A-Z Popular Blog Motivation Search »
Extrinsic Motivation


Bucket List



Employee Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

11 Examples of Ambition

 , updated on
Ambition is a desire and determination to achieve something. This can be applied to any type of goal including material, social and philosophical ambitions. The following are common types of ambition with examples of each.


Optimism is the root of all ambition as this allows an individual to see a change they view as positive that creates desire and determination. For example, a kid who is optimistic they can beat a level in a video game such that they develop an intense desire to play and improve their results.

Wishful Thinking

Wishful thinking is optimism that is strongly detached from reality. For example, an ambition to become a famous musician that isn't backed up by any action such as music lessons.


End-goals are desired outcomes that say nothing about how these outcomes will be realized. For example, the goal to be wealthy. People tend to waste resources and time by over-focusing on end-goals. For example, spending three years thinking about how you want to be a famous surfer without ever trying surfing.

Actionable Objectives

Objectives are meaningful steps on the path to an end-goal that can be actioned now. It is characteristic of people who actual achieve ambitions to think at this level. For example, a student who is thinking about their next math test as an objective on the long path to becoming an astronaut.

Silent Goal

A silent goal is a plan that you keep to yourself. This practice is based on the idea that telling everyone you're going to something decreases your motivation to actually do it. For example, a father who gets his pilots license without telling his family such that they only find out when he first takes them up in a plane.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the desire to do things for their inherent reward. For example, a desire to do your work well because you find it satisfying such that it adds to your sense of purpose, direction and self-worth.

Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation created by a desire for external reward in such as wealth, status, experience and social connectedness. For example, an individual who works hard to gain the respect of their colleagues.


Persistence is motivation that endures over time such as a farmer with an ambition to increase yield who tries many experiments over five years before succeeding.


Resilience is motivation that doesn't decrease with stress. For example, an individual with an ambition to get over a fear of public speaking who regularly challenges their own comfort zone by speaking in front of larger and larger groups despite finding this stressful.


Some individuals have no particular goals other than to "win" in every situation. This can be viewed as ambition with no end-goal. For example, an employee who tries to get promotion after promotion without this adding to their overall satisfaction with life.


Ruthlessness is ambition that isn't constrained by moral values such that it results in bad behavior. For example, an ambition to win a game at any cost even if it means ignoring the norms of sportsmanship.


Ambition is a will to achieve something. This can include a drive to achieve some specific goal or a general sense of competitiveness in some area such as academic results, social status or professional recognition. Ambition is generally recognized as being a positive thing that drives people to improve, achieve things and be productive. However, it can also drive negative behaviors such as excessive competitiveness, fear of missing out and an inability to recognize failure.
Summary: Ambition
A desire and determination to achieve something.
Related Concepts
Next: Motivation
More about motivation:
Attitude Change
Bucket List
Curiosity Drive
Employee Motivation
ERG Theory
Esprit De Corps
Expectancy Theory
Extrinsic Motivation
Flow Theory
Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Reward
Locus Of Control
Peak Experiences
Silent Goal
Skin In The Game
Status Seeking
Work Motivation
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


An overview of motivation.

Extrinsic Motivation

The definition of extrinsic motivation with examples.

Group Harmony

The definition of group harmony with examples.

Intrinsic Reward

The definition of intrinsic reward with examples.


A list of common moods.


The common causes of procrastination.


The definition of alienation with examples.


The definition of complacency with examples.

Human Behavior

An overview of human behavior with examples.


The common types of goal with examples of each.

Customer Service Goals

Examples of customer service goals that use common metrics and measures.

Work Goals

Complete examples of common work goals.

Words To Describe Performance

A list of active verbs to describe work performance.

Words To Describe Goals

A list of active verbs for describing goals.

Goals Examples

Examples of realistic and measurable goals.

Leadership Objectives

The common types of leadership objectives.

Life Goals

A list of common types of life goals with examples.

New Years Resolution

A list of the common New Year's resolutions.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map