In our culture we are always taught that ambition is a good thing. It is highly praised when we set our sights high for a goal. Even when we go so far as to spend multitudes of time away from our family and seem somewhat self absorbed it is excused by others all in the name of ambition. That brings the question: Is ambition a friend or foe? Do we admire ambition too much? Are we missing something?
Ambition as Friend
There are many cases that ambition may be called our friend. When goals replace laziness and we engage our brains it is healthy for us. We can set aside time for special activities and projects to accomplish any much needed change in the world. The end results of our actions make some of our ambitions worthwhile. Ambition as friend seems a gentle way to do good for the world and to make our lives better in whatever way we feel necessary. There is no harm in happiness. Deprivation or martyrdom need not be a part of our lives to be spiritual or happy. Our ambitions much like any other aspect of our lives should hang in the balance to remain a friend.
Ambition as Foe
When we allow ambition to take over our lives it is time to take a step back and look closely. Ambition has the ability to create resentments in our relationships by consuming a loved one to the point of no return. It is also many times the measure of a person’s worth in our society. If you don’t have a list of goals you are considered lazy and ignorant. You may work the same job for years and if you have no ambition of making more money or progressing further in the company you may be looked down upon. Leading a chaotic life with numerous goals is considered admirable. The peaceful life lead in simple spiritualism is laughable to most.
Creating balance in our lives is the solution to what consumes us including ambition.