I’ve always considered ambition to be a positive trait. It generally means setting a goal, working toward an objective, focusing, and eventually, if one is tenacious enough, achieving. Such drive and determination often results in accomplishments, rewards, or accolades. How many of us would have loved to be named “Most Likely To Succeed” in the senior section of the yearbook way back when? Would the label “Most Ambitious” be as coveted? That’s doubtful, but perhaps it really doesn’t matter. What does seem to make a difference is that completing a task, no matter how small or large, requires a certain amount of resolve, and I would think that simply striving to complete a goal to one’s satisfaction is reward in itself, which as a result, shifts the definition of the word ambition a bit.
We all likely know that ambition holds within it a pitfall or two. Can one work too hard to achieve something only to be disappointed that the result is not truly fulfilling? Does ambition blind a person to the importance of family and friends? How often have we seen children set aside as one is consumed by a compulsion for success? Furthermore, does ambition embody false pride or misplaced intentions? Can one be deluded by ambition? Does luck, or lack thereof, ever sustain or sabotage one’s ambitions? At some point must one stop waiting for success that may never come? And finally, is there a time in one’s life when a person should set ambition on a shelf forever and simply be satisfied with what is?
For those of us who have been taught to work hard, to set goals, to smash barriers, and to keep trying, it’s difficult to let go of those questions, much less to answer them. Ambition for many of us is a bit engrained, I’m afraid. The results of our efforts may not be right in front of us, not at this moment, but, positively or negatively, they will reveal themselves soon enough. What’s most important is to trust in one’s efforts and be patient.