cannot be achieved, since it implies the presence of self-discipline.

Positive sides of ambition, what does it mean:

  • generating a desire to achieve success;
  • the need to always be in good shape;
  • self-improvement;
  • assistance in achieving the goal;
  • ignoring obstacles;
  • commitment to the idea;
  • assistance in the process of personality formation in society;
  • correct prioritization.

Negative sides

A person with great ambitions is often unhappy. He does not get what he dreams of, does not have the opportunity to relax and open up even to the closest people. He suffers himself and makes everyone around him suffer. Unhealthy ambitions make a person's character very complex. The following qualities appear:

  • irritability;
  • touchiness;
  • selfishness;
  • arrogance;
  • arrogance;
  • egocentrism;
  • ruthlessness;
  • deceit;
  • desire to manipulate people;
  • uncompromisingness;
  • lack of communication skills;
  • aggressiveness;
  • authoritarianism.

Signs of healthy ambition

A harmonious personality with healthy ambitions can be recognized by certain signs. These include:

  • presence of positive thinking;
  • belief in your success;
  • the ability to set bold but realistic goals;
  • demanding of oneself and others;
  • the ability to adjust your plans depending on circumstances without giving up the global goal;
  • constant work to improve personal growth;
  • presence of activity and energy;
  • self-esteem;
  • the ability to defend one’s beliefs;
  • willpower, steadfastness.

The influence of ambitions on life spheres

It is very important to objectively determine the role of ambition: what it means and how it affects different areas of a person’s life.

  • Professional activity. In the modern world, it is impossible to achieve professional success without a reasonable amount of ambition. A person should strive to study, hone his skills, and gain experience. It depends on this whether he will become a good master of his craft or will be content with odd jobs for the rest of his life.
  • Career. You can’t do without ambition in this area. The material well-being of not only the person himself, but also all the people dear to him directly depends on career growth. And financial independence determines the status of an individual in society.
  • Family. Family life is precisely the area in which the ambition of one or both spouses can be destructive. Arrogance, self-centeredness and lack of compromise can kill even the strongest feelings. Only common healthy ambitions of partners are allowed, who together strive to achieve their goals and do not give in to difficulties.
  • Children. Parents often make a huge mistake in raising their children when they try to realize their own ambitions in them. This means that a distorted idea of ​​the surrounding reality is formed in the child’s character. The baby must grow up to be a self-sufficient person with his own big or small achievements. Parents are obliged to help him in this choice, and not make him a hostage to their desires.

What professions are suitable for such people?

Individuals with healthy ambitions are suitable for almost any profession, since they can achieve some success everywhere.

They feel best in leadership positions - they can be excellent middle and senior managers. They can also achieve great success in sales, where the final result of the work matters. Ambitious people are suitable for professions in which there is an element of competition - this constantly spurs their interest and makes them strive for more.

Adequate ambitions

It is very important to understand what the word “ambition” means in its positive sense. This means that such ambitions can be managed and adjusted if necessary. In the understanding of a sane person, this sounds like the ability to correctly set priorities, objectively assess one’s purpose, and listen to the opinions of others.

An adequately ambitious person persistently pursues his goal, reacts to obstacles with dignity, does not panic and does not blame anyone for his failures. He feels responsible not only for his life, but also for the well-being and safety of loved ones.

How to develop ambition. 6 steps towards this quality

Love your strength

“Behind every successful woman there is only herself” unknown source

Try to love your strength, cherish your ambition and cherish your power.

No one will do this for you. Support should come from within - from you. Do not shift the expectation of help to loved ones.

They are already at a loss about what is happening to you, and are often simply not ready to accept you and support you in your ambitious and bold projects.

Meditation “My value” - do not look for love, support, respect in the eyes of others. Remember that all this is inside you, learn to value yourself.

Allow yourself to think about what you want to achieve, achieve, where you want to go.

Don't compete with others, compete with yourself.

The affirmation helps me: “I am perfect, just as this world is perfect, as God is perfect.”

Highlight your achievements and strengths

Make a list of your achievements, what you can be proud of. It doesn't matter whether it's long or short.

It is important that you remember what YOU CAN!

Don’t be shy about telling others what you’re proud of about yourself, form a support group.

One of my first steps into a new life was writing a resume. I wrote it not for a standard job, but for a dream job, for myself - beautiful, strong, wise.

This is a great tool to highlight your strengths and turn your weaknesses into strengths.

When I wrote such a text about myself and shared it on Facebook, I realized that I had turned another page in my life and sent a powerful request and intention to the Universe.

See also Affirmations for money and success

Every morning you yourself create the mood for the whole day, consciously or not, but you do it. Why not set the mood for the whole week from this day on? To make things work out. The efforts invested were returned a hundredfold...

Create an environment

We live in a unique world. With the help of social networks, you can see in real time how people grow, what stages they go through, what realizations they receive, how their entrepreneurial ideas develop.

If previously we could only read the autobiographies of successful people, now we have the opportunity to make friends with them, communicate, share experiences and receive support.

Surround yourself with interesting, proactive, enterprising, open-minded people. Let your social media feed be like a flower garden of ideas and discoveries.

Share yourself, attract interest and good luck. It's much easier to move forward in good company.

Learn to be inspired by the example of others and admire courage and bravery sincerely and from the heart.

Send wishes of success and prosperity to everyone who asks for it or to those who are on the Path.

Try not to allow critical thoughts towards yourself and others at this moment, just mentally wish for success and an easy path.

Don't think that you won't succeed. Age, gender and education have nothing to do with it. You can start at any time.

