What does it mean to have ambition? A person with ambition is self-motivated, often described as driven. Ambition is having a purpose that guides your decision-making: does choosing this path bring me closer to my goal? an ambitious person would ask. It is important to have ambition in life, regardless of what century you live in, which country you reside in, or what career-path you follow. Ambition is what gets you further, and yields a greater satisfaction with life.

As I observe members of my generation, I find a rather disturbing lack of ambition. In many cases, I see a generation of people expecting things to be handed to them on a silver platter. As the speed of information technology quickens, we become accustomed to the instant gratification that comes from the ease with which we can go online and find anything we want within a couple of clicks.  Instead of having to work hard like our parents to find a job, we think that a university diploma is a free ticket to a good position. Students use their university years to party, hook up, and waste time until they are finally handed that magical slip of paper. But in today’s economy, it is obviously not that easy to find work. Without unique skills or good connections, it is nearly impossible. Students who take the initiative and get internships during their studies, who apply themselves to learn in-demand skills will be more likely to land a stable job after university.

This is where ambition comes in. No one is going to push you if you do not push yourself. Your parents worked hard their whole lives; they don’t want to see their son or daughter struggle as they did, so they provide everything they can for them. I was told by my parents that they would “support” me with whatever I wanted to do, and I’m sure many members of my generation (living in the US and the UK at least, I don’t know the circumstances in many other countries) were treated similarly. It is easy to drift along without any goal in mind when your support network is strong. But aimless drifting does not bring the satisfaction that achieving a goal or dream does.

So in today’s world, where we feel the strains of an economy whose future no longer looks so rosy, as we face austerity measures and cuts, we must activate our ambitions. Everyone has their own priorities; it is up to the individual to decide what to chase. But chase something! for the sake of those you love, for the sake of the world, or even for your own sake. You will feel more satisfied with your life, and you might even be able to make a difference in this world. Because whether the motivation is good or bad, ambitious people are the ones who make change.

Comments: This article just brushes the surface of “ambition.” Thoughts and opinions are welcome, please open up the discussion!

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