Ambition - The Good and the Bad of Being Ambitious

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ilbey Ucar PhD (Psychology)
Last updated date :   December 15, 2022

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Chapter 1:

What Is Ambition?

Ambition is a want. When people want to be or have anything that they desire, it is called ambition. In other words, it can be a dream that we want to achieve. Almost all of us have ambitions. Although not every ambition is within reach, people still try to achieve it. Being ambitious is the motivation or the optimistic thoughts towards one’s goal. An ambitious person is hopeful and determined.

You can have a lot of ambitions. Moreover, a person of any age, race, gender, or social class can be ambitious. Having an ambition is all about achieving what you desire. So, are there any impossible ambitions? Technically, yes. For instance, something like touching the sun would be impossible. However, what was impossible 100 years ago, is now possible. So we never know. At the same time, if you are ambitious enough, nothing is impossible. For example, the fastest man on earth right now is Usain Bolt. If another person tries hard enough, obviously, he can be faster. Nothing is impossible. At least on planet Earth.

Man with high aspirations indicated by shadow with cape

Chapter 2:

Examples of Ambitions

  • Travel to more than 20 countries
  • Being financially independent before the age of 25
  • Losing weight for summer
  • Buying a cool car
  • Having clear skin
  • Being a musician
  • Being the best worker in your company
  • Winning a basketball game
Likewise, ambitions can differ from person to person. Having ambition is beneficial as it can make you grow and be productive.

Chapter 3:

Benefits of Being Ambitious

Adds meaning to your life

In general, life is about surviving. Graduating college, finding a job, and paying rent. Having ambition means you want something more or better. A better life. In addition, being ambitious gives you a purpose in life. Life becomes much more colourful as well. Since you are longing for something you genuinely want, life feels more valuable and is much more colourful.

More productivity

When you have an ambition, you work hard for it. You will make time for it, no matter what. You become more efficient with your time, energy, and skills. This makes you productive and gives you abilities such as multitasking and time management to make you more efficient.

Brings fulfilment

When you reach these ambitions, you feel like you accomplished something. It gives you joy and fulfilment. You tend to be happier. Knowing that you are living for something gives you fulfilment as well.

Added motivation

Having ambition makes you work hard. So, you become more motivated and optimistic. This benefits almost all the areas in your life.

Builds courage and confidence

When you are ambitious, you become numb to fear. As you want to achieve your ambition at any cost, you tap into courage you didn’t know you had. With that courage, you become more confident in your abilities and skills. Laziness and procrastination will become a thing of the past.

Being ambitious gives you an improved quality of life. It makes you a driven person, and you are more likely to succeed in the future. You will be confident in your abilities. As a result, your self-esteem will increase the chances of promotion, new opportunities, and recognition. In addition, you will inspire people. People around you are likely to develop good habits too. Therefore, being ambitious is never a bad thing.

Chapter 4:

Signs That You Are Ambitious

  • Have a proper plan for the future
  • Willing to take risks
  • Less likely to give up
  • Fewer fears
  • Optimistic and hopeful
  • Less likely to cheat your way up
  • Surrounds yourself with inspiration
  • Like to learn new things
  • Grow from your mistakes
  • Confident in yourself

If you have most of these characteristics, you might be an ambitious person. People with ambition often have good energy. They influence the people around them, as well. They are positive to be around. Ambitious people use their time effectively and are motivated to do their best. They get super focused on their work. However, sometimes they get so immersed in work that they ignore the other parts of life.

Chapter 5:

Is Being Ambitious Bad?

Strong desire to achieve your targetThere is no doubt that having ambition is beneficial for your life. However, there are times that it negatively affects other things. You might have to give one thing up for another. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your mental health in exchange for productivity. Here are some downsides of being ambitious.

  • Little attention to family and friends
  • Only impressed by materialistic things
  • Addicted to productivity – being a workaholic
  • Too many goals
  • Less free time
  • Comparing yourself with others
  • Big ego
  • Social pressure and stress

Some people take it too far with ambition. They get too focused on it and destroy their social life. This can be the case for most workaholics.

Chapter 6:

What is Toxic Ambition?

