Ambition is the driving force of an individual’s life; it is the first step to success. Most of us have an ambition that motivates us to work hard each day. If your ambition does not align with others, it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with it. Every person is different, and so too is their journey to realizing their ambition. 

Are ambition and having a goal the same thing?

An ambition and a goal are two different things, yet they are commonly misinterpreted as synonyms. It is important to understand the difference between the two. Ambition is a dynamic concept that is difficult to be quantified, whereas a goal is usually static and can be easily quantified. Ambition refers to the determination to achieve a goal and may or may not encompass specific actions, a goal is a specific target that fulfills an ambition. While an ambition is usually associated with long-term achievements, goals can be either short- or long-term. 

Goals get you closer to your ambition 

Ambition and goals go hand-in-hand to attain successful results. Large ambitions need stepwise goals for movement. Goal-setting functions as the action plan needed to head in the right direction. For instance, in the movie Kung Fu Panda, lazy Po was chosen as the dragon warrior. Until he fuelled his ambition by creating and working toward the goal to become physically strong, he wasn’t able to focus. Once he set his eyes on his goal, there was no stopping him from achieving what he had set out for, even in spite of his clumsiness and intrinsic lethargy.  

Similar to Po’s journey, one needs to follow a SMART approach in order to successfully quantify a goal. The acronym SMART stands for:

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measurable
  • A: Achievable
  • R: Results-oriented
  • T: Time-bound

How can ambition enhance your life?

Ambition is a key ingredient in the recipe of career success. Every individual should be ambitious to be able to build a successful personal and professional life. An ambition that is well-placed and supported by one’s values makes way for a happy and meaningful life.  Ambition can enhance an individual’s life in myriad ways. 

  • Personal growth: When students understand the importance of being ambitious, it increases the zeal to learn and to enhance their skill set. The sooner you can identify your ambition, the faster you can create an action plan of SMART goals. Working towards a goal to achieve an ambition can bring about significant changes in your personality. You become more focused, disciplined, and determined. You better appreciate the value of time and effort. There are chances that when a student lacks ambition, they may put lesser effort in learning and personal development. It is here that the role of educators and parents becomes important; they play a significant role in helping a student to develop their strengths and move ahead with confidence. 
  • Financial independence: A motivated individual tries to work hard to fulfil their ambition. A student fueled by ambition sticks to their goals longer and ends up performing better in the long-run than other students. This helps them to become a skilled professional who achieves financial independence. Ambition enables the drive that pushes young learners to strive for success and stay driven toward financial independence, allowing them to create a life full of opportunities. 
  • Encourages calculated risks: The thought of taking risks can seem daunting for any individual. Being ambitious encourages individuals to take calculated risks for career growth when faced with obstacles, and can prove to be extremely fruitful in the long run. Ambition provides a gentle nudge to keep moving forward despite challenges. It prevents you from becoming complacent. Ambition is a fuel that drives you to find novel solutions to pressing issues, in addition to helping you lead a fulfilling life. 

Can ambition be considered negative?

Oftentimes, being ambitious is misconstrued as a negative quality. Sometimes others make us feel that being ambitious is equivalent to being pushy and inconsiderate. The truth is, not everyone understands the true meaning of ambition. It is over-ambition that can negatively impact an individual’s life. A person who is overly ambitious tends to overlook their health, relationships and loses sight of right and wrong in order to achieve their own success. Being over-ambitious can harm your reputation, damage relationships, and may ultimately result in failure. You need to find the strike balance between ambition and obsession. It is wise to stick to a value-driven ambition to lead a healthy and meaningful life.

Ambition + attainable goals = success!

Whether you are a student or a professional, ambition is the secret ingredient for a purposeful life. Always remember the fine line that separates ambition from over-ambition. Ensure that you set attainable goals that are in sync with your ambition. In this way, you can make ambition your friend, not your enemy. Ambitious people are confident, have high self esteem, and a great sense of self-worth. They walk with their head held high and a vision in their eyes. 

Get help with your goals

If you are still confused about how to align your ambition with SMART goals, it’s time to seek formal career counselling. An education counsellor can help students to align their ambition by guiding them to navigate a career roadmap. Sign up with LaunchMyCareer today to receive comprehensive guidance from expert career counsellors. What are you waiting for? Get in touch with LaunchMyCareer today.

Get in touch with LaunchMyCareer today.