Difference Between Ambition and Aspiration

Ambition vs Aspiration

Human life is full of longing for things that are material in nature. There are two words ambition and aspiration that are often used for emotions or feelings that we have for rank, fame, power, money, and everything else that connotes success in life. It is our ambitions in life that determine our actions and behavior towards others. The same applies to our aspirations in life too. This is the reason why these two words are used interchangeably by people. Let us find out if the two words are synonymous or there is any difference between ambition and aspiration.


Ambition is a strong desire to achieve a goal in life. We are not born with ambitions. As we grow and interact with others, we tend to develop ambitions, often trying to copy the success of others. We make our idols and try to emulate them by having ambitions to one day become like them. Of course, everyone wants to become successful, rich, and powerful in his life, but if one just thinks and does nothing to achieve his goals, those just remain elusive dreams. If a person enters a field of a profession and has a strong desire to be very successful like his predecessors, he is said to have the ambition to emulate them. If you have an ambition to become a doctor to be able to serve others, it is said that you are desirous of becoming a doctor. There are people who see big dreams and actually work hard to chase those dreams to turn into reality. Frank Harris once said that a man without ambition is like a woman without beauty. This saying explains the importance of ambition in one’s life. One should be ambitious and set high goals for himself in life. Of course, he will have to work hard and also expect luck to be on his side, but he cannot achieve much if he does not have any ambition in life.


If you look up dictionary, you will find that aspiration has been defined as a strong desire, longing, aim, or an ambition in life. It is also understood as the craving or the yearning that goes inside an individual for something that he badly desires. If you aspire for something or a goal, it is said that you hope to accomplish it one day in your life. Aspirations are believed to be ideals and noble thoughts that one hopes for himself. If one has literary aspirations, it is meant that he wants to make it big in the world of fiction. Thus, aspirations are hopes that one has for himself in life.

What is the difference between Ambition and Aspiration?

• Both ambition and aspiration are strong desires that one has in his life, but ambitions have got a bad name because of examples in history where ambitious people chose to tread a wrong path to achieve their goals.

• Aspirations are believed to be nobler thoughts or desires than ambitions.

• If you have an ambition, you work hard to fulfill that ambition as it keeps fueling your motivation. But aspiration remains a hope, and without a burning ambition, it is hard to turn it into a reality.

• Aspiration is what you hope to do in life, but it is the ambition that drives you to work hard to achieve that goal.