The everyday

Can an ambitious person ever be satisfied?

This is a question that I’ve often considered, but never managed to definitively answer. Usually my conclusion is no, an ambitious person will never truly be satisfied, but this isn’t always where I end up. Sometimes I think otherwise. I suppose if I’m honest I don’t know, and that is why I wanted to write about this today, so I can hear your thoughts and opinions.

I consider myself to be an ambitious person. I have goals and aspirations, both personal and professional. Some I have realised/achieved already, others I am working towards but confident in, and some leave me wondering if they are only ever destined to be a pipe dream. Irrespective of which category each goal fits into they are all focuses and dreams of mine that contribute to my overall ambitious character.

Sometimes I wonder if being ambitious is a good or a bad thing. I often think it’s harder if you are ambitious, it’s additional pressure. But then, being driven is healthy isn’t it? Having something to work towards gives life more purpose (doesn’t it?!) and of course the sense of achievement when an ambition is realised is wonderful. But it doesn’t make it easy, feeling content is definitely an attractive prospect, one that seems more easily attainable without ambition.

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This is partly why I’m wondering so strongly if an ambitious person can ever be satisfied, because if not then the feeling of contentment will never come. That doesn’t sound quite so attractive after all does it. Surely the overall goal is just to be happy, but if you are always striving for more, and always working towards another aspiration then can happiness ever fully come?

I want to achieve things, I don’t want to look back at my life and feel unfulfilled. Equally I don’t want to look back and feel as though I chased the wrong things and missed out on what would actually have made me much happier overall.

Ambition is a tricky thing isn’t it. It’s both rewarding and destructive.

When I look at successful people, I don’t see individuals that stop once they taste success. I see people that keep going, people that want more, people that decide a million isn’t enough it must be millions etc etc. You get the point. But where does something stop being an ambition and start becoming an obsession?

It is inspiring though isn’t it. People that have ambitions and work towards them, those people do motivate others. Their stories help to give us a kick up the bum, they make us think ‘well they did it so I can too’. I want to be that person, for my daughter. I want her to look at me and use me as an example and a reason to work hard, and achieve as much as she can. But ultimately I want her to be happy, and I would never want her chasing something out of obligation if it wasn’t her dream.

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There are just too many questions, and too many what-ifs. Or am I just overthinking it?

Have I gained any further clarity after writing this post? No, not really. I still don’t know if I will achieve all my ambitions, I don’t know if my current list will grow and I’ll never reach an end, and I don’t know if less ambitious people are happier. But what I do know is that the feeling of a realised ambition is fantastic, and I’m not ready to stop and just accept my lot. I’m going to keep going to achieve what I dream of, even if there is the risk that I will never be content. Why? Because there is the chance that I might be. If I give up then I definitely won’t be and that’s reason enough to keep going, at least for now.

Do you consider yourself an ambitious person? If so, why and if not then why not? Do you think an ambitious person can ever be satisfied? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!

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Until the next time…Jess x

15 thoughts on “Can an ambitious person ever be satisfied?

  1. This post definitely gave me a lot to think about. I do consider myself an ambitious person and no I don’t think ambitious people can ever truly be happy just because personally what drives me is that feeling of working towards a goal and when you achieve it it’s like a high but then you come down from the high and start chasing something else and the cycle starts all over again. I think the only way an ambitious person could be satisfied is if they keep their ambition in check- like it’s good to be ambitious but don’t let achieving your goals consume you. Remind yourself to be grateful for everything to you already have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I agree, there definitely is a comedown that results in wanting to chase another high! Sometimes I wonder if the high is what some people chase rather than the ambition itself. You’re so right though, maintaining gratitude is definitely the solution. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, really interesting to read ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š that’s true, it’s a character trait isn’t it I guess, so I suppose it doesn’t ever go away no matter how much is achieved. It’s a shame to think that there isn’t complete satisfaction but that’s life I guess. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another interesting and thought-provoking post, Jess, and like most of your other commenters, I don’t have the answer either.

    I know I became ambitious once I started training to become a mental health nurse. And once I’d achieved that, I realised that I still didn’t know enough to be able to work effectively with patients. So I did more and more studying, so that I could understand better my patients’ needs and wants and what support I could realistically provide them with.

