[Question] How do people become ambitious?

I have a pet the­ory about how peo­ple be­come am­bi­tious and agenty.

I was about to write up some in­sight porn about it, and then was like “you know, Rae­mon, you should prob­a­bly ac­tu­ally think about about this for real, since it seems like Pet Psy­chol­ogy The­o­ries are one of the eas­ier ways to get stuck in dumb cog­ni­tive traps.”

“How do peo­ple get am­bi­tious and agenty” seems to be some­thing peo­ple should have ac­tu­ally tried to study be­fore. I’m think­ing some­thing as sim­ple as “in­ter­view­ing lots of peo­ple and check­ing for com­mon pat­terns.”

2 sec­onds spent on google scholar sug­gested I could use bet­ter key­words.

Cu­ri­ous if any­one has looked into this (ei­ther re­view­ing ex­ist­ing liter­a­ture, or con­duct­ing in­ter­views them­selves or oth­er­wise try­ing to tackle the ques­tion in a se­ri­ous way)

For clar­ity, the two phe­nom­ena I want to un­der­stand bet­ter are:

  • Am­bi­tion. How do peo­ple end up hav­ing plans (which they re­al­is­ti­cally ex­pect to achieve) that af­fect at least thou­sands, and prefer­ably mil­lions of peo­ple?

  • Agency. How do peo­ple gen­er­ally gain the ca­pac­ity to be self-mo­ti­vated, think through plans, and de­cide how to pur­sue goals that will change the world (chang­ing it in small ways is fine)