Ambition – The Urge To Stand Out And Make A Difference

Revisit Yours for a Brighter Future

“A man without ambition is dead. A man without ambition and no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.”

The above words of wisdom come from none other than the well-renowned, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award Winner (1976) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1988) honoree, Pearl Mae Bailey. Some of us might even remember her for her rendition of “Takes Two to Tango” that hit the Top Ten Charts, way back in 1952. During the dark days when people of color were scrambling for recognition, she won a Tony Award for her title role in the all-black production of “Hello, Dolly!”

Looking back at history, in direct relationship with the current circumstances, who can deny the fact that her ambition was greater than the sum of all her attributes put together? Never mind her acting prowess and charisma alone, without ambition she would be nowhere near the fame and honor bestowed upon her. This is, perhaps, one of the most significant of the personality traits that empowered her to perform outstandingly well and invite the attention of those that mattered.

Marcus Aurelius, the ancient Roman emperors, considered one of the ‘Five Good Emperors,’ namely Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, and of course, Marcus Aurelius himself, gave us such a deep-rooted advice in the following words: “A Man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.”

Considering his reign in the 2nd Century A.D., we can easily appreciate how deep-rooted a philosophy the above words have become. A testament to this fact lies in all his followers down the line, over the next 18 Centuries and shall continue to gain traction forever.

Going even deeper in history, say between the 4th to the 6th Century B.C., we find among Lord Buddha’s teachings, the following advice, “Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.” Can we find some substance in this quote? Sure we can, and we do. But for ambition, almost every invention would never happen. Without ambition to propel us through the ages, man would still be living in the caves, the same lifestyle of the Neanderthals or even worse.

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” So says Bill Bradley, an American former pro basketball player and three-terms running Democrat Senator. Persistence helps us stay on track. It is one of the most powerful tools to ward off diversions that take us away from our goals. Without a well-balanced cocktail of ambition and persistence, our goals will remain a pipe-dream. Persistence propels us further as each challenge is overcome. It builds within us the momentum to face up to new challenges as a matter of routine rather than an obstacle.

Madonna had been quoted as saying, “I’m tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” Even at the cost of getting ridiculed, this wildly acclaimed Songwriter and Producer is an epitome of exemplary courage in keeping her ambitions ride high.

We could go on until eternity and never be able to account for all the achievers that took ambition as the primary trait to govern their whims and fancies. Suffice it to say, nurturing great ambitions motivates us to look for ways and means so we could make them come true.

What do we need to embark on this journey towards turning our ambitions into achievement? An entire thesis could be written in this explanation as various authorities over the age, as well as in modern times, have interpreted this journey in their own perceptive ways. Since I am not the final authority, not even a reflection of an authority on this subject, I would only confine this article to the track that I chose in getting to my goals:

Let your imagination soar high, like an Eagle. Give it the wings of imagination and an unending supply of your dreams for fuel. Let the fire within keep burning so any hindrances coming your way are easily destroyed.

Frank Sinatra said  it so well, “I think my  greatest ambition in life is to pass on to others what I know.” If we follow his advice, not only shall we enrich so many other lives but such a noble ambition on our part will serve a dual purpose by letting us revisit our own little success, learn from it and gather more momentum towards bigger objectives. We shall also get a chance to tie any loose ends we might have left behind, in hindsight.

On a final note, let us all treasure the sage advice from Salvadore Dali, the Spanish surrealist artist famed for his painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and writing. He  said, “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

I hope all the intelligent souls out there seriously consider the above submission as an invocation to the muse of success that delivers unto those that let their ambitions thrive!

Thank You!


Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathur
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!


  1. I would like to add that we must capitalize on ambition and continue to fan its flames. It’s easy to allow ambition to become something that was instead of something that can be. Of all the examples you presented, my favorite it Frank Sinatra’s. “…pass on to others what I know.” I have always lived by the philosophy that we are here to pass on what we learn to others so they can learn too.

    • I am ever so thankful to you, Ms. Jane, for your immensely valuable observation and guidance.

      I don’t know if it ever occured to you that you are my guiding force, as there’s so much I learn from your deep-rooted wisdom.

      Thank You and God Bless!

  2. Couldn’t agree more.
    The human need to deal with parameters of excellence is motivating at work and in many aspects of life. Ambition, when it is absent, immediately we feel its lack: the absence of this pressure leads to a dead calm and lack of energy and vitality. But it need to be careful to careerism and cynicism that in this tension to the improvement makes you forget or step on others. It is double-edged sword!! The healthy ambition, is not driven competition in the search for maximum career level ever, the power end in itself. But it is the desire to express the best of themselves, in the balance personal and collective, finding true happiness in being oneself, the right person in the right place. The real pleasure lies in the sense of accomplishment of a job well done, the deployment of of our own talents. It is the natural drive to excel, to achieve something significant, not only in the profession but even in the same private existence, a true realization of oneself.

    • Thanks once again, Dear Aldo! You have an uncanny sense of giving an additional layer of refined simplicity to what I write, with a unique process of embellishment! I consider myself very fortunate to have you as a true friend, guide, and a strategic critic that wants nothing but the best for me.

      I offer my humble Prayers to Dear Lord Almighty to always Shower His Divine Grace on You and Your Loved Ones!