Difference Wiki

Ambition vs. Goal: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Updated on November 11, 2023
Ambition is a strong desire to achieve something, often requiring determination and hard work, while a goal is a specific target or objective to be achieved.

Key Differences

Ambition refers to a person's inner drive and determination to achieve success, often in a broad, long-term sense. Goals, on the other hand, are specific objectives or targets that one sets to achieve, which can be steps towards fulfilling an ambition.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023
Ambition is typically more abstract and far-reaching, representing an individual's aspirations and desires, like becoming a leader in their field. Goals are concrete, measurable, and have a defined timeframe, such as completing a degree or reaching a sales target.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 11, 2023
While ambition drives a person and gives direction to their efforts, goals provide clear milestones and a roadmap to achieve that ambition. Goals can change and evolve, but ambition usually remains constant, guiding overall life or career trajectories.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023
Ambition often requires a sustained effort and long-term commitment, reflecting a person's passion and perseverance. Goals, while also requiring commitment, are more immediate and can be achieved in the shorter term, leading to a sense of accomplishment.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 11, 2023
Ambition can exist without specific goals, as a general desire for success or achievement. However, setting goals is a practical way to channel ambition into actionable steps and tangible results.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A strong desire to achieve success or distinction
A specific objective or target to be achieved
Sumera Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Nature

Abstract, broad, long-term
Concrete, measurable, short-term or long-term
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Role

Drives and motivates individuals
Provides specific milestones and a roadmap
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Example

Ambition to become a successful entrepreneur
Goal to start a business within the next year
Aimie Carlson
Nov 11, 2023

Measurement of Success

More subjective, based on personal fulfillment and growth
More objective, based on achieving set targets
Aimie Carlson
Nov 11, 2023
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Ambition and Goal Definitions

Ambition

Ambition is a strong desire and determination to achieve success.
Her ambition is to become a world-renowned scientist.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

Goal

Goals are concrete objectives people aim to accomplish.
She set a goal to save a certain amount of money each month.
Janet White
Nov 11, 2023

Ambition

Ambition can be a driving force behind one's actions and decisions.
His ambition led him to take challenging but rewarding projects.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Goal

Goals provide direction and focus for efforts and planning.
Setting clear goals helped him succeed in his business venture.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Ambition

Ambition is often associated with achieving high levels of distinction.
She has the ambition to climb to the top of her profession.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

Goal

A goal is a specific, often measurable target set to be achieved.
His goal is to run a marathon in under four hours.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Ambition

Ambition can reflect a person's aspirations in their career or life.
His ambition drove him to pursue advanced studies in his field.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Goal

A goal can be a short-term or long-term achievement.
Their immediate goal is to improve customer satisfaction.
Janet White
Nov 11, 2023

Ambition

Ambition is about setting high standards and goals for oneself.
Her ambition inspired others to strive for excellence.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Goal

A goal is a milestone or endpoint in one’s personal or professional journey.
Graduating with honors was a major goal for her.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 11, 2023

Ambition

An eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Goal

The object toward which an endeavor is directed; an end.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

The object or goal desired
Her ambition is the presidency.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Goal

A structure or area into which players endeavor to propel a ball or puck in order to score points.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

Desire for exertion or activity; energy
Had no ambition to go dancing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Goal

A play or shot that sends a ball or puck into or through the goal.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

Eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other people.
My son, John, wants to be a firefighter very much. He has a lot of ambition.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

(countable) An object of an ardent desire.
My ambition is to own a helicopter.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

A desire, as in (sense 1), for another person to achieve these things.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

(uncountable) A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

(obsolete) The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing.
[I] used no ambition to commend my deeds.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

An eager, and sometimes an inordinate, desire for preferment, honor, superiority, power, or the attainment of something.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling a way ambition:By that sin fell the angels.
The pitiful ambition of possessing five or six thousand more acres.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet.
Pausanias, ambitioning the sovereignty of Greece, bargains with Xerxes for his daughter in marriage.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

A cherished desire;
His ambition is to own his own business
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

A strong drive for success
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

Ambition

Have as one's ambition
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2022

FAQs

Can ambition exist without goals?

Yes, ambition can exist as a general desire for success without specific goals.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Is ambition always career-related?

No, ambition can relate to various aspects of life, not just career.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

How do goals support ambition?

Goals provide tangible steps and milestones towards realizing an ambition.
Janet White
Nov 11, 2023

How specific should a goal be?

Goals should be as specific as possible to provide clear direction.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

What is ambition?

Ambition is a strong desire to achieve success or make significant achievements.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

What is a goal?

A goal is a specific target or objective set to be accomplished.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 11, 2023

Can goals change over time?

Yes, goals can evolve based on changing circumstances or new insights.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

Is ambition a positive trait?

Generally, ambition is viewed positively as it drives personal and professional growth.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Can someone have multiple ambitions?

Yes, it’s common for individuals to have multiple ambitions in different areas of life.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Is ambition linked to motivation?

Yes, ambition is a key factor in motivating individuals to strive for success.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

How can ambition be nurtured?

Ambition can be nurtured by setting challenges, seeking inspiration, and continuous learning.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

What drives a person's ambition?

A person's ambition is often driven by their values, interests, and desire for achievement.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Is it okay to revise goals?

Yes, revising goals is often necessary to stay aligned with one’s current situation and capabilities.
Janet White
Nov 11, 2023

How does ambition influence decision-making?

Ambition can influence decision-making by prioritizing actions that align with long-term success.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 11, 2023

Do goals require a timeline?

Setting a timeline helps make goals more concrete and achievable.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

How do you track progress towards a goal?

Progress can be tracked through milestones, regular reviews, and self-assessment.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

Can goals be non-measurable?

While measurable goals are preferred, some goals can be more qualitative.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

What’s the difference between a dream and a goal?

A dream is a broader aspiration, while a goal is a specific, actionable target within reach.
Sara Rehman
Nov 11, 2023

Can ambition lead to stress?

If not managed well, ambition can lead to stress or burnout.
Harlon Moss
Nov 11, 2023

Are short-term goals important?

Short-term goals are important as they provide immediate direction and a sense of achievement.
Janet White
Nov 11, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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