In today’s world, ambition is a word that has mixed meanings. Many of us have our own meanings, but according to psychologist and philosopher Dr. Neel Burton, ambition is “a striving for some kind of achievement or distinction, and involves, first, the desire for achievement, and, second, the willingness to work towards it even in the face of adversity or failure.” \n\nSome of us think of ambition as “working hard” or “always focused,” and we internalize this trait as the ultimate career goal to strive for. Other professionals might event think constantly “hustling” is more productive than taking free time for ourselves.\n\nAlthough working hard is an important skill to cultivate, constantly overworking ourselves day and night brings more struggle for us and turns ambition into a toxic mentality.\n\nSo, how do we cultivate a level of ambition that’s healthy?Don’t focus so much on the reward.Ron Carucci, a business consultant and author, writes for Harvard Business Review that when leaders at work start to focus more on the immediate rewards, their own expectations for themselves and their team’s growth "can become unrealistic" and lead to coworker distrust.\n\nTo combat this, it's a good idea to recognize that wanting achievement is normal. It is recommended that you remind yourself that attaining rewards is important, but it’s only a piece of your career journey. What matters most is the long-term growth and success you’ll achieve in the process.Expect to encounter resistance.Our culture, environment, and family origin can determine how we view ambition. Sometimes, resistance from our workplace, family members and the media is expected if we want to achieve a healthy balance of ambition. Dr. Sarah Carter, writes an executive with a background in health psychology, notes in Clinical Pharmacy Magazine that persistence in the face of adversity is key when nurturing healthy ambition.\n\nWhen you encounter resistance, it's good to avoid focusing on why it’s happening to you. Through struggle, you can cultivate a better, more stable sense of self in the future.Find a purpose behind your work.Dr. Carter further discusses her experience, via the Clinical Pharmacy article, noting that pharmacists with the most expertise in their career “do not work for the pursuit of money, admiration or a grandiose end goal.” Instead, they consider their work and the opportunity to work with "inspirational colleagues" a privilege.\n\nA career that allows us to follow our passions and help others can give us a sense of direction to keep going even through the bad days.