August 5 – Ambition

 Ambition is our desire to do and achieve. It is the drive that pushes us to keep going. To strive for more. Ambition motivates us to work hard. What is the purpose behind our drive, though? Are we only accomplishing things for the sake of accomplishing them? There must be a reason behind the things that we do. Ambition without purpose or direction is meaningless. 

photography of mountains under cloudy sky

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“One of the marks of an intelligent person is to be able to distinguish what is worth doing and what isn’t and to be able to set priorities. The significance of the climb may not be in reaching the top. One can go down a hill from halfway up or from three-quarters of the way up. Or it may be more interesting and intriguing to walk around the hill.

To have the opportunity to explore the philosophical hill, we must step on to it. From then on it is in the process of the walking and noticing the rocks, plants, and strangers along the way that wisdom comes.”

What Anne says is spot on. We can achieve the same end by any number of different means. For example, climbing up a hill is not the only way to reach the other side. We could walk around, or tunnel underneath, or even climb up halfway before coming down the other side. It has less to do with the fact that we reach the other side than it does the path we take to get there. What do we learn along the way? Life is a journey, not a destination after all. It is the actual act of working toward a goal that matters. It’s the lessons we learn and the skills we build on our path to achievement that make the act of striving a worthwhile endeavor. Our sense of accomplishment lies not in what we achieve, but the work we put in to achieve it. What do we gain along the way? Ambition fuels us to pursue our passions, dreams, and goals. It helps us expand our horizons through constant learning and growth. Ambition is just the drive or motivation behind our actions, though. It is in the process of pursuit that we find the true benefits and rewards of ambition.

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