My friend, marketing and leadership strategist, Edwin Dearborn posted this definition of ambition on his website. It really hit home for me and inspired this strategy of the week.

Ambition (n.) – A strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work; desire for exertion or activity; energy. [Derivation- Middle English ambicioun, excessive desire for honor, power or wealth.]

Notice it says, “typically requiring determination and hard work.”

Pay close attention to the derivation or origin of the word. Keep in mind this was over 1000 years ago; a time when you didn’t have to apologize or sugar coat everything you said. Back then, ambition meant excessive desire for honor, power or wealth. Can you imagine going around today saying, “I have excessive demand for honor, power and wealth?” Well, that’s exactly what I am suggesting you do. Get to that, so you can have the things you want!

A lot of people are acting like ambition is just having and showing desire; then they show up for work and hope things are going to just turn out right. That’s dreaming, not ambition. Excessive desire followed by excessive amounts of action is what the ambitious have and do. Then, never apologize for it. It’s a ‘get out of my way’ attitude.

The ambitious don’t want, they demand. They don’t ask for something, they insist on it. They don’t sell their products, they make people buy them. Then, they do whatever it takes to make sure they get to where they want to be.

Without ambition from you and your staff, nothing will ever happen. I see this as such a crucial part of success that I created a program, available at my online University called 30 Days to Permanent Motivation. It gives individuals, teams and companies content to fuel their ambition when they need it and it’s sent directly to their phone, tablet or computer on demand.

When do you need ambition? All the time. The cost of not having a sense of motivation or ambition is insane.

Once you are in the ambitious mindset, you must protect it. Do you know how? Do you know how to handle people who aren’t committed to having great lives, the ‘not so’ ambitious? If you run a team, a company or a household, you better figure this out. Since the word ambition was first used in the 10th century, those who best lived the word were most successful.

How often do you hear people saying, “I demand success,” or “I want to be wealthy or I will not stop until I get it!” – almost never, but it’s quite common to hear things like:

“Dude, we never see you anymore.”
“You work too hard, you need to relax.”
“When will you ever be satisfied?”
“There’s more to life than success and money.”
“Life is to be enjoyed.”
“You’re never going to be a millionaire, why bother?”
“I can’t be with a person who spends all their time working.”
“Who the hell do you think you are? You think you’re better than us?”

As society has become softer, more entitled and civilized, men and women start to justify being less ambitious.

People who have given up on their own dreams and goals and are now settling, may try to manipulate others to feel guilty for being ambitious. Some may be long time friends, even family or people you work side by side with. You must handle these people, set some boundaries and continue forward with ambition.

If you believe your success is a good thing, then you should pursue it like your duty, obligation and responsibility. As your ambition grows and intensifies, you must protect it. Then, success will follow.

Ambition is the excessive desire for honor, power and wealth. The only people that will have trouble with that definition are those who have given up on pursuing some of those things for themselves.

Be great!

Showing 38 comments
  • Ronald Joseph Kule

    Sellers sell, but buyers buy; the correctly trained salesperson understands why this is and works toward turning their prospects into buyers.

  • Rob Stenberg

    Please, if you follow this advice and want to be a sales professional, either reconsider the advice or leave my profession. No one demands respect, it is earned. No one demands to sell their product or service to someone, they earn the right to ask for the sale by collaborating, engaging and educating thier customer on possibilities that were not seen to them before. You cannnot demand success and if you believe you can, you are delusional. You can’t chase success. You have to become the type of person who attracts success. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Improve who you are. Be consistent in your good habits and replace your bad ones. If you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve what you believe is success, that’s great. I will reserve a prison cell for you right next to the Jeff Schilling from Enron. I emplore you to not blindly follow this advice. It will steer you into a dark alley.

  • Lili

    I have a couple more adjustments:
    My grandfather used to say,
    people’s complacency

  • Grant Cardone

    Take a look at your approach and study it. You have to practice and train to become a master at something.

  • Grant Cardone

    Thanks Alex!

  • Grant Cardone

    You can follow me on Twitter @GrantCardone!

  • heaven

    me too

  • Anonymous

    Hey ,, this jc . I know for the fact that people are getting behind the wall I always have applied hard work mentality on everything I do ……when I got ur books man I said and thought this man ( grant cardone) is just like me straight forth with thoughts ……but I would like to ask one thing though …. Every time a meet someone and we exchange ideas they always tend to hide from me when they see me again or just don’t answer their phone …… And to be honest that shit wears on me and on anyone………although I know that I demand to persist I doesn’t feel good . What would you do?