Read Vladimir Yakovlev’s books “The Age of Happiness” or “I Wanted and I Could” for inspiration.

Sister Bader - a nun from the Roman Catholic community of Spokane, Washington - at 86 years old, can swim, bike and run for 16.5 hours, without stopping. She started playing sports at the age of 52.

Improve your skills

My daughter mirrors: she stood on roller skates, skated for ten minutes and is already whining - I can’t, I don’t know how, I’ll never learn.

I ask her to do this for at least a month, an hour a day, and then talk to me about whether she can learn or not.

I understand that this applies to me too. Follow these tips, they help a lot!

Experts have calculated that to achieve a level of skill commensurate with the status of a world-class expert, 10,000 hours of practice are required—not to study the activity, but to practice.

Investor, programmer, author and serial entrepreneur James Altacher writes that if you dedicate 5-7 thousand hours to a business, that will be enough to become one of the top 200-300 at anything.

Based on this, if we start acting today, then in 4-5 years we will all achieve a lot!

Even half an hour a day doing your favorite activity is already good.

Agree with your loved ones that you absolutely need personal time when no one will disturb you.

Keep the Hedgehog Matrix in front of your eyes from Good to Great by Jim Collins to do what can lead you to success.

Lean out and get out

If you feel that the time has come, stick your head out and get out of your holes, declare yourself to the world.

First, you can shine in a small and friendly company, and then you should aim for a public one.

I am very glad that I was not afraid and submitted my first article to “Keys of Mastery”.

These are two big differences when you write sneaky posts for friends or detailed articles for a large audience. A completely different experience.

But I don’t agree with those who say that you need to get out of your comfort zone to get to the next level.

I think you first need to enter your comfort zone, feel your strength and trust in the world around you, and only after that declare yourself.

See also Money as a barometer of love

Find the golden mean between the material and the spiritual.

Inadequate ambitions

Inappropriate ambitions are uncontrollable negative emotions. A person is unable to cope with himself, because he is driven by the desire to control everyone, check, and impose his point of view. Such a representative always blames people or circumstances for his failures, never admits mistakes and proves to the last that he is right. He always wants to be a winner, and he will go to this victory at any cost, using the most unscrupulous methods. The saddest thing in this situation is the fact that ambition controls a person. At the same time, he himself is also a hostage to his bad character.

High Expectations Syndrome

This is a state when a person’s ambitions are excessively high. The syndrome of inflated expectations is considered a mental disorder that needs to be corrected. You may even need the help of a specialist.

A person suffering from this syndrome tends to experience nervousness and irritability associated with the dissatisfaction of his expectations. He becomes very suspicious. It seems to him that he is more than worthy of something that will never happen in reality. Because of this, a person becomes deeply unhappy, because he lives in eternal dissonance between what is desired and what is actual.

Fighting inadequate ambitions

Inappropriate ambitions can and should be fought. Experienced psychologists recommend listening to advice that will help you change your character for the better.

  1. If a person realizes that he needs to overcome his ambitions, he is already half cured of the negativity present in him.
  2. Love yourself, but with sincere healthy and creative love. Understand what needs to be done to improve your health and appearance, ensure proper rest, and properly distribute your strength. It is worth engaging in self-development and self-improvement. Having loved himself, a person will find inner harmony and will not demand love from everyone around him at the expense of his power or strength.
  3. Find a vector of movement, decide on your goals and not be distracted by useless complaints to others. Following your own path, try to help others as much as possible. Do not waste your energy and only watch your actions.

Steps to Developing Adequate Ambition

There are several effective steps to developing adequate ambition. They will be useful to those who strive for self-improvement. But at the same time, you need to understand how to develop adequate ambitions. This means that you will need to decide on some qualities:

  • objective self-esteem;
  • personal motivation;
  • a clear understanding of your goals;
  • confidence in the correctness of decisions;
  • self-confidence;
  • the ability to listen to the opinions of others;
  • correct prioritization.

Consolidate the result

Having figured out the definition of what a person’s ambitions are and having taken all measures to ensure that they are adequate, it is necessary to summarize the work done. This must be done in order to understand your previous mistakes and try not to repeat them in the future. After about a year of working on yourself, psychologists recommend assessing the benefits of transformation according to the following criteria:

  • whether self-esteem has increased;
  • whether self-confidence has increased;
  • whether there is a desire to make plans for the future;
  • whether the number of risks has decreased;
  • have your relationships with others improved?
  • have there been fewer failures?
  • have you managed to learn to control your emotions;
  • whether the person has learned to objectively assess the situation.

If a person’s life has noticeably improved, happy events begin to happen more often, and the soul has a feeling of peace and harmony, then everything was done correctly. Even if some points do not yet correspond to the desired results, everything will definitely improve over time. Well, if you haven’t yet been able to feel peace of mind, you need to try to start work again. Adequate ambitions will win, and life will improve.


Ambition is not always an unpleasant character trait. All successful people had an inflated level of aspirations for reality, and this is what helped them achieve the desired result.

So, if you look deeper into the word “ambition”, you can find out that there are:

  1. Healthy. These are a person’s expectations from reality, which fully correspond to his potential capabilities. For example, a diligent, intelligent student who has shown diligence during the quarter expects to be an excellent student, and this is a completely normal phenomenon.
  2. Destructive. In this case, ambition is the exact opposite of a healthy manifestation of this phenomenon. For example, when a lagging student tells the teacher that he is the best and should only get A's, this is abnormal behavior based on inflated self-esteem.
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