COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Ambition is a trait that is respected throughout the worlds.
It is popularly defined as “strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”
It doesn’t matter the time or place you live in or the culture you are a part of – people value ambition and the ambitious.
The truly ambitious are the givers. Without them there is no life. But, as is so often the case, there is a dangerous misconception of what the term ambition means.
That misconception is believing that ambition equates to a lack of contentment. Many people think that if one is content with what they are doing or what they have, they will rest on their laurels and become lazy, low-achievers.
They think contentment is the beginning of the end. That it necessarily will lead to the slow erosion of one’s sense of initiative (strong desire to do or to achieve something) and the good that comes with it.
How wrong that is.
Setting the story straight
If we revisit the definition of ambition – strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work – we can see the root of the issue.
People misrepresent what achieving “something” is. What is that something?
Ambition is not weighed by the profession one looks to work in, the amount of money they hope to make, the car they want to drive, etc.
That equates to weighing apples and oranges.
They are unrelated inputs. Ambition is not correlated to the heights of your desires in this world. To think those are correlated is a rather absurd conclusion, actually.
Following our desires is the easiest thing to do. It requires no determination or hard work – even if it looks like we’re working hard on the outside, we’re not.
So if ambition is correlated to something to be achieved requiring hard work, we must look to what is hard for us and ask if we desire to achieve that. Being appreciative of what we do have and how our needs (not desires) are being so beautifully fulfilled is very hard to do for the son of Adam – this is where the real correlation exists.
That appreciation is where contentment lies. Contentment is that “something” to be achieved that requires determination and hard work. Contentment is not laziness, but, rather, the object of true ambition.
Ambition is measured by the desire for contentment – not the absence of it, rendering contentment the highest ambition.
How few people ever taste it?
I venture to say less than the amount of astronauts flying to space.
God knows best.