am·bi·tion/amˈbiSH(ə)n/ noun

a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

We all know that one ambitious person (or maybe it’s you) who has set their mind to take over the world. They’re determined to start their own business, complete an Iron Man triathlon, become a doctor, scale the corporate ladder, or other ambitious goal.

Sometimes ambition gets a bad rap because it can be associated with success at all cost, no matter what it takes or who it may hurt a long the way. While this can be true, it’s not the case for many. After all, you need some ambition to power your motivation and fuel your discipline. Having ambition is a good thing as long as you don’t let it blind you.

So, just how is it that ambitious people get stuff done? Let’s take a look at the steps they take to fulfill their dreams.

Set goals

First things first, set a goal. You can’t get to a destination if you don’t know where you’re going. If you’re new at setting goals and don’t know where to start, take the SMART approach. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life.

Once you have that goal figured out, write it down everywhere, remind yourself of this goal frequently and be accountable.

Take risks

We humans are creatures of comfort. It makes sense. In times of stress or anxiety, we want to be among the familiar. We want to feel safe, and we want to know what’s going to happen next so we can plan accordingly.

Ambitious people throw comfort out of the window. They live outside their comfort zone because they know that in discomfort is where they challenge themselves to grow, learn, and try new things.

If you think about it, you can associate ambitious people with children. Children are natural risk-takers. They climb trees without worrying if they’ll fall. They learn to skateboard, ride bikes, rollerblade without caring that they’ll fall and scrape their knees. As we grow into adults, we learn about failure and begin to hold ourselves back. Ambitious people learn to appreciate failure in a way that propels them forward, not holds them back.

As Albert Einstein put it, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

Get a new perspective

Ambitious people tend to do things differently; that’s what makes them so successful. They forge a new path by finding a new or different way to do something. They know that there’s more than one way to accomplish a goal or solve an issue and that the “tried and true” way is not always the best way.

When trying to reach your goal, take time to look at all the different angles. Get a new perspective.

Ask others for insight

No one ever said you had to go at it alone. There’s nothing wrong with asking for input or help. Simple as that.

Walk away

Sometimes you need to walk away for a few days or even weeks to clear your head and get new perspective. This doesn’t mean you’re giving up; it means you’re taking a break to recharge. Once you’ve rebooted your brain and renewed your energy, come back to it. It’s almost 100% guaranteed that you’ll see things you missed, or have new ideas of how to tackle it.

Broaden your horizons

Have you taken a look at all possible angles? Take time to tear the problem, goal, ambition apart. Know your subject intimately – the good, the bad, and especially the ugly.

Stay focused

Ambitious people don’t lose sight of their goals. DevelopGoodHabits has a great list of 11 ways to stay focused on your goal. Here are a few:

  • Removing distractions that are not related to the goal
  • Don’t try to multitask
  • Align your goals with your core values
  • Review your goals daily
  • Use a planner to track your progress

Check out the rest of their article for more tips.

Surround yourself with hard-working, ambitious people

Want to be successful? Hang out with successful people. Find a mentor and learn from them. Make friends with people who are smarter than you. Network with people in the same field you are interested in.


Ambitious people set goals, take risks, get new perspectives and surround themselves with other hard-working and ambitious people. Even if you’re not out to start a new company or take over the world, there’s lots to be learned from them on how to tackle and accomplish goals because at the end of the day, ambitious people get stuff done.

1 Comment

  1. […] without changing your mindset. If you’re having trouble with that, check out our blog on how ambitious people get things done. It may give you some ideas on how to overcome your procrastination and other time-wasters without […]

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