Body and Mind

5 Ways to Cultivate Ambition

Body and Mind

Sometimes you just don’t want to do things. Sometimes you want to sit around in your pajamas and watch TV all day. That’s fine once in a while, but if it is an every day occurrence you should work on doing something about it. Find some ambition in your life. Here are five ways to cultivate ambition:

1. Goals and Rewards
If you can’t figure out what to do, or just don’t have anything to do try to figure out a goal/reward system for yourself. Hold off on buying or doing something until you have completed tasks you have procrastinated doing. The reward will give you some sense of joy, either because you have accomplished it and can get the prize, or hopefully because you found you enjoyed the process.

2. Follow Your Dreams
Many times people are not ambitious because they are doing things that they do not like. It seems obvious but when you don’t want to do something you have a lot less drive and desire to get it accomplished. Instead of doing something you don’t like, do something that you enjoy. This could be as drastic as finding a new job, or moving. Weigh your options carefully though.

AmbitionMaybe now is the time to start that career in photography you have been dreaming of. It might not be the best idea to dive into it fully due to the potential difficulties of selling photos, but you could start by looking for freelance jobs, or trying to team up with a photographer that works weddings to get your feet wet.

3. Build Self-Esteem
When you’re not happy, depressed or feeling you’re ‘not worth it’ you can have a difficult time to find the drive to get things done. You’d probably think, what’s the point? To get out of this drought try some self-esteem building tactics. For example you could, start to acknowledge your positive qualities and skills, and start accepting compliments graciously instead of dismissing or ignoring them. Also, try to stop comparing yourself to other people. With a higher self esteem the want to do things will be greater and you will have more fun doing whatever it is you choose to do.

4. Read Philosophy
If you are having difficulties finding ambition perhaps turning to great minds of past or present can help you find the path for your drive. Consider reading a variety of different philosophers. By reading multiple philosophers and philosophies you will be able to build a philosophy that fits your life and views and you won’t be stuck in the grind that makes many people complacent with following others. Build your own opinions on life.

One philosopher in particular I suggest reading is Frederick Nietzsche, and in particular his concept of Amor Fati. He once said “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist” and also, as I mentioned earlier: “Amor Fati” which is Latin for “Love Your Fate”, which is in fact your life.” By combing those two quotes he is saying that there is no correct way to live, and that living in the footsteps of others in not necessarily the way to go, though it may be possible. He also means that you should embrace life and the circumstances that you are living in and want to live your life how you are living it again and again if you were to repeat life. If you don’t enjoy life the way you are living now, do what you have to do to make it worthwhile.

5. Find a Coach, Mentor or Role Model
Some people just can’t find drive or ambition on their own. If you are still having trouble with it, consider finding a coach, mentor or role model. People in these roles are great to motivate you to do things. Think of all the hard work that athletes put in. Though they would do some of that work on their own, they wouldn’t perform at the levels they do without a coach, or at the very least a work out partner.

I ran track in high school and there were many times that I didn’t think that I would be able to complete a workout. My coach would motivate me though and I would be able to accomplish things I didn’t think were possible. At the end, though sometimes sore, I would feel great. There is a strong mental high when accomplishing something you didn’t think you were able to.

Some people are lucky enough to have an undying source of ambition. That is not everyone though. If you are not one of the lucky people hopefully one of the five ways above can help you find the drive you need to get the job done and/or lead a happy life.


7 comments for “5 Ways to Cultivate Ambition”

  1. right on about a coach. finding someone who can see your life from a third person point of view is truly a great benefit to hear. i tried a coach a few years ago and he really opened my eyes to a lot of things.

    Posted by Janet | December 17, 2007, 10:11 am
  2. Absolutely do read philosophy, but remember to read it *critically.* Simply filling up your mind with other people’s philosophies will not help you find and follow your personal ambitions.

    Posted by AA | December 17, 2007, 9:16 pm
  3. I think this information is lacking because some people seriously cannot gain ambition. Life coaches don’t really care about anything but money.

    Posted by Denny | December 18, 2007, 2:22 am
  4. I disagree Denny. Life coaching is very powerful. You could say the same thing about anyone getting paid to do ANYTHING. Life coaching is a valid service.

    Posted by Mike | December 19, 2007, 5:01 pm
  5. for reading philosophy, i think that it’s all where you are at. like for me i like reading web comments and listening to music.

    Posted by dr | January 16, 2008, 1:47 pm
  6. What is ambition? I’ve never known it. I inevitably get bored with whatever I do no matter how hard I try to stay interested. Ambition only works if you stick to a goal. You can’t go half way. So I fall like a rock and I always start from the bottom. I’ll never be happy. I get bored too easy. I can’t stick to anything. Lack discipline. I survive, I never get ahead. Hate myself.

    Posted by Jon | November 8, 2010, 7:52 am
  7. I used to be very ambitious however all that ambition turned into aches and pains. Six ruptured discs and two surgeries later, I hurt all the time, or else I’m looped on pain pills, tried my own business, just don’t want to do anything!! I don’t know how to get going again! Is this just a habit, am I lazy? I want to do stuff, just I get up to do things and all I want to do is sit back down! I feel like a loser, but I don’t want to be one, just can’t get going in the right direction. I’m intelligent enough to run a business, just don’t ever feel like doing what needs to be done. I hate being this way, just right now I need good advice on how to get out of this rut!! finances aren’t the best so trips, vacations, etc. are out of the question. Thanks

    Posted by Tammyd | February 23, 2011, 1:37 pm

Post a comment