To Whom It May Concern,
A friend and I are working on a book project that targets ambitious people. Our hypothesis is that many ambitious people struggle to find a balance in their lives and that they could overcome these if they worked actively with their awareness.
We would like you to help to create an overview of interesting findings from experimental psychology and other related disciplines, e.g., neurology and anthropology.
Academic rigor is important for us, and we have a strong preference for research that builds on logically structured facts, as opposed to conceptual theories or research building purely on anecdotal evidence.
We are both quite well-read within psychology, but neither of us is a psychologist, and our book targets people without any background in the field, so we would appreciate that you help us synthesizing findings without too heavy psychologist jargon.
We desire to start a collaboration with you, where we can ask you to summarize various types of research now and then. You could also help us beyond our current book project. That said, we would like to start with a relatively small and concrete task, so we can experience working with each other. If this is okay, then we have more work for you right away.
Task 1: Could you please help us identify the most comprehensive and insightful studies done of ambitions and ambitious people? Our objective is to get a sense of what research is available. We are already into studies done on performance by K. Anders Ericsson, Carol Dweck, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. But is there work by other researchers of which we should be aware?
If a massive body of work exists on the topic, which we doubt, then we would like you to focus on research addressing the hypothesized struggles that we mentioned. But please do only narrow the scope, if plenty of studies are available. Potential search words could be, without this list is exhaustive in any way: stress, burnout, workaholic, personal development, and well-being. Some of the places, we expect to see ambitious people struggles, are in professional service firms (e.g., consulting, law firms, and investment banks) as well as entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and students at elite universities in South Korea, India, and China.
We have made a spreadsheet that you can use to summarize your findings. You do not need to deliver your results in Excel, but we would at least like you to apply the structure that we have sketched out in the spreadsheet.
Does this make sense? If you have any questions, then you and I can have a conversation over Skype, so there are no misunderstandings and that we fully benefit from your knowledge and creativity.