FAST COMPANY, July 20, 2015 — Learn about my point of view in Fast Company’s new article “Six Habits of Ambitious People”  by Stephanie Vozza. [Photo credit: Paul Aresu, Getty Images.] The following are excerpts from this article:

Nearly anyone can be ambitious given the right internal and external stimuli, says Jason Ma, author of Young Leaders 3.0: Stories, Insights, and Tips for Next-Generation Achievers.

2. THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS.
“Don’t be surprised if a breakthrough emerges from a well-managed crisis,” adds Ma, who is also CEO of ThreeEQ, a firm that mentors high-achieving teenagers and adults. “Ambition is the act of being an innovative change-maker.”

3. THEY EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO NEW WAYS OF THINKING.
“Talk with and learn from people different from you,” suggests Ma. “Be open to dialogue with acquaintances and even select strangers, as you may uncover interesting opportunities.”

4. THEY ARE FOCUSED ON EXECUTION.
Often people spend the most time working on building their skill set and researching solutions or possibilities. While it’s wise to craft and execute a strategy for any given type of important vision or outcome you want to achieve, ambitious people put the main emphasis on pulling the trigger.

“An executer is one who gets shit done,” says Ma. “If your execution is poor, nothing matters.”

5. THEY DON’T COMPETE WITH OTHER PEOPLE.
Your biggest competitor should be yourself, says Ma. “Avoid the trap of comparing yourself with others, and measure success only against what you are capable of achieving,” he says. “Nothing beats hard work with focus and passion. Stretch yourself.”

6. THEY SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH OTHER AMBITIOUS PEOPLE.
Finally, Ma suggests applying the “power of proximity” by networking with clusters of successful people.

“[The late entrepreneur and author] Jim Rohn said: ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,’” says Ma. “Find role models. Befriend and learn from mentors. Make friends with people smarter than you and more successful in fields you are interested in.”

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