Fry, Julie and Glass, Hayden
Many commentators say New Zealanders lack ambition, and that aspects of the New Zealand character or our comfortable lives limit our achievements. We are said to be too keen on time off, too concerned about everyone fitting in, suspicious of people who try too hard, enthusiastic about humility, afraid of risk and failure, and relatively unmotivated everywhere but on the sports field. And yet Kiwis achieve at the very highest levels, both at home and overseas. Ambition is linked to outcomes. Ambition is also something that responds to your circumstances. Some people want to make changes on a global scale. For others dreams focused much closer to home might require no less stretch. Our book looks at what ambition means to New Zealanders. It reviews what has been said about us over the years, and compares these comments with what a diverse range of New Zealanders say based on new survey results and interviews. We discuss how ambition might be linked to national economic performance, and to individual and societal wellbeing. We discuss questions of national identity and how our views on ambition might change as the New Zealand population changes. And we discuss challenges such as poverty and other things that get in the way of people setting and chasing goals for themselves and their families. We explain the science of ambition and achievement, including where ambition comes from, how it is influenced by circumstances and how we can develop it. We aim to increase awareness of the diversity of meanings of the word ambition and to help New Zealanders feel safe and inspired in setting bigger goals for themselves. We think being more ambitious with our dreams and goals could make us both more content as individuals and more successful as a country, without giving up the values that are important to us.
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