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Ambition vs. Gratitude: Can they Simultaneously Exist in Us?

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ambition vs gratitude

Ambition vs. Gratitude: Can they Simultaneously Exist in Us?

We’ll admit it, we struggle with this one. It’s extremely tough to be both ambitious and express gratitude at the same time. How do you remain thankful that you have a car to get you from point A to point B when a Ferrari is on your mind? How do you appreciate the new $80 shoes you just bought when there’s a $300 pair of Jordan’s that just dropped?

Being the brave souls that we are, we’ll attempt to make sense of it.

First off, everyone’s values and aspirations are different. One person’s dream is totally different to another’s, so we can’t say that our opinion applies to everybody. We’re just giving our perspective on this challenging topic.

Google defines ambition as ‘a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.’ We define it as the hustle personality trait that drives you to get what you want. An antonym for ambition is laziness.

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On the other hand, Google defines gratitude as ‘the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’ We define it as being thankful for what you’ve been given or have gotten in your life. The opposite of someone who expresses gratitude is an insincere person.

Now that you know how each word is defined, you see how we struggle to be both, right?


Personally, I drive a Mitsubishi that’s over ten years old. I love my car as it gets me where I want to go and at the same time I can’t help but think about how badly I want a Maserati. I’m not even into cars that much but I don’t express enough gratitude towards my current car because I’m too ambitious and keep my eyes on the car I want.


Business can never be going too well, there’s always something that can be improved. With that being said, it’s the toughest thing to show gratitude for because you’re always looking for the next way to acquire your next customer, make your next sale and ultimately increase your profits.

However, I believe that the best way to better your business is to show gratitude to your current customers. There may not be a whole ton of people reading this yet, but me and the rest of the Proprietor Lifestyle team appreciate each and every one of our readers because without you, we’d be nothing. Sure, we’d love to have the type of audience Buzzfeed and sites like that have, but they started off just like us too.

So as long as your business isn’t killing you, show gratitude for every single customer, it can only help.


This one is most important to me which is why I decided to write this piece in the first place.

Think about you and your family’s situation right now, it’s probably going well but could it be going better? For me and a lot of others yes. My family is my number one source for motivation because I want to give them the best life possible. I’m appreciative of what my family has given me and I’m so ambitious that I feel like I can give them a whole lot in return, although it’ll never equate to what I feel they gave me.

At the same time, because I always feel like I need to be working, I sometimes don’t appreciate the time I get to spend with them. I find it hard to balance working towards giving them a better life and enjoying the life we currently live.

The only solution that makes sense to me is to work when you’re working and to enjoy your time when you’re enjoying your time. Be extremely productive when you tell yourself you need to get something done and live life to the fullest when you’re not.

Our solution to the ambition-gratitude issue when it comes to family can be applied to other aspects as well. When you’re in your car driving, be thankful for having a car that works but when your ambition kicks in and you start sensing your need for something, get in your office and work for it.

We’ll leave you with this quote from Richard Bliss Brooke that puts a positive spin on this whole debate:

“Ambition is the gift of growth and abundance. And gratitude is the gift of peace and joy.”

What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below.


The Owner of Proprietor Lifestyle, Steven is an entrepreneur from New York. He's in an abusive relationship with the New York Knicks and is always looking to connect with other like-minded millennials.

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