role of ambition in life

My Life and The Role of Ambition

Erik Thoughts of a Mastermind 15 Comments


role of ambition in life

I’ve been doing some reflecting on my life lately and trying to examine the patterns of my actions which have led to my successes and my failures. It seems that ambition, motivation, and consistency have all played large roles in my life. In this post, I’m going to share with you some of my personal story of how I went from childhood to the present day and my thoughts of the role of ambition in my life.



The Role of Ambition, Motivation, and Consistency

Some people are amazed at my level of work and my motivation and ambition to do things. Some people have asked me the question, “Why did you become ambitious?” This is an interesting question for me because it doesn’t seem it was a conscious decision for me and I don’t remember waking up one day and deciding, “You know what? I’m going to get off my butt and start putting in work.” While considering this question, I thought back to my childhood and actions and events took place that could shed light on my potential answer for this question.

Setting Goals and Success

When I was 8 years old, Pokemon Silver Version came out for Game Boy. A lot of my friends had video games and I got the itch to play Pokemon. For Christmas that year, I got my first video games: a Game Boy and Pokemon Silver.

For the next few months, I grinded through the game, leveling up my Pokemon, beating the 16 gym leaders and became a Pokemon Master (maybe not, but I beat the game). From an early age, I was focused and motivated to succeed at a high level – whether it be Pokemon, school, or sports.

A few years later, I got an Xbox 360 and played Halo 3 and Guitar Hero most days after school with friends… I had to be the best. For some reason, I thought that if I was the best, then I would be accepted as a good friend and would be recognized for my achievements. Some of my friends liked this, but some just wanted to just hang out and relax.

Achievements in Adulthood

Now, on to my senior year of high school. I was in Calculus BC and started dating a girl who went on to be the school Valedictorian. She pushed me to crush the Calculus BC test with a 5 and get a 4.0 in my final high school semester. Why did I push myself when grades didn’t matter? I don’t know, I set a goal and I accomplished it.

sub 20 seconds rubiks cube solve

Me at Cubetcha 2011

The summer before college, I learned how to do a Rubik’s cube… naturally, you will guess what happened next… I needed to be the best in my friend group. Through practice, I got my average below 1 minute… (and now, I can still solve one in under 20 seconds)

Through my college years, I continued to perform well and was able to finish undergrad in 3 years. I went on for my Master’s and finished that up in 2 years. I was a young 22 year old (June birthday and started full time work in January) entering Corporate America and starting to achieve great things. I set a goal to finish up undergrad early, and go right into the Master’s and get a job in my field. I accomplished another goal.

Present Day

In 2017, I’m looking to grow, learn, and achieve things each and every day. I’ve set goals for myself (financial, personal, physical, and self improvement) and work each day to improve on them. Each day I have an opportunity to get a little bit better – I look to be consistent with my actions so I can keep it going. I’m well on my way to all of these goals I’ve set, but again, will have to stay consistent.

I value accomplishment, achievement, and improvement. I think it’s a great feeling when you set a goal and then work towards that goal. Seeing progress, seeing improvement is exciting for me. Lately, I’ve been working on being more authentic, being more open to different people, and looking to experience different things. It’s a lot of fun growing as a person and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2nd half of 2017 brings.

My Personality Type: ISTJ

Why does it seem in most activities in my life, I’ve shown ambition? It seems the answer lies in my personality type: I’m naturally an ISTJ (on a different day, maybe INTJ) as defined by the Myers-Briggs test. From the website 16 Personalities, here is a brief overview of ISTJ:

Their defining characteristics of integrity, practical logic and tireless dedication to duty make ISTJs a vital core to many families, as well as organizations that uphold traditions, rules and standards, such as law offices, regulatory bodies and military. People with the ISTJ personality type enjoy taking responsibility for their actions, and take pride in the work they do – when working towards a goal, ISTJs hold back none of their time and energy completing each relevant task with accuracy and patience.

As described above, I take pride in the work I do, and I enjoy taking responsibility for my actions. Essentially, it’s in my make-up and DNA why I am ambitious and motivated. I set goals, and I go and look to achieve those goals. Simple as that!

The Power of Self-Awareness

I know for a fact I’m introverted, I’m simple-minded (but intelligent), and determined to succeed at a high level. I’m naturally pretty funny in the moment and have a wild imagination when given the time to think. I’m getting better at conversation and am learning more about emotional intelligence. I’m a great listener and have a fantastic memory. I’m pretty goofy and a kid at heart. You know what I’m not? I’m not too extroverted, a person who possesses a large and creative vocabulary, and someone who will let you down. I’m going to be quiet at first, but as mentioned above, would love to hear about your day and what’s going on in your life.

