Ambition Versus Ability, which is more important?

34 replies
I was asked this question a while back by a friend and I paused a little before giving my response. But before I tell you what my response was let me share something with you.

Many people will choose ability because they see people with great abilities, such as good singers, and say to themselves if I only had their abilities I would be successful.

Then there are those with seemingly less abilities but who are very ambitious and are able to get ahead.

With ambition, you can break through barriers even when you seem to have fewer abilities than those who have more.

This is even more so in internet marketing.

And pertaining to my answer in the above question, I chose ambition.

Please share your opinion on which is more important and why?
#ability #ambition #important #versus
  • Profile picture of the author Webbatron
    You can not succeed with ambition alone. There must be a level of ability there.

    Someone with high ability and low ambition would beat their opposite opponent day in day out.

    The powerful combination is someone with ambition who has high ability. Enter Usian Bolt/ Tyson Gay etc... to use a sporting example.

    Michael Webb

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    • Profile picture of the author EddieGilbert
      I believe ambition trumps ability alone.

      Did you ever hear Willie Nelson or Joe Cocker sing?

      I rest my case...
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  • Profile picture of the author realmaverick
    The answer is clear to me, ambition.

    Everybody has ability, much less have ambition.

    You cannot get anywhere, with tons of ability but no ambition.

    Ability is something you can learn, ambition is something else entirely.
    SEO, Web Design, Graphic Design

    Realisation: 10% of the members on WF, are making money from the other 90%.
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  • Profile picture of the author realmaverick
    Eddies singer example is spot on. The amount of talentless people selling recording, is staggering.

    The amount of mind glowingly talented singers who are unsigned, is even more staggering.

    Then you have to throw a little luck in to the mix!
    SEO, Web Design, Graphic Design

    Realisation: 10% of the members on WF, are making money from the other 90%.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Why does one have to be better than the other? Both are important.

    Cheers, Laurence.

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    • Profile picture of the author gorvene
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      Why does one have to be better than the other? Both are important.
      It's true that both are important, but which would you prefer to have more of?
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Ability because ambition is easy.

    Cheers, Laurence.

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  • Profile picture of the author akki313
    Ambition ofcourse.. If you have higher ambition then you can improve your ability according to that.

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    • Profile picture of the author zackick
      Originally Posted by akki313 View Post

      Ambition ofcourse.. If you have higher ambition then you can improve your ability according to that.

      yeah, i will also go to ambition too since the world is useless if we don't have ambition
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      • Profile picture of the author AC683
        I'd rather have ambition. So often our ability to do something is increased when we gain more knowledge or coaching. But if we don't have ambition then our ability eventually becomes wasted potential. It's ideal to have both like Michael Jordan, but if I had to choose one I'd choose ambition.
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  • Profile picture of the author gorvene
    While you can develop abilities, I often wonder if you can learn to be ambitious.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abby Gibbs
    If you have the ability but you do not have ambitions.... still, it is useless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daymon
    I think ambition as if you don't have ability u can accquire it. But if you have no ambition or willingness then ability is good for nothing...
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    I have known many people whose ambition, persistence and dedication won out over many who were much more able than them.

    I have also read hundreds if not thousands of quotes of great men who have said the same.

    Here is one of my favorites:

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

    Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

    Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

    The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

    John Calvin Coolidge

    I will add, that if you have someone with an ability who also has this persistence and dedication, so much better for them.

    44 days in and we broke the $10K a month recurring bench mark.

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  • Profile picture of the author savvy linguist
    Hello pals,

    This post here left me reflect for a while.
    Yet, I believe that having a greater ambition outweighs having just invincible ability.
    This is chiefly because ability is something genetic in anybody.
    Yet, too much of it without powerful ambition can be really degenerating.
    Ambition is like a fuel that inspires you to move forward and even enrich the ability you already have.
    In fact, if used effectively well, your ambition can unleash the hidden potentials you've been hesitant to show.

    To put it all together, your ability tells you how to do something, while ambition speaks why you need to do it. It’s more like giving a purpose and motivation to your endeavors.

    Mylene Payusan
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  • Profile picture of the author loganstatton
    Ambition is more important for me. If you can find one all-important ambition you'll have found your purpose in life, oneself esteem will grow and you will then see meaning with what your are performing. Life will end up easier and a lot more enjoyable. Finding direction and dealing towards a confident ambition can transform your attitude and transform you into someone with purpose so please follow your ambition and do not let anyone hold you back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrod
    “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Stephen King

    I got this from Jack Canfield's "The Success Principles"

    Clear answer: Ambition
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  • Profile picture of the author creaver1
    I am with several of the other posters. Without ambition there is no action. Without action there are no results.


    Ask Me About Power Partnering
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  • Profile picture of the author alicalyttle
    Ambition of course. It can give you direction and in the long run will help you develop abilities in pursuing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lindbeck

    With ambition you are unstoppable, you go for what you want and nothing can get in your way. If you are ambitious, ability wont be a problem for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author uppergrade
    Ability and Ambition both are important. Ability is waste without an ambition and ambition does not completed without ability. so both are equal important.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smiling1
    ambition trumps ability in my book
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  • Profile picture of the author dcristo
    Ambition is far superior to ability. There are plenty of people with ability that have achieved nothing in their life it's just wasted ability.

    Are you wanting to learn all the poker lingo?

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Ambition all the way. Look at how audacity often gets opportunities when talent frequently never sees the light of day.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberdenizen
    I'm going to use myself as an example. In 1988, I topped the science high school entrance examination in our province. A friend of mine was on the waiting list. She barely hit the passing mark. Flash forward to 2011. My friend is now an OB-Gyn. Me? I'm a college dropout. In fact, I'm the only dropout in the entire class.

    I've learned my lesson well, so I'm setting my sights higher. Since I've been working as a transcriber and a writer for more than four years, I'm going to enroll in an equivalency program to get a degree in journalism. I will then go to law school when I have saved enough money. I know it isn't too late for me to make something of myself.

    Ability is important, but without ambition, one cannot go far. I'm speaking from experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnDBrewer
    Ambition hands down is what should come first.

    Abilities can be learned.

    Ambition allows you to learn the abilities necessary to get what you want.

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  • Profile picture of the author ProScribe
    Yes I will agree with everyone that ambition is the most important, especially in IM where the skill sets aren't actually that complicated to learn.

    But maybe a more interesting question is whether ambition is an ability.

    What I mean is being ambitious part of your genetic ability in the same way being able to run fast is?
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  • Profile picture of the author WiFi
    Success will not lower its standard to us. We must raise our standard to success. - Rev. Randall R. McBride, Jr.

    Ambition more important. Look michael jordan, didn't make his high school team....but he had ambition...
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  • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy can be taught ability, but you can't be taught ambition.

    Disagree? I give you the best example on Earth:

    JaMarcus Russell.

    I rest my case.
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  • Profile picture of the author Magnus Koenig
    If you have an Ambition, you will have the ability to do things that will help you to achieve your goals in life.
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  • Profile picture of the author hails2009
    Ambition for sure. Ambition means making it happen. Making it happen means you may have to outsource it if you do not have the ability or the time.
    There is opportunity everywhere. Ambition will get you there. Ability is great to have, but if you choose not to use your ability - then those with ambition will gladly do it or make it happen.

    Sandra Hails

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  • Profile picture of the author paularaygoza
    ambition ..great thread
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