What drives ambition and purpose?


Ambition and purpose are driven by various factors, as highlighted by different trusted experts:

  1. Personal Growth and Self-Improvement: Jessica Chastain suggests that ambition often stems from a desire to improve oneself rather than a pursuit of ego or narcissism. It involves setting higher goals and challenging oneself continuously 1.

  2. Service and Craft: Robin Sharma and Jay Shetty emphasize that ambition rooted in the desire to serve others or to master a craft leads to healthier and more fulfilling outcomes. Genuine ambition focuses on intrinsic motivation rather than external validation like fame or fortune 2.

  3. High Personal Goals: David Senra shares insights from Sam Walton's life, showing that setting extremely high personal goals and maintaining a strong bias toward action are crucial drivers of ambition 3.

    Drive and Ambition

    Jessica, Jason, Will, and Sean delve into the misconceptions surrounding drive and ambition, discussing how it's often mistaken for ego. They explore the importance of challenging oneself and the courage required to ask for more in life.


    Jessica Chastain | SmartLess
  4. Progress and Daily Improvement: Arthur C. Brooks explains that ambition is fundamentally about progress and that humans are wired to find happiness in continuous improvement and progress towards goals, rather than in the mere attainment of those goals 4.

  5. Meaningful Purpose: Danny Miranda points out that ambition must be aligned with personal values and meaningful purposes. Without this alignment, even achieving ambitious goals may not lead to a sense of a meaningful life 5.

  6. Balancing Ambition and Self-Discipline: Brad Stulberg and Rich Roll discuss the importance of combining ambition with self-discipline and self-compassion. Achieving great things requires hard work, but maintaining balance is crucial to avoiding burnout and ensuring long-term fulfillment 6.

These insights collectively suggest that ambition and purpose are driven by personal growth, meaningful goals, intrinsic motivations, and a balanced approach to life's challenges.