With Ambition

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”Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” 
Salvador Dali

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Many of us are in two minds about the value of ambition. On the one hand, we praise those who work hard and achieve difficult goals. On the other hand, we condemn people for being selfish and power-hungry, and we often take delight in seeing mighty celebrities fall.

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No wonder so many people have mixed feelings about being ambitious. On top of that, the goals they wished they cared more about may not really be their own. In order to resolve conflicts about ambition, we need to get a clearer idea of what we really want.

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Ambition is often confused with aspiration. Unlike mere aspiration, which has a particular goal for object, ambition is a trait or disposition, and, as such, is persistent and pervasive.

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Ask yourself what you think you should be doing. Then ask yourself if that is something you really want to do, or if you are trying to live out someone else’s idea of what you should be doing. Sometimes a lack of ambition is a sign that you are resisting doing something that is not right for you.

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Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks if you are feeling overwhelmed. Take one step at a time, and give yourself rewards for your progress.

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A person shrinks or expands into the degree and nature of his ambitions. Ambition needs to be cultivated and refined, as it cannot be taught.

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“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
Maya Angelou

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