How Ambition Can Affect Your Success Rate

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Ambition is a powerful term in itself, and one that can drive you to greater success and happiness in this life. Without ambition, you’re left with meaningless motivation, if any at all. Ambition requires discipline and willpower to maintain and grow and is one of the most powerful tools in any successful person’s arsenal. If you want to make change, improve your life and your happiness, and craft a better future for you and your family, it’s time to take charge and solidify your ambition. Here’s how ambition can affect your success rate and why it’s so important to your future.

Ambition is the Parent of Motivation

This is probably the best time to discuss what ambition is and where it comes from. Ambition is the desire to make a change or pursue something. This task will typically require some effort or hard work, which is why the ambition is necessary in the first place. It doesn’t take much (if any) ambition to stay on a low level; to remain at the bottom of the totem pole in misery. That’s the easy path, which is why so many people choose it and just exist there for their entire life. The real value in life comes from the things that are difficult to obtain, and those require ambition.

What drives and reinforces ambition? Motivation, of course! The two are mistaken for one another quite often, so it’s important to know the difference. Ambition is the drive or the “what”, whereas motivation is the reason, or the “why”. What gets you up in the morning and makes you workout first thing? Your motivation to change and pursue that ambition of losing weight. Your desire is fueled by whatever reasons you may have for making drastic change in your life. These can be personal, spiritual, medical, or anything else that affects you in some way.

Understanding your motivation will keep the fire lit in your ambitious heart. The more you understand your reasons and the more you repeat those reasons to yourself, the clearer the vision becomes. Why do you have the ambition to lose weight? To look better? To feel better? To live healthier? All of the above? Ambition and motivation are two halves of the same hole, and neither can achieve anything without the other.

Ambition Keeps You Pushing

On those days when your goals seem impossibly far away and difficult to obtain, ambition kicks in the door and lights a fire in the empty room. Your ambition, when reinforced by the motivation behind it, will keep you pushing even when pushing seems futile. There will most definitely be days in your journey to success where you stumble, fall, and want to lay in the dirt and not get back up. Ambition picks you up and makes you keep pushing.

We all know someone who tries things once and then puts them down. This is due to a lack of ambition. The initial “trial period” stems from a curious excitement about something new, but once that person realizes the level of work it takes to get there, they give up. This is where your ambition sets you apart.

You don’t give up on the first try, or even the hundredth try, because you know that deep down you can’t be happy without those goals you’ve set. You’ll be the one at the top of the mountain, with all of your success under your arm, looking down at those who gave up at 2,000 ft.


You can have all the ambition in the world, but without the confidence to back it up, you probably won’t get very far. The ambition to be successful or to change your situation to create more happiness and fulfillment stems from the belief that you deserve that happiness and fulfillment. If you lack the confidence to say, “I deserve to be happy”, all the motivation and ambition in the world won’t matter.

Self-confidence can be affected by your environment, your past, your own decision-making, and much more. Gaining the self-confidence to reach for success is a goal in and of itself, so this should be your first step. Increase your confidence by setting small goals at first and reaching them. Move on to larger goals until you finally understand that you do deserve happiness and fulfillment in this life. Once you’ve got self-confidence and ambition, you’ll be pretty much unstoppable.

A Clear Vision

Clarity is power. The clearer the vision or goal is, the more clear the path to it will be. You’ll want to avoid setting vague goals or aspirations. Don’t just say, “I want to be successful.” Well, of course you do! We all do. What exactly do you want to be successful in? What does success look like to you? Is it financial? Is it living a good, fulfilling life full of experiences? Is it helping other people or leaving a legacy?

Clarify your goals as much as possible. Write them down, repeat them, mold them, and nourish them until they’re as clear as humanly possible. Then, take the first step into the abyss and go after them. Let your ambition, your motivation, and your self-confidence be your guiding light when things seem darkest. Remember your reasons. Remember what got you here, this far, and what’s going to drive you over the next obstacle and onward toward your idea of success. Never forget who you are or why you are, and you’ll reach your goals.


About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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