    I’d be satisfied with my new learning — until I couldn’t answer a patient’s questions or offer the best care possible. I wanted to be the best I could be (for me and our patients). I don’t suppose I ever felt content enough to stop learning and not sure whether that’s ambition lol.

    Sadly, my career was cut short and I felt so lost and redundant until I found blogging. It’s given me a new lease of life, offering a little support, knowledge, and education, which some people find helpful. I feel useful again and it’s fired up my (long-forgotten) burning ambition to write a book. If I ever manage that, will I then be content? Or will I start thinking about the big screen lol (I am just kidding).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Caz ๐Ÿ˜Š I think that striving to learn more is definitely ambition so I would certainly class you as an ambitious person. I suppose your experience shows that there is the possibility of satisfaction but it is perhaps only temporary. I suppose in that case we need to be grateful for it while it lasts!

      When related to a career such as yours it shows the positives of ambition perfectly, if you didn’t strive for more then the result would be less people benefitting from your help and knowledge.

      Haha aim big, I’m sure a lot of writers whose books ended up on the big screen didn’t dare dream it a possibility! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, a really interesting take on the subject ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very interesting question, but you are probably right, there is no definitive answer. It may partly depend on the individual’s personality besides their drive or need for success. I also think contentment and happiness are never perminant states of being, but often exist in a moment, or period of time. An ambitious person may therefore be happy or content in the moment of achieving one particular objective, but I don’t think anyone can remain in exactly the same state of being perminantly, as life is too pricarious, and surcomstances are constantly changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it definitely will depend on the individual’s personality. Very interesting points, I hadn’t thought about how contentment and happiness are very rarely permanent. As you say life changes all the time and as a result what can bring happiness one day may not the next. Thank you for commenting, I love to read differing perspectives ๐Ÿ˜Š


  4. This is a really thoughtful post, Jess. An interesting question; I think it is important to know what your ambitions are first and foremost, that may help determine happiness should you manage to fulfil them, if that makes sense.

    I am a perfectionist, so I am not always satisfied with everything I do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephen ๐Ÿ˜Š that’s so true, I’ve had certain things that I have thought of as an ambition turn out to not be so. By that I mean that I stopped striving for them. Perhaps age and circumstances play a part in that I’m not sure. So yes, it’s important to be certain of what really is an ambition. Oh I can relate to that, I’m a perfectionist also! Whenever I achieve something I tend to think I could’ve maybe done it quicker or more efficiently, being a perfectionist is hard that’s for sure! Thanks for sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you can be ambitious and also content if your ambition is to reach a particular goal and you are then content to remain there.
    As far as your ambitions go donโ€™t call them pipedreams. Try to achieve them but donโ€™t beat yourself up if itโ€™s not meant to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, I would hope that would be the case for me rather than constantly wanting more. It’s a lot of pressure to have too many ambitions so I do tend to label some as pipedreams, almost as a way of taking that pressure off but it is a bit of a cop out. As you say it’s about trying your best but not being too harsh if it’s not meant to be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, really interesting to read your opinions ๐Ÿ˜Š


  6. This is a really interesting question, and one that comes to my mind often (only the other way around: does being content mean I have no ambitions?). It is only recently that I admitted to myself that I am an ambitious person, and the reason the question arose for me in the first place is that I always felt like my life was very go-as-you-please where I focused a lot on contentment in the moment, and it made me wonder if all the ambitions I did have were just for the sake of having them.

    I think in the end it just comes down to having that balance of contentment and drive to achieve more, because neither extreme is good. I don’t want to look back at my life and see that I never felt completely fulfilled, but I also don’t want to look back and think I could have done more if I wasn’t as laid-back.

    This was a really thoughtful post, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Arshia ๐Ÿ˜Š I hadn’t considered the other way around, I’m pondering that now as well ๐Ÿ˜‚ I too have the fear of whether some of my ambitions are more just for the sake of it so I completely understand where you are coming from, it’s one of those things that leaves you questioning that’s for sure.

      I agree, neither extreme is good. I’m quite obsessive in character and a perfectionist and this doesn’t help. I find myself becoming too consumed at times where I should be taking a step back, of course I don’t want to take too many steps back and end up the complete opposite! Finding balance is far harder than it seems.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, lots of interesting points for me to reflect on here ๐Ÿ˜Š


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