How To Kick-Start Your Life With Ambition


“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Every schoolboy is aware of the word “ambition” and knows its meaning. At one time or the other, they have been asked to write an essay on Ambition as a class assignment. Yet how many remember those early lessons and its significance?

The dictionary definition of ambition alludes to a very strong and passionate desire to achieve success. Yet in the growing up years, we acquire so much excess baggage of knowledge, experience and emotions that we lose the true significance of ambition.

That is when we need to remind ourselves that “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Ambition is like wick of a candle that holds together the wax and helps it to burn and give light, which is the raison d’etre, reason for existence, for the candle. The purpose of life is guided by the ambition one has.

Unless you have an ambition, you will squander away the resources you have. Resources doesn’t mean you need to have loads of money or any of the worldly riches. It means one of the most powerful assets that you have, that is your time. Your inherent qualities, abilities, skills, all are also your resources. How would you put them to better use, unless you have an ambition.

Ambition is not Wishful Thinking

Often people confuse ambition with wishful thinking, desire or dream. These are merely product of fantasies. Ambition is a burning desire that propels you towards your set goals in life. If you look at the life of great achievers, you will find all of them had a trait in common.

They were very clear about their goals. This clarity helped them avoid distractions and kept them focused on what they wanted to achieve.

Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketing God, had an equally illustrious and talented school mate who played equally good cricket. But Sachin had an ambition to reach the heights of Don Bradman and he put his ambition to good use and made himself into a legend.

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Make Your Ambition Work for You

Sometimes ambition may not be specific or confined to a particular role, position or status, but the will to excel in one’s chosen work or profession provides the fuel. An ambition which is internalized, helps drive the person to untouched glorious heights.

This is particularly true of political leaders. The PM of India, Narendra Modi, was born in a poor family, yet he never let the adversities get the better of him. He had a passion for self-development and excelling in every assigned task that came across. He had the ambition of serving his country in the best possible way he can. His unwavering ambition brought him to the heights of glory, unthinkable for a person with his background.

In case of the great Indian leader Baba Saheb Ambedkar, his ambition to give the Untouchables of India, their due place in society drove him relentlessly towards success.

It is Never Too Late to Begin

Often people think ambition has something to do with young age. Though it is better to start as early as possible, age need not be a constraint. In fact, in this fast evolving world, many may not even know what to aspire for, what would be the right career or professional decisions to take.

Ambition does not come confined to age limits. KFC is a household name now, but it may surprise you to know that Colonel Sanders, the founder, switched career to food industry as late as when he was sixty year young and made a success of his ambition.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the creator-duo of many comics super heroes like Phantom, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four etc. were in their forties when success came to them.

J.K. Rowling, the best-selling author of Harry Potter series of books changed her career in her late thirties. So the time for pursuing one’s ambition is as good as any.

What matters is how much hard work and effort you are willing to put in. Remember the latter part of the quote, the prize will not be sent to you, you have to win it.

Ambition has No Expiry Date

Persistence and perseverance pays. Even if you have not tasted success as yet, keeps the flame of ambition burning, don’t quit. The time for fulfillment of ambition is never over. Ambition can be an unending quest for excellence.

The show time is never over. But do not lose sight of what comes between ambition and prize, that is, “Work”. Begin with an ambition to kick-start your journey, but you are one who has to travel all the way. No one else will do it for you. But like the proverbial pot of luck at the end of rainbow, the prize will be there for you.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Go all out and win it.


Written By: Raj Kumar Hansdah


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