Resilience: 3-Ambition 

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Resilience: 3-Ambition

Lesson Title:

  • Harnessing Ambition for Personal Development

Vocabulary Word:

  • Ambition – A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

Lesson Content:

In what ways are you working toward your ambitions?

At the start of my prison journey, I set high ambitions of what I wanted to achieve during my imprisonment. I visualized the career I wanted to build. The more clarity I could bring to that vision, the better I could use the decades I served inside to prepare.

If I didn’t prepare well, I anticipated facing many more challenges after I got out. But if I prepared, I could open opportunities.

My ambitions required that I set a three-part strategy. Every day, I would work to:

  1. educate myself, 
  2. build a support network, and 
  3. contribute to society. 

The three-part clarity guided my steps. I hoped to get out with my dignity intact and opportunities to prosper.

Ambition is the fuel that can drive us toward achieving our goals. A strong desire to improve, achieve, and maximize our potential can make all the difference. In personal development, especially for those serving time, harnessing ambition can be a powerful tool for growth and change.

Follow these steps to build ambition for personal development:

  1. Set High Goals: 
    Ambition starts with setting goals that challenge you. These should be things that you truly desire to achieve that will require determination and hard work. The danger isn’t in setting goals that are too high but in setting minimal goals and failing to make further progress.
  2. Plan Your Path:
    Once you know where you want to go, the next step is to plan how you will get there. Learn new skills and build a stronger mindset.
  3. Stay Committed:
    Ambition requires commitment. It means sticking with your goals even when progress slows or obstacles arise.
  4. Seek Growth:
    Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Ambition requires us to work toward becoming a better version of ourselves along the way.
  5. Celebrate Progress: 
    Recognize and celebrate progress. We should acknowledge each small step toward our goals because they set us on a path to new opportunities.

Questions and Activities: Answer as you deem appropriate

  • How do you understand the concept of ambition?
  • How does ambition relate to personal development?
  • When did your ambition help you overcome a challenge or achieve a goal in prison? 
  • How did this experience contribute to your personal development/
  • How can harnessing your ambition help you prepare for a successful life after release?
  • What ambitious goals are you working toward during your time in prison?


  • Reflect on an ambitious goal you have set for yourself. Write down why this goal is important to you and your steps to achieve it. 
  • Identify one new strategy you could use to harness your ambition and drive you closer to your goal.
  • Remember, ambition is more than just the desire to achieve—it’s about the determination and hard work you’re willing to put in to reach your goals. As you continue your journey of personal development in prison, your ambition will be a powerful driving force toward your success upon release. Keep dreaming, keep striving, and keep pushing your limits!

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