Judge explained that ambitious people who were successful in school and at work lived longer; however, ambitious people who did not find success in these areas lived shorter lives. “So, if one is to be ambitious, one had better insure that they translate it into success. Otherwise, they may experience the negative effects without any of the positive.”
However, despite their successes, he noted that they were not successful in terms of what might be considered the most important variables: happiness and longevity of life. He explained that even though ambitious people ought to have the happiest lives in the world because they attain so much, they were only slightly happier than the “slackers” and lived for about the same length of time. However, those that did not attain successful careers were less happy and significantly more likely to die before less ambitious people.
The study did note that ambition strongly correlated with educational and occupational success. Judge noted, “We think that ambitious people set very high standards for themselves and when they achieve success, they raise those standards further. If this is true, ironically, the very thing that makes people successful is also what tends to negate the ability of those things to make them happy. If an ambitious person keeps raising his or her goals after every success, then it’s a bit like Sisyphus in Greek mythology: He rolls the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll down the hill so as to push it back up again.”
The most interesting line for me is this one -- "Judge explained that ambitious people who were successful in school and at work lived longer; however, ambitious people who did not find success in these areas lived shorter lives."
Ambition is a real bitch of a thing. If you succeed, you get slightly more happy and live longer. But if you gear up on it, and don't succeed, then you get absolutely crushed.
A great girl I've known for years, she had three jobs when I met her, plus being an athlete and hyper-active in all areas of life.
We had a joke between us -- "Life is hard, let's go to the bar."
When one of us would be complaining about... how hard it is to sell, or more costs, or how great work can get rejected, or how ungrateful people are, or all the taxes we'd have to pay after doing a ton of work, or... whatever...
...then we'd joke, "Life is hard, let's go to the bar."
Life's different for ambitious people. You're taking a hell of a gamble. You can't even credibly say it's a smart play, to play the ambitious game. But if you're in, well then. Burn more midnight oil, invent more, enterprise more, recruit more, sell more, do more...
...and even your own damn brain won't appreciate you enough!
Well, life is hard. Shall we go to the bar?