Toxic ambition is when being ambitious gets in the way of your life. If ambition is destroying your life, either the ambition doesn’t suit you, or you are too obsessed with it. Maybe you’re motivated by the wrong reason. Or by the wrong person, for that matter.

Ambitions should make your life happier. If having ambition drains the life out of you, you might have to rethink your life choices. If you are putting yourself through life-threatening habits, you are practising a very toxic form of ambition. Most people believe working harder will help them get ahead. That is a commonmisunderstanding. Remember, work smart, not hard!

Chapter 7:

Toxic Ambition and Life

Another sign of toxic ambition is when you daydream about it all the time. Visualizing is completely fine, but completely ignoring reality will cause another set of problems. For instance, ignoring your friends because you believe they don’t positively add to your ambition is bad. Ambition and your friends share no common ground. Therefore, this damages your social relationships as well and will cause long-term effects in your life.

People with ambition like to be the best in everything they do. When other people achieve the same thing that they want, ambitious people tend to get jealous. This can create problems in the workplace, school, or even the community. People will cheat, lie, or takedown others to achieve a goal. In addition, toxic ambitious people tend to judge others for their lack of ambition as well.

Torturing your body for any ambition is very toxic. People who are engaged in sports often injure themselves trying to achieve a goal. It is okay to be ambitious, but along the way, you need to be mindful of your wellbeing as well.

Another factor that helps to identify toxic ambition is finding the cause, the reason you became ambitious. It is important for you to know your own intentions. Many people use ambition as an escape. Some may pursue an ambition to avoid depression or reality. Others may use ambition to feel perfect while following it. Being ambitious for the wrong reasons may come back to you negatively. So, it is best to avoid it.

Chapter 8:

Ambition and Mental Health

Keep your ambition on target

Another cause can be ambition-related stress. It’s normal to feel stressed out. However, this can be dangerous when this stress leads you to depression. The stress of not being close to your ambition can be enough for a person into a negative thought process. Feeling like you aren’t good enough or a simple failure along the way is enough to trigger a person into depression.

Often related to depression, anxiety is a given when it comes to ambition. You get curious about the future. You think about your decisions beforehand. Obviously, you have every right to be anxious. However, being too anxious will make you overthink yourself into negative scenarios, and that is a road everyone should avoid. Anxiety can also make you overwork. It makes you believe that if you don’t overwork, you won’t succeed.

No ambition is worth risking yourmental health. If being ambitious burns you out quickly, you wouldn’thave any capacity to celebrate when you achieve your ambition.

Chapter 9:

Being Ambitious: Is it Hereditary?

Being ambitious can be due to many reasons. It being hereditary is just one reason. It’s common to get ambition from your genes. Some say you have it in you. This has a lot to do with the environment you grew up in and your family background. For instance, in ancient times, the ambition to be king ran in families. Less fortunate, hard-working people are ambitious because of survival. For them, to survive, being ambitious is essential.

Naturally, the family has a lot of influence on a person’s ambition, as well. Apart from personal desires, a majority of ambitions are family-based. Maybe it’s to provide better for the family, make parents proud, to get praised, or even sibling competition. Moreover, there can be times where family pressures you into following a certain ambition, even though your personal ambition is completely different.

Chapter 10:

Finding the Right Balance

Having ambitions in your life is meaningful. Yet, toxic ambition will only cause harm. Therefore, it is important to find the correct balance and maintain it. If you happen to have taken ambition too far, it is essential to get back on the right track. Follow these steps whenever you feel you’re abusing ambition.
  • Set clear achievable goals
  • Understand what you want
  • Work smart, not hard
  • Only compete with yourself, not others
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Associate with positive, supportive people
  • Make time for your loved ones
  • Set aside a leisure time
  • Meditate and exercise for overall well being
  • Avoid procrastinating, manage your time
  • Give yourself credit where you deserve it
Ambitions are what keeps us going. As an ambitious person, it’s important to work smart and consciously. However, don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Listen to your body and give the care and nutrition it needs. Talk to someone if your ambitious drive gets in the way of your mental health. We are always here to help if you face serious mental health conditions. Feel free to reach out,.,

"Quizzes and recommendations were very uselful" Donna

87 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount