Ambition is the true engine of progress


As my daughter grows up I cannot stop thinking – what will make the new generation tick?

In my view Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” answers this question. Many of my friends have read it, but everyone took completely different ideas out of it.

Leaving communism vs capitalism debate aside, for me the main idea of the book was – ambition is great and great ambition is even better.

Knowledge is important, but you don’t become Neil deGrasse Tyson or Brian Cox just by being smart. You need burning ambition to drive you forward.

Talent reigns supreme when it comes to success, but you don’t become Cristiano Ronaldo or Roger Federer just by being talented. You need burning ambition to drive you forward.

Grit is paramount, but you don’t become Jeff Bezos or Amanico Ortega just by sticking to your guns no matter what. You need burning ambition to drive your forward.

Emotional Intelligence in the age of machines taking over the world is crucial, but again – you don’t become Richard Branson by being the most affable person on the planet. You need burning ambition to drive your affable backside forward.

Raw Unbridled Charisma can get you very far, but you don’t become the most powerful man on Earth just on the back of charisma. You need Barack Obama’s burning ambition to drive you forward.

From beauty to networking skills – I can go on and on. But you get the idea…

Success in life is dependent upon many factors, but just like IT now underpins any successful business, ambition underpins any successful individual.

So the question is then – how do we teach our children to be ambitious? Shouldn’t that be the main purpose of school?


by Roman Grigoriev

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