People often use the phrase, “blinded by ambition” when it comes to highly driven individuals, implying that having a lot of ambition can carry some lack of self-awareness. However, that is not necessarily the case, because the opposite of that, aimlessness, typically indicates an ignorance or ambivalence as to one’s own desires. It is the individuals who meld self-awareness and ambition who hold the key to enlightenment.
To clarify, ambition is not just limited to superficial endeavors; it is “a strong desire to do or achieve something (Oxford English Dictionary). This means that each of us gets to control the direction and subject of our ambitions such as getting healthier, reconnecting with old friends, researching a new topic. So, if we couple that with the knowledge of our strengths and limitations, we gain clarity and perspective.
Thoughts for the Week
In general, ambition, in itself, is not a negative trait. The truth is most people who lack ambition do so because of inertia caused by fear and uncertainty, while those who choose to live simply, make a conscious effort in order to do so: driven to follow their desires (ex. living a minimalistic lifestyle).