Ambition

100_1668Earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power; the willingness to strive for its attainment

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.  T S Elliot

He who rides the tiger of ambition is oftentimes afraid to dismount. Chinese Proverb  

Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us.  B Franklin   

   When we think of ambition we can view it as either a positive or as a negative quality. Those who strive to move ahead tend to be those who look upon it positively. There are those who find it to be an undesirable trait.

Ambitious people are those that tend to be achievers. They are the ones who achieve wealth, position, fame, and so forth. They tend to be leaders, owners, managers and politicians. They tend to be in the limelight. They overcome obstacles and the odds to achieve. Many would consider them to be winners, because they have achieved, conquered, and accomplished. What is there about ambition that carries with it negative connotations?

The critics might say that these individuals sold their souls in order to get where they are. They used people, lied, stole, and cheated, all the way to the top of the pinnacle. They even sacrificed their families along the way. Those that are critical have nothing good to say about those who have used ambition to get where they are.

Many of these criticisms tend to be valid. There has been any number of ambitions individuals who have expressed their regrets after having arrived at the top of so-called success. They regret the price that they have had to pay to get where they are. Many are unhappy, some have even resorted to committing suicide.

Does this mean than ambition is a negative and undesirable trait? It is a good thing in that it can be a tool that helps us to dream, to plan, and to accomplish our goals and aspirations. It becomes a bad thing when we become blinded by it and become obsessed rather than inspired. As it is with many things in life, a proper balance is usually the best way. There are many ambitious people who have succeeded in a proper way.

Critics of ambition are often those with little or no ambition and they can be full of jealousy and envy. The world would not be where it is if there were not for people of ambition. They are the ones who are not satisfied with status quo and dare to be different. They are the ones who separate themselves from the norm. Ambition in itself is not good or bad, it is how it is utilized that is important. It is very powerful and should be used properly.

Challenge:  You should learn to use ambition in a good and balanced way. What things are the most important in your life? You should definitely establish what your priorities are. Always strive to maintain some degree of balance among your priorities. Do not become someone who regrets their failures for not putting the time and effort where it should have been. At the same time do not be afraid to go where your heart and mind lead you.

Wisdom: Though ambition is itself a vice, it is often the parent of virtues.  Quintilian

Spiritual: (NIV)

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.  Proverbs 15:6

That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. Ecc 3:13

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

The desire to better one’s self is normal and natural. Bettering our self at other’s expense is wrong. Our real motives are at the core of this issue. In our own strength we will have improper motives. When we are led and empowered by God we will have the proper motives to do what is right and proper. God has given us talents and abilities to be used and developed. With his help, we are empowered to become the better us He wants us to be.

Prayer:  Help me to have the proper priorities in my life.

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