BLOG: Ambition – Virtue or Burden?
I’m an ambitious person. I have always wanted a great job that excites me, and to live in a stimulating city that’s bustling with like-minded, creative folk. I’ve always wanted to be madly in love.
I have most of those things already, so I should be counting my blessings.
But it feels like it’s never enough. Things can always be better, I can always do better (except for my boyfriend, he really is the best ever). It’s hard to stay satisfied all the time when you constantly see new jobs and cities and clothes. I’ve always considered my ambition a virtue – it’s good to want to continually improve yourself and strive for success. But it’s also really important to be grateful for what you’ve got.
In times when I’m aching to land that dream job and live in my dream city, I totally start taking everything I have for granted – an awesome apartment, an incredible, supportive partner, good health and work opportunities. I still don’t have that dream job, but I’m also still young. There’s time. It can be hard being patient and slowly working towards it. But I take comfort in knowing I’m trying.
That’s why I can’t understand people who don’t share this over-the-top ambition – people who are content to work in jobs they don’t like or that they aren’t passionate about. But if they’re happy, does it matter? No, I guess not. Also, sometimes I think we don’t really have a choice.
Recently, while listening to Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, a particular line stuck out at me. “Too much television watching got me chasing dreams.” It made me wonder – has all the television and music I’ve consumed throughout my life spawned my epic ambition?
Which brings to mind this
You could trace it all the way back to childhood – Disney princesses in all their unattainable perfection; The Spice Girls having their besties by their sides no matter where they were; Sweet Valley High’s Jessica and Elizabeth, eternally poised and popular. I’m not saying I want to be like these characters, but I do wonder if seeing these and other picture-perfect lives play out on screen throughout my impressionable years has influenced the way I think my life should go. I mean, I know it’s just TV and fantasy, but it’s hard to stop comparing yourself to other people, even though you know you shouldn’t.
Life has been throwing me a few curveballs lately. But as long as I keep my ambition – and keep it in check – I’ll be ok. I need to focus on living my life the way I can and want to, not the way I think it’s supposed to be.