Ambition describes those that achieve success based on their inner desire to do so and their belief in themselves. Ambition in itself may not be a key to success. Successful, ambitious people need both energy and goals to succeed. Someone with plenty of energy but no goals may find themselves pursuing one opportunity after another without success, wondering what it is that they are wanting out of life.
Ambition also requires using failures to learn from their mistakes. There are many examples of ambitious people:
Paul Allen started the software giant Microsoft alongside Bill Gates. They pair had first started a business named Traf-O-Data, which failed. This failure did not prevent Allen and Gates from pursuing their goals. According to Allen, "Even though Traf-O-Data wasn't a roaring success, it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft's first product a couple of years later." That first product? The operating system called MS-DOS, the precursor to Windows, the operating system still used by most personal computers today.
Jim Carrey, a famous comedian, never graduated from high school. He dropped out to support his family, who had become destitute after his father's music career failed. He had a single-minded goal from the time he was very young and he worked to achieve that goal.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and of many other inventions, attempted to create many light bulbs before he developed one that actually worked. His famous line, "I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work," is a saying used today to emphasize to students that failure is a learning process.
Ambition is not a requirement for success for many people. Many unambitious people would describe success as accepting what life has to offer and making the most of it. However, ambition is a necessity for those who want to achieve a specific goal, such as becoming a CEO, actor, or billionaire.