Quell ambition

There are worthier things to pursue than your career. Once you have started reflecting on the real priorities in your life, you will probably find that putting time and energy into your job excessively will hinder and harm your doing the things that really matter.

Ambition — the desire for higher career levels, for greater reputation and ever more power and influence — is insidious. It will never be satisfied; it is self-perpetuating; whenever you reach one of your career goals, that very success will breed more ambition. It's especially menacing because you're already deep into that spiral. You may have started reflecting on what's really important in your life, but your ambitions make it hard to follow through on the results of these thoughts. The voice of ambition within yourself constantly reminds you of existing demands, commitments you've made, goals you have already chosen (before you started reflecting on the bigger picture).

Ambition will never be satisfied. You must put a conscious stop on it. It's just as with all the other forms of desire: desires for sensual pleasures, material wealth, and celebrity. They're all insatiable, and become more and more so whenever you yield to them. Don't try to satisfy desires — correct them. If you suffer from unfulfilled ambitions — then better stop those ambitions; rein in expectations, your own and those of others. Replace them with a striving for something more worthwhile: turn all your efforts on reflection and philosophy; and bring any insights that you gain to bear on living well. You've only got that single life. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.