The quest for the perfect career
The first time someone told me outright that I lacked ambition was when I was trying to get a bachelor’s degree in modern literature. They wanted to know why and couldn’t really see how it would lead me anywhere. Well, all I really wanted was a degree in modern literature and perhaps to be unbeatable at the literature questions in Trivial Pursuit. Even then, everyone already knew that there were few opportunities after a degree in literature, but for me, that was just fine as it gave me time to imagine what I could become.
And in the meantime...
As for my friends, things were serious. Law school for some, business school for others. For them, there was no choice, the future was a position of responsibilities, a remarkable career path, without a hitch, a good salary, a proud mom and dad, and being able to say “hello, I’m a solicitor, a bank manager or a foreign exchange broker.”
I have no ambition, really?
One day, I asked Google if it was a big deal to have no ambition. I was surprised to see how many women were complaining on different forums that their partners lacked ambition. In a world of anxiety, economic crisis and mass unemployment, having ambition is a very precious, even seductive quality! But if my career is of little importance to me, I have many ambitions for my personal life. Plans that force me to move on and get up in the morning, yet paradoxically, I don’t think this is essential.
Ambition requires too much effort
So, is ambition a sort of driving force? How can we go on living if we’re cruelly lacking in it? I don’t believe in that. I believe that happiness isn’t just about getting ahead or amounting to something. I think that we can be much happier if we respect our values and our character and if we are in tune with our conscience. Ambition requires efforts that not everybody is willing or able to make. If I can’t make the effort because of a lack of time, energy, money, etc. I run the risk of suffering because I don’t fit the mold. And if I don’t want to succeed because making the effort is too much pressure, too much stress, too much movement for too little pleasure, isn’t it right to accept and assume my slowness, my laziness?
Anyway, I already look like a slacker at Start Up Nation when you compare me to everyone else who’s still at the office when I’m stacking blocks with my son or lounging in the bath. But for me it’s clear that a lack of ambition, in particular professional ambition, is no big deal. The real question is why, in this day and age even in the midst of a health crisis, working tirelessly is so valued?
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What if I suffer from a lack of ambition?
What if I’m unhappy? It’s true, we can lack ambition and suffer because of it. Professional achievement and success are so highly valued that not finding your driving force can damage your self-confidence. If this is the case, ask yourself if professional ambition would make you truly happy or if just being successful in your personal life is enough.
Try not to compare yourself to others or seek their approval. The quest for happiness is a very personal thing that is unique to everyone. Ask yourself what your life’s purpose is? What is your driving force, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Do you have a dream? Mull over the motivations that lie dormant in you. The motivations you’ve given up on, put to one side or that have been put on pause. You can also turn to a professional coach who will help you take stock of your desires. And if your desire is to fulfil yourself without necessarily having ambition, assume it, you will gain in confidence and you won’t care about what others think any more.
Editor’s note: You have the right to be lazy
And if having no ambition was in fact having the ambition to live in perfect harmony with who we are and our values? And if this idea of ambition and the glorification of hard work was just another social pressure? Are you following? In view of the current period, there’s no need to add an extra mental burden. Find what makes you happy and follow your path, whether it’s ambitious or not!
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