I find the topic of ambition really interesting. Whenever I meet other entrepreneurs, I always try to get their take.
Is ambition something you are born with? Or it something you develop over time?
Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert had a great blog post about ambition the other day. He calls it the ‘Ambition Defect’ and I can relate to it a lot.
“I once worked with a guy who referred to his older brother as the “white sheep of the family.” The older brother was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company while his siblings had no ambitions that extended beyond lunch. That sort of thing makes me wonder about the whole nature versus nurture question. I assume all the kids in this fellow’s family had a similar upbringing, but only one had ambition.
I think ambition is a genetic defect. You can’t have ambition unless you think there is something wrong with the way you are. Ambition is a state of feeling perpetually flawed.
By most objective standards, my career has gone well. By my internal standards, I am in a continuous state of not doing enough.”
For me, it’s about being the best that I can be. It’s about being better today than I was yesterday.
It’s almost as if there is an internal drum beating inside me that keeps me going.
I don’t feel flawed though. However, I do always feel like I’m not doing enough and there are plenty of times where I’ve even wished that the drum would stop because it causes me to put an enormous amount of pressure on myself.
Sometimes that drum gets muted out by external factors. But at the end of the day, that drum is still beating very loud and I just don’t feel right unless I’m moving forward. (Or at least what I think is moving forward.)
I believe people are born with ambition. Either you have it or you don’t. It’s just the way you are wired as a human being.
I also think being ambitious is very different from being motivated.
Do you think people are born with ambition?
Or do you think it’s something that can be nurtured?
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to the RSS Feed!