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I am looking for a single English word which describes the mental quality of being not content with small achievement, but working hard to achieve higher level. For example, an artist who is not satisfied with winning a prize or fame, but focusing on his art of work and trying to discover a new way of impression and inspiration in his work.

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A person who has these mental qualities is typically said to be a person with drive or alternatively a person with ambition or an ambitious person. Though they are not directly related to this specific mental quality, it is often implied by the aforementioned adjectives. –  ffledgling Mar 22 '13 at 9:41
    
"Driven and discontent" –  KeyBrd Basher Mar 22 '13 at 10:14
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Misguided could be one :) –  SmokerAtStadium Mar 22 '13 at 11:05
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5 Answers 5

Try avaricious; it’s usually asociated with a desire that extends beyond simple greed but can be used to describe an extreme greed for success, power, or recognition.

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Avaricious means miserly or stingy and has nothing to do with 'working hard'. –  Mitch Apr 5 '13 at 12:31
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How about persevering, conscientious, perfectionist, driven.

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Consider aspiring:

having a strong desire for personal achievement

definition via Merriam-Webster Online.

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Ambitious, career-minded, hustling, driven, hard-charging.

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Hungrier or thirstier

hunger a strong desire or craving:her hunger for knowledge

thirst (usually thirst for/after) literary have a strong desire for something

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