  • Cristian Shockley

    My grandfather use to say,
    “There is only one way to go through life, FIRST CLASS, otherwise don’t bother. The beauty about peoples complaicency is that they leave so much for the few that really want it. That’s why the few got so much.” Had to make adjustments. Gave me a headache deciphering, but it’s good stuff!

  • Irene

    Good food for thought, when you love what you do & are doing what you love, being passionate & focus, nothing stops you, it’s enormously powerful as 2 elements of ambition are constantly present & exercised daily i.e. honor & power – wealth becomes the outcome.

  • Steve Hoffman

    That was so what I needed to hear! It was a shot to the heart and a kick in the pants! You really made me think… I appreciate your candor, your teaching spirit, and the admonishment I so sorely needed. I am printing this out and putting in my office! Grant, can I follow you around for a week??!!!!

  • Todd Christensen

    Grant, you bring up a great point, people get ambition mixed with there dreams. Ambitious people take pride in there dream, people who are dreaming are just hoping things will work out (just going to the motions hoping to get the same results but with a different outcome, but it NEVER works!)

  • Perry Martin

    Awesome post. Onward and upward!

  • Gordon Firemark

    That’s a great analogy.

  • Jaxi

    I loved this! Cool to learn – powerful twist on the word – now will always think differently about it. 🙂

  • Alex Paim

    Great article Grant! I always like to watch your videos and read your posts when I am running low on ambition. You are definitely an inspiration!

  • Grant Cardone


  • Edwin Dearborn

    Thanks Grant for the shout out!

  • Johnny G (Sales God)

    Inspirational stuff Grant. The UK needs you my friend!

  • Camacho Coaching

    Grant you have inspired me and helped me push myself to the next level. Thanks for the great message today." AMBITION"

  • Kim Mislich

    Thank you! I understand listening to those comments of others-not uunderstanding my ambition to be successful. I have disrespected myself! Time to turn it around! 🙂

  • Grant Cardone

    I appreciate all of your comments. Stay focused!

  • adrian

    to achive a goal in my opinion you need 2 things :

    1. Ambition (n.) – A strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work; desire for exertion or activity; energy. [Derivation- Middle English ambicioun, excessive desire for honor, power or wealth.]

    2. Will mean having to go through an arduous route. Trait manifested by firm resolve and perseverance in overcoming obstacles, difficulties, perplexities of any kind

    Ambition is the order and Will is the route. both have fundamental importance

    and these must be seasoned occasionally with positive attitude and enthusiasm

  • Grant Cardone

    That’s the right attitude man! Go get ’em!

  • Vidal Villegas

    My grand father use to said,
    There is only one way to go trough life, first class, other wise, don’t bother.
    The “beauty” about people complaisance, it’s that leave so much, for the few of ones that really want it. That’s why so few, got so much.
    Well said my friend,
    See you at the top!!!

  • David Sharp

    Grant, thank you for constantly putting this kind of thing out. I sometimes feel like I worked myself into a really good job and I work for a great company with great people, but now I am kind of stuck. I just finished reading 10X (well listening to it on audiobook, but anyway) and I can already see the changes in my attitude. I have begun to finally get the wheels of ambition rolling in my own life and I will get more than I have and I am not afraid to work my ass off to get it.

    So to sum it up in 7 words or less, thanks for the kick in the ass!

  • Alex Serrano

    Thanks Grant, thanks for waking up the country.

  • Joe

    You nailed it! Find someone ambitious and you have a HUNTER. Find a dreamer and you have a gatherer. I need ninja closing Hunters.
    Thanks again GC.

  • John McMullen

    Grant, I love your no holds barred, straight foward, non-politically correct manner in presenting your information. Your information has inspired and lifted me to levels that I always wanted but did not know how to get to. Thank you and keep up the great work!!

  • wes

    Thank F, somebody that talks sense! Thank you Grant

  • Ed Stabb

    Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell and advertise. A successful woman ceo said this. This is the key. Not plowing over people.

  • O.C.

    Thank you for saying that!

  • Ursus Jaen

    Right on! Perfect timing. Thank you

  • Bear Goodman

    See you in Vegas Brother! Thanks for the motivation!

  • lien mountain range

    Simply wanna input that you have a very decent site, I like the
    layout it really stands out.

  • 유흥일자리

    My brother suggested I may like this website.
    He was once entirely right. This publish truly made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how a lot time I had spent
    for this info! Thank you!

  • get more info

    What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable familiarity concerning unexpected emotions.

  • get more info

    Hey There. I found your weblog using msn. This is a very neatly written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read
    extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post.
    I’ll certainly return.

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search

© 2001 - 2021 Grant Cardone Training Technologies.