Ambition - Good or Bad?

An anonymous writer said that ambition, fueled by compassion, wisdom and integrity, is a powerful force for good. It will turn the wheels of industry and open the door of opportunity for you and countless thousands of other people. Fueled by greed and the lust for power, ambition is a destructive force that ultimately does irreparable damage to the individual in its grasp and to the people within its reach.

It is more than just a cliche to say that ambition can either make you or break you. It makes us when we hear the words of Henry Van Dyke who said, "There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher." George Matthew Adams said, "He climbs highest who helps another up." John Lubbock put it this way, "To do something, however small, to make others happier and better is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being."

As a youngster in a small Mississippi town, I frequently heard my mother and the man for whom I worked in the grocery store describe an individual by saying, "He is really a very ambitious young man," or "She really has a lot of ambition." The tone of voice indicated that they were very favorably identifying one of the traits of that young person. I understood implicitly that they were talking about ambition fueled by compassion, wisdom and integrity. On the other hand, I heard them say on numerous occasions, "He (or she) is a nice person, but he just doesn't have any ambition." From my perspective, people who have ability - and that includes anyone reading these words - and who do not use that ability, represent one of the real tragedies of life. The old saying that you either "use it or lose it" is true.

In a nutshell, ambition, fueled with compassion and direction, can be a powerful force for good. Think about it and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations...

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