Harnessing the Power of Ambition

Original published in El Comercio (Peru) newspaper on May 14, 2016

I really enjoy working with ambitious people. They know what they want, have clear goals, and push themselves to achieve them. They accept challenges and enjoy them: they know that these challenges are necessary to advance and learn.

Ambitious people take charge their destiny into their hands and sit there waiting for someone else to hand it to them on a platter. They have willpower and determination. They know where they’re  going and what they’ve got to do to get there. They are able to transform and create themselves according to their dreams and ambitions, always watching for the opportunities that exist for those who are willing to look for them and strive for them.

Ambition is a great motivator to grow and develop. No one is successful without ambition. Those who aspire to be more, know more, do more, give more, or have more, possess a purpose and a powerful internal engine that drives them to dare to dream bigger and go further. Ambition moves them to go forward and achieve what they propose. When ambition is well channeled and applied with values, it is a reflection of a healthy self-esteem and a greater capacity for abstraction and visualization of the future. Ambitious people shine when they approach their goals.  They vibrate for them, and they have a contagious enthusiasm to reach them. They inspire and motivate others.

It is important to emphasize that being ambitious does not implicitly mean that you do not have any values or ethics. Nor is it synonymous with a lack of control or manipulation, as is often thought. Some people do not value ambition. They fear and mistrust it (almost as much as they fear the success of others). People easily confuse it with excessive ambition, as if every ambitious person was inherently capable of harming others. Of course there are many people with unlimited ambitions –stereotyped as the villain of telenovelas– who are capable of anything to achieve their goals. But just because these kinds of people exist doesn’t disqualify those who have a healthy and positive level of ambition.

Conversely, people without ambition ask little of life, and that is what they get: little or nothing. They have no dreams, vision, direction, or destiny, and therefore, they rarely get anywhere. Some are conformists while others are passive or lack motivation. Many are bitter, without understanding that their lack of ambition is what sabotages their future: they are unable to imagine it, and therefore, they cannot create it for themselves. People without ambition tend not to be loyal to themselves. They don’t have the courage to risk success, and they don’t bet on themselves. Unfortunately, it’s as if their wings had been tied and they didn’t realize it…

It is up to us to teach our children the power of ambition and big dreams. They are important engines of personal and collective success. And that ambition can –and should– be for the benefit of others and the common good.

This also extends to politics. We should always demand a very clear vision of our country from those who will shape our future –with ambitious and challenging goals that inspire us all to achieve them. Only then will we achieve the prosperous, fair, and equitable country that we want and deserve!

A previous English translation was published in inc. on May 27, 2016

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