AMBITION – FRIEND OR FOE?
What is ambition?
The dictionary defines ambition as: an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.
It’s quite the mixed bags of descriptors really.
Achievement I can get on board with, but distinction, power, fame, wealth are all words were I begin to lessen my grip on the word ambition and rather wish to disassociate from it.
‘An earnest desire’ I like. There is something about the word ‘earnest’ that makes one feel it has been worked hard for, even toiled over, and to my mind, it is therefore well deserved.
Personally, I’m not sure whether I see myself as ambitious or not. I have certainly achieved in my life, things I deem to have been challenges I have overcome, be they physical, mental, emotional etc. So does that alone warrant me being ambitious, and if it does, is that a bad thing?
Ambition – friend or foe?
Ambition is about drive and motivation. Without these states of desire we would not progress and venture outside of our comfort zones, which mean we would stagnate where we are which is not healthy for any individual physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. So ambition is a friend.
However, as with all relationships, we can have too much of a good thing. Ambition as an overdone strength can lead to our ego taking control and then we lose our authenticity. Our morals become blurred and our values compromised. When we use ambition for gain without moral grounding, it becomes our foe. The challenge for some though is realising who’s in charge, ambition the friend – who motivates us to step outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves to be a better, more authentic version of who we really are, or, ambition the foe – who is driven by our ego as we compare ourselves against others and covet their hopes dreams and belongings.
Whether ambition is a friend or foe, the common denominator is that we need ambition in order to create our own challenges and experiences of growth (regardless of intrinsic motivation). With these challenges it can sometimes feel like too much, or not knowing where to start or how it will ever end or be achieved. It is with a starting point of recognising these feelings of being overwhelmed through ambition, that I will spend the next month exploring the role and possible influence of fun with regards ambition. Does fun help take the edge of the scary things we must do in order to achieve our ambitious goals?
Overall, I think perhaps I am ambitious. There are things I want to achieve that will see me stretch myself outside of my comfort zone . Does that mean the rewards of any such things being successes mean I will gain power, wealth, fame or distinction. I proffer perhaps not, however those are not the spoils to which drive my ambition, but a more personal feeling of accomplishment without comparison to others, nor judgement from them or on them.
What role fun can play in helping me address these challenges as I step outside of my comfort zone and stretch, well I can only hope that it helps to make the experiences feel less daunting and more enjoyable.
I shall be back at the end of the month to let you know what I have experienced and learnt. In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear from you, what role ambition has played in your life and how you feel you relationship with ambition manifests itself..friend or foe?
Wishing you a happy and confident day.