Ambition is a word we rarely use in conversation. Defined as having “an eager or strong desire to achieve something”, it is rarely apparent, on a day to day basis, in our work.
Our words skew to using adjectives like motivated, goal oriented, disciplined, and many like them to describe a person. We ourselves use these same words to characterize who we are. Using outcomes described by our behavior to self identify what’s inside.
Ambition is more like the air we breathe rather than the fog we sometimes see. Never evident because it is not tied to a specific outcome but rather describes a passion, a burning desire, in one’s heart. Finding the match that sparks ambition is elusive.
For difficult challenges all need time. Trial and error. Adjustments and persistence. No matter whether it is to lose weight, build a business, or become a world class chef. Ambition feels like a spark that starts an engine when in reality it is more of a hot coal that keeps an engine warm while running.
Ambition’s glow reveals itself much later in the process although present from the beginning unseen. Needing to be present for the long journey but insufficient to create an explosion that changes a life in a day.
To be ambitious can be a worthy pursuit as long as you don’t lose your soul during the journey. For nothing has value “at all costs”. Understanding that how we interact with others is most important in judging whether a life has been “well lived”. Much more so than any external accomplishment.
Remembering that the most meaningful human interactions always begin with love, compassion and understanding. Nurtured with patience and presence.
Ambition can be helpful as a compass when trying to build a life. It can have great value in aligning your behavior to your heart’s desire if discovered. No matter how elusive finding your ambition might be. And then being comfortable with the ambition you now see.