This idea of want and WANT applies to all facets of expertise - research, business, innovation, et cetera. I know a person who sets out four hours a day to read a book every two days. While I want to improve myself, I don't want it as badly as he does.
Time Magazine: Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed
"If humans are an ambitious species, it's clear we're not the only one. Many animals are known to signal their ambitious tendencies almost from birth. Even before wolf pups are weaned, they begin sorting themselves out into alphas and all the others. The alphas are quicker, more curious, greedier for space, milk, Mom — and they stay that way for life. Alpha wolves wander widely, breed annually and may live to a geriatric 10 or 11 years old. Lower-ranking wolves enjoy none of these benefits — staying close to home, breeding rarely and usually dying before they're 4."
Personally, I live in the pacific north west (Seattle) and while I consider myself ambitious, I hesitate to ever tell anyone because it seems you shouldn't attract attention to yourself.
Here's a quote I found interesting: "...there is something, also, about ambition that is not welcome on the west coast; admitting to ambition is like saying you are a Republican, or in favor of sweatshops—it is unseemly and a little grotesque, that kind of desire. We spent a lot of our life pretending we were not ambitious, and then we came out here, and this city took away all pretense of everything other than the stuff we are made of; and, to be frank, we are a little on the ruthless side, and so are all the people we love the most. Ambition is a thing that you have to surround yourself with, or else stamp out in yourself altogether, because there is no good in being ruthless in a city of gentle people. New York is many things, a lot of them nearly unbearable, but gentle is certainly not one of them."
Here's 2 polls for you guys:
I'd really like to hit my goal and I work pretty hard at it. (100)
I will kill my body for it. Accomplishment in goal is the fulfillment of my soul. (66)
I think about my goal > 5 times a day. (54)
I think about my goal < 5 times a day. (45)
384 total votes
Your vote: Your Ambition level
(Vote): I will kill my body for it. Accomplishment in goal is the fulfillment of my soul.
(Vote): I think about my goal > 5 times a day.
(Vote): I think about my goal < 5 times a day.
(Vote): I'd really like to hit my goal and I work pretty hard at it.
(Vote): I'd really like to hit my goal, but I probably won't.
Science / Humanity / Psychology Research (68)
100k+ Job (57)
Creative Art (38)
Technology Innovation (21)
60k+ Job (14)
493 total votes
Your vote: If I have an ambition, my ambition is:
(Vote): Science / Humanity / Psychology Research
(Vote): Technology Innovation
(Vote): Creative Art
(Vote): 100k+ Job
(Vote): 60k+ Job
(Vote): A happy life/family/successful children (meaning, as long as i am happy, that is my acomplishment)
Create art = Creative Pursuit - literature, theatre, photography, etc
On Mutual goals: Being an scientist and having a happy family are not mutually exclusive (although some may argue so). This poll is asking for your highest priority.