The downside of ambition


Let’s take the upside first.

No doubt, ambition is a good thing. It is the only way we could have gotten to our present level in our socio-cultural evolution. With ambition, we have gone to space. We have invented mobile telephony, merchant banking, internet technology, e-commerce, organized philanthropy, renewable energy, social entrepreneurship et cetera. Today, we are planning to colonize planet Mars – that’s what ambition with a bit of curiosity can do.

But you know, as it is with humans, we are very prone to abusing and corrupting virtues such as this. Otherwise, how can we explain the fact that one man, named Adolf Hitler, with a kind of Ambition, plunged the entire world in a crisis that took the lives of tens of millions of people in its wake? That’s the nuisance value of Ambition.

Now my point for today: you know, with the brimming experimental energy that young people are endowed it, it is often very tempting to lose perspective and to go over-board. It’s tempting to think that because of this exuberating energy, we can do anything we like with our lives…that we can choose just any profession and work in just any industry. But that’s not true. The thing is, we aren’t born with unlimited choices, and there’s no how it can be that one person can work in Investment Banking on Wall Street, or the Mining sector in South America/Africa, or the Oil fields of the Middle East or the Tech village of Silicon Valley. All of these cannot be on the plate as options for one person to choose from, except if s/he is somewhat confused.

We just can’t be anything we want to or like to be – that’s sheer arrogance. The way it is, is that, every one of us comes into this world, with a specific, personal destiny. And more than finding a job, we have a calling to enact and a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we get stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. If we were born to paint, it’s our job to become a painter. If we were born to raise and nurture children, it’s our job to become a mother. If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business. That’s the true call.

So, rather than fighting as a boxer that merely beats the air, go discover yourself and channel your energy and focus in that one thing. One field. One line of work. Because, at your best, you are just one man!


One Comment

  1. Esther June 20, 2018 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Deep thoughts. Thank you sir

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