Why do we have to always be ambitious? Why can’t we just be happy?

Image courtesy of 4neverlasting Tumblr

Image courtesy of 4neverlasting Tumblr

I recently read a blog post by Nuffnang’s co-founder Timothy on a conversation between him and his mum, which I found particularly thought-evoking.

This was the part of the conversation that got me thinking, and I thought I’d share this with all of you.

“There is an optimum amount of ambition needed in each of us. Anything beyond that is bad because then you will never be happy no matter what you achieve. You will always keep trying to do more and more and when you can’t, you get disappointed in yourself. Why do we have to always be ambitious? Why can’t we just be happy?”

I think it’s undeniable that everyone, myself included, has ambitions. We have goals and we have somewhere where we desire to be/reach. But along the way, would we be able to take it if failure hits us or there somehow is an obstacle blocking our way to our goal?

I recently got to experience this myself – I consider myself lucky in the sense that for most of my life, I’ve managed to achieve my goals and what I wanted. But this time, for a goal that I had been pursuing for weeks (ok maybe months), I was issued a red card right at the end when I was that close to my goal.

Sad, I was. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? I was disappointed in myself, for not being able to make it. And I questioned myself: why didn’t I make it? What went wrong?

But later on that day, I thought back and realised the simple meaning of the conversation I saw on the blog earlier. Why do we have to always be ambitious? Why can’t we just be happy? If I wasn’t so ambitious in the first place and was contended with what I had, would I be going through this now?

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we must not have dreams or ambitions. But before we build on one that is realistic and most opportune, perhaps we should step back and look at what we have, and whether we should take that step.

We’re constantly looking for greener pastures, for better jobs, better cars, better pay, better this, better that… but how often do we stop, talk a breather, and appreciate the simple things in life that we already have?


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