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RaeAnne Zobel

Mrs. Cox

English 9 H, Period 4

23 March 2017

The Positives and Negatives of Everyday Ambition

According to, ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement

or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

Ambition has multiple aspects to it, including self esteem and family history. In the article

entitled, Ambition: Do you need it to succeed? it states, Research shows that people with high

self-esteem are more ambitious than people who have low self-esteem. If you have a relative or

even a close friend who is ambitious, then you are more likely to be more ambitious than those

who dont. The actions of your relatives or close friends can impact your life because you have

grown up around it. Ambition can have a positive and negative effect on your life. How will you

determine the impact it has on you? Use your ambition to benefit your life and remember that the

most ambitious person isn't the only person who will change the world.

Who has ambition? Everyone! Let me give you a scenario to use an example. Jacob went

off to college two years ago and spends hundreds of dollars of his parents money. He then got

bored and came home to live in his old room, the same room where he lived when he was in high

school. Now he has two part time jobs working long hours most days of the week. His parents

are getting worried. They decide to say, Jacob, youre 26 years old. Youre not in school and

you dont have a career. Whats the plan? When are you going to start to figure out your future?

Jacob replied by saying, Whats the problem? I have a job and Im trying to earn enough money

to move into an apartment of my own. Does it sound like Jacob has ambition? On a first
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thought, no, it does not sound like he has ambition. On a second thought, Jacob does have

ambition. Depending on what he spent his parents money on, could show that he has ambition.

If he was spending the money trying to find a cure for cancer, then he would be showing

ambition. If he was spending his money on food or expensive clothes, then he is not showing


Is ambition good or bad? Well, its good and bad. According to the article Why ambition

could make you rich, but not happy by Tim Hume, it states, According to new research

ambition can help you achieve a more prestigious education. Other research shows There was

a strong correlation between ambition, and educational and career success. In this case,

ambition is good. A good education can help you obtain a better job or a better start to a career.

How can ambition be bad? Experiments by University of California suggests that people

who are socially and financially better-off are more likely to cheat, lie, and behave unethically to

those lower in the socioeconomic ladder. Ambition can cause those people to be high in the

socioeconomic ladder, but can also cause them to behave unethically. Unethical behaviors are

closely related to selfishness. Some may start to say things like To be a successful person in this

society, it is important to make use of every opportunity or It is not morally bad to think first of

ones own benefit and not other peoples. How would you feel if no one helped you out when

you were having a bad day? I know that I would be feeling pretty let down. Id feel that my

friends, werent really friends at all. An article entitled The Downside of Ambition written by

Robert Samuelson states As ambition increases, so does self absorption. Everything else in life

deflates. In order to make sure your ambition does not turn into a negative direction, remember

the counterbalance. The counterbalance to ambition [is] gratitude for what you have -- a quality
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often seemed forgotten by society. That would be the lesson for ambitious people -- remember

to stop for a moment, take stock of all that you've accomplished and be happy with that.

Who is the most ambitious person you know? Some may answer my mom, my dad, my

cousin, my friend or my uncle - the list could go on and on. When I think of an ambitious person,

I think of Adolf Hitler. Although his ambition became unethical, it started out with good

intentions. Adolf Hitler wanted the Germans to use nationalism as a centripetal force uniting

them after World War I. However he took a step further by committing genocide of Jews living

in Germany.

We get to see ambition of a famous person unfold within our lifetime. If I said Make

America Great Again, would you be able to know whom I am talking about? If you guessed

President Donald Trump, then you are correct. In his Inaugural address, President Trump said

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. From this day

forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America

first, America first We will make America proud again. Making The United States of

America a better country is a daunting task that requires a lot of motivation and we are fortunate

to be able to watch the results of his ambition unfold during the next four years.

Ambition can be positive and negative. Act cautious when your ambition is close to

taking over. How will you determine the impact ambition has on you? Will you become the next

vice president or a person living in your parents basement? Let us remember Only one person

can become president of the United States, but there's no limit to the number of [ambitious

people] who can make this planet a better place.

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Works Cited


Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

Borzykowski, Bryan. Ambition: Do You Need It to Succeed? BBC News, BBC, 6 Aug. 2014, Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Christofferson, D. Todd. Let Us Be Men., 7 Oct. 2006,

conference/2006/10/let-us-be-men?lang=eng. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Gardner, Amanda. Are Rich People More Unethical? CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Feb.

2012, Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Hume, Tim. Why Ambition Could Make You Rich, but Not Happy. CNN, Cable News

Network, 9 Mar. 2012,

top/index.html. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Joyce, Jaime. News. A New President | TIME For Kids, 20 Jan. 2017, Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Kristof, Nicholas D. The Age of Ambition. The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Jan.

2008, Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Samuelson, Robert. The Downside of Ambition. RealClearPolitics, 17 Oct. 2007, Accessed

22 Mar. 2017.