“Maybe you could be more gentle, quiet, and not aim for the stars too much. Otherwise, men will be intimidated by your drive.”
Did I catch your attention? Good. Because when this was first said to me, it stirred an unsettling agitation in me as well. Other than the fact that I was indirectly told that girls should be seen but not heard, I was more concerned about how “intimidating” I would come off just because I wanted to search for more out of this life.
Ambition, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “A desire and determination to achieve success.” Ambition can be used as great motivation when executed carefully and correctly. It is not necessarily a sign of discontentment nor greed, but rather a yearning to do something out of the ordinary to contribute to a greater impact on our society.
Ambition builds character. Quoting Napoleon Hill, “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” Ambition is a strive for success. Despite this goal, having and maintaining ambition is difficult. Ambition takes consistent persistence and perseverance. Even with every good thing from above, there is bound to be both ups and downs in our journey to obtain so.
Ambition has the ability to beat natural-born talent if talent doesn’t work hard. Our drive for life, our passion, our craft, all these need to be nurtured in order for it to stay as our constant.
Ambition is not sitting right with just being mediocre. Ambition is one of life’s game-changers: the reason why we want to get up every morning, the reason why we get dressed, all garnering towards a greater appreciation of our lives.
Ambition is more than a yearning for superficial recognition. Rather, it plays a leading role in the actualization of our goals; a reminder to ourselves that we actively chose to not give up despite the hurdles.
Having ambition is attractive. Dashing good looks, a perfectly sculpted jawline, and a toned body are all things that the general population would express an appreciation for. And this appreciation is not wrong. But aside from that, I believe that the main thing we should look out for other than a person’s character or looks is their drive. Having ambition is attractive because it is a greater desire to seek for more out of life. Do their dream align with ours? Granted, not everyone will share a similar ambition with us. Some of us choose to aim for the moon and are okay with landing on the stars if we miss, while some of us would rather stay on land as spectators. Rather, are we ready to be a team, the A team for each other? We may not all aim for the same things, but are we ready to stand up for each other to defend our pursuit for more?
However, ambition is an uphill battle. Ambition can involuntarily add on to our pride: we can become over-confident, too comfortable, and be more sensitive when what we perceive as our strengths are being questioned. Sometimes in the midst of our pursuit, we get lost in the numbers, the rankings, the name, and the glory. We have to remember to leave ourselves some space between our dreams and ourselves so that we are able to take a step back, assess, and breathe.
Ambition is attractive and can be good for us – if we choose to utilize it in the right way.
So the next time someone tells you that having ambition is “too much,” remember what Mark Twain said: “Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great will make you believe that you too can become great.”