[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)

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