Discover more from Unknown Unknowns
What does ambitious mean? A common answer would be a person who wants to achieve something. That "thing" is usually either status or an achievement that confers status. For example, a certain amount of money, a title, an invention, or ownership in a business.
What all these things have in common is that they are achievements in the eyes of other people. Does an act have to cause mimetic desire for it to be considered ambitious? Are people who follow intrinsic motivation not necessarily ambitious?
I guess the corresponding word is passionate.
The unspoken connotation that ambition is dependent on other people valuing what you do is disturbing.
Can we take advantage of the idea of ambition? Because humans are mimetic, and it's impossible to get rid of this trait, how do we use it? You could convince people that your passion is useful to them. Or you could go somewhere where your passion is valued. There's a concept called "scenius" like the Lost Generation or the Beat Generation - groups of writers who encouraged each other.
Another takeaway is that if you have ambition, you're by extension extrinsically motivated. When you have ambition, you're trying to prove yourself to other people.