Ambition. I never really understood why it was necessary in those that we choose to have personal relationships with. To some degree, I understood wanting to find an ambitious romantic partner, as you want to hitch your wagon to that of someone who will make something of himself. If you’re going to marry and live with someone, his finances will affect yours—very much so—and so, some ambition would be useful. But when it comes to our friends, it took me a long time to get why some people will only befriend ambitious people. Friends are just for having fun, enjoying drinks, going out, and laughing—right? Why does it matter how their careers are going or what their goals are? Well, as I got older and further along in my own goals, I quickly understood why ambitious people can really only befriend other ambitious people.
We run a tight ship
Our lives are hyper-planned. Every half-hour increment is scheduled. That’s how we plan on reaching our goals. We have a scheduled phone call from 11am to 11:30am, we will work on our website from noon to 2pm, and we will make cold calls from 2pm to 4pm. We do not have much free time. If we have free time, we make it—we carefully carve it out.
We can’t plan with non-planners
People who aren’t ambitious don’t make good use of their time. They aren’t planners. They don’t consider how long things will take. They don’t plan in advance. It is impossible for the ambitious planner to be friends with the unambitious, non-planner. The former expects the scheduled noon lunch to happen at noon, because she has a 1:30 meeting elsewhere. But the unambitious one drags her feet in at 12:45 pm, because she lost track of time.
We don’t leave work at work
Our careers aren’t just a job. There is nothing 9-to-5 about the work of an ambitious person. We are always thinking and talking about ways to move our careers forward. They are our passions. We enjoy talking about our work, even in social settings.
But some people do leave work at work
The unambitious individual sees her job as just a job. When she clocks out, she doesn’t want to discuss work—not hers and not anybody else’s. She doesn’t want to be around an ambitious person who is still chatting about her career at 8pm over dinner. It makes her think of her own work, which she doesn’t want to do after clocking out.
We naturally look for opportunity
The ambitious individual is always looking for opportunity. She does that for herself, and she does that for others. Her wheels are always turning, connecting the dots on how this person could do this and make money in this way and network over here.
But some can see that as pressure
An ambitious person will naturally try to find opportunities for the unambitious one. She doesn’t understand that her unambitious friend doesn’t want those opportunities—in fact, the unambitious person feels that her ambitious friend is pressuring and annoying her.
We can’t turn off the urge to push on
The ambitious individual cannot just turn off the instinct to push on. Everywhere she looks, she sees career possibilities. She can’t be happy with a friend who tells her to stop that.
We are happy
The fact of the matter is that goals, dreams, and ambitions keep humans happy. The idea of possibilities and the sky being the limit is what keeps a human mentally and emotionally well. Ambitious people tend to be happy people. They feel they have purpose.
Those without ambitions can be sad
Those without ambition are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety. And when was the last time you saw a depressed individual and a happy one hit it off?
We want educational experiences
Ambitious individuals always want to enrich their minds. They choose their free time activities accordingly. They want to go to lectures or interesting films and exhibits that inspire them.
While some want to turn their brains off
Unambitious people want to turn their brains off when they aren’t at work. They don’t want to go to things that make them think or make them feel motivated. They don’t want to do the same activities as the ambitious person.
We are always networking
It’s hard for the ambitious individual not to network. It’s in their blood. They’re always wheeling and dealing, and looking for potential ways to work with the people they meet, even at social events.
While some see that as annoying
The unambitious individual not only doesn’t network, but also doesn’t want to be around someone who is networking. They’ll find it annoying that their friend is networking people at a party. And, while it’s true there are good and bad ways to network, the unambitious one just doesn’t want to be around it at all.
We’re careful with money
Ambitious individuals have plans for their money. They have very specific savings goals as they want to invest in things and use it as startup capital. As such, they may live on a strict budget.
But others like to blow it
The unambitious individual might blow her money on fleeting experiences often. It’s all she has to live for. She has no greater plans for her savings, so she always wants to go do expensive things that the ambitious person doesn’t want to blow money on.