I know these things and am starting to use these abilities to my advantage. Self-awareness is the first step to improvement. Once you are aware of what needs to be adjusted, then you can start to make adjustments. In my life, I’m embracing my personality. I’m going to work my butt off when it’s time to work, and I’m going to enjoy my self when it’s time to play. I’m starting to find balance in my life, and I’m loving it. The first 5-6 months of 2017 were not too balanced – many early mornings and late nights trying to get things in place for the blog, my house, or my friends.

Now, I’m feeling great about where I am in life. On weekdays, I wake up around 7, get to work around 8, leave around 5, hit the gym quick, then work for a few hours on my side hustles. On weekends, I’m up early, work on my side hustles from 8 to 12, and then hang out with friends, family and do fun things. I’m embracing the grinder within me, but also recognizing a person needs to have balance and time for themselves.


It has been very beneficial for me to examine my life, my personality, and my actions. I’m excited to continue down the path I’ve laid out for myself. I’m loving how things are progressing right now, but will have to stay diligent and consistent in my work to achieve my goals.

In July, I will provide an in-depth view on my goals and my progress in 2017 – I’m looking forward to putting that post together for you!

Readers: have you taken a Myers-Briggs test? What’s your personality type? Are you doing well on your goals for 2017?




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Comments 15

  1. This is great! “Self-awareness is the first step to improvement.” Agree completely. I think this is really the key to all self-improvement.

    As I was reading this, it felt very similar to my life, but I had never felt like I had that driving ambition. I’m a bit older than you, so it was Pokemon Blue for me, but everything else was pretty spot on, even down to the BC Calc test and dating the valedictorian. So I laughed when I saw that your personality type is ISTJ. I am an INTJ. Very similar approaches to life, but not quite the same.

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      That’s awesome Matt 🙂 We are cut out of the same cloth it seems 🙂

      I’m wondering how many bloggers are of the I and T type – I’d imagine quite a bit. I bet close to 100% of bloggers are of the T type!

      Thanks for stopping by, appreciate the comment.

  2. “In July, I will provide an in-depth view on my goals and my progress in 2017 – I’m looking forward to putting that post together for you!”

    Ah, thanks for reminding us, we need to check in on our own New Years resolutions more regularly!

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      Yeah you are welcome! 🙂 I’m exctied, I’m going to do an in-depth post on my net worth and income for 2017, as well as my takeaways from some of the goals I have.

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  3. I took one a few years back as part of a group training. It came out as ESTJ, and I was surprised. I didn’t think and still don’t think I’m much of an extrovert. I guess it depends on my mood 🙂

    “being more open to different people” – I’d like to work on this part myself to gain insight from different perspectives. There are so many different values and opinions among us and if we can understand them, it can help us grow.

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      Hey SMM, that’s interesting that you don’t see yourself as extroverted but yet the test does! I love your comment on being open to different people! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. “I’m embracing the grinder within me, but also recognizing a person needs to have balance and time for themselves.” Nice!!

    Got another book recommendations for you – “Barking up the Wrong Tree”, Eric Barker

    Did you read Essentialism yet or is it on your list?

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      Ooooo I’ll have to check both of those out… I’ve been lacking with my reading due to other things… such as tonight where I’m re-organizing a file of 5700 t-shirt designs! 🙂

  5. The interesting thing I’ve found is I’ve changed personalities with time. I was an INTJ when I first entered the work force. Now I’m closer to ENTP in many ways. At some point years of being in a position where I had to be extroverted and perceiving to get by has made me more comfortable in those situations.

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      Interesting perspective FTF. I agree and think personalities can change over time. I’m trying to be more extroverted, but keeping in mind that my strengths lie in my introvertedness.

      Thanks for the comment.

  6. I haven’t taken the personality test yet, but from what I read of yours, it seems like we share a few traits, such as being simple minded. I always prefer to be straightforward and express what I need to communicate instead of expecting people to read between the lines.

    For my 2017 goals I am doing relatively well for the first half. I am hoping to have a better second half and to build on top of what I have already achieved.

  7. I have taken a variety of those tests but I seem to remember getting a variety of results. That ISTJ sounds pretty good though. I might just go with that 😉

    Goals are still moving along. Some better than others of course. I will be doing an update next week on my progress thus far.

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