There is so much to do.

Understanding ambition..

Journal excerpt 23/01/2024;

In my journey through life, I am propelled by a profound and distinct force: an insatiable ambition. This is not just a yearning to exist, but a deep-seated desire to excel. My ambition transcends mere goal-setting; it’s a richer journey, imbued with meaning and contemplative thought. It intertwines the pursuit of personal achievements with a philosophical exploration of what it truly means to strive and succeed.

Throughout history, the concept of ambition has been a subject of considerable debate among philosophers. Aristotle viewed ambition as a virtue if it led to positive outcomes, while Stoics emphasized inner virtues over external accomplishments. These contrasting viewpoints prompt me to reflect on my own ambitions. Am I seeking success for its own sake, or is there a deeper, more introspective purpose to my endeavours?

Ambition, for me, is also a means of finding meaning in life. This aligns closely with the beliefs of existentialist thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, who argued that we create our own meaning through our actions. Therefore, each goal I achieve is not merely a tick on a checklist of successes; it’s a step in the ongoing creation and shaping of my identity and life narrative.

Abraham Maslow’s concept of self-actualisation resonates deeply with me. He proposed that the highest human need is to realise our fullest potential. My ambition is not a drive for material success; it’s a deeper, more philosophical drive towards fulfilling my deepest needs and potential. It’s about answering fundamental questions about my nature and destiny.

My relentless pursuit of objectives also offers insight into the human condition. It reflects an innate desire for progress and a struggle against stagnation. This is not just my personal journey, but part of a larger, shared human journey – a testament to our collective yearning for growth and achievement.

Yet, I am aware that ambition comes with responsibilities. Pursuing personal objectives raises significant ethical questions. How do I balance my ambitions with my duties to others and society at large? Can ambition be harmful if unchecked? These questions make me delve into the waters of moral philosophy, contemplating the broader impact of my relentless pursuit of success.

In understanding ambition, I find it enlightening to draw upon the wisdom of historical philosophers. Plato believed that true ambition should aim at achieving ideal forms of virtue and justice. Seneca, a Stoic philosopher, advised pursuing goals in harmony with nature and virtue, warning against the excesses of ambition. Nietzsche’s concept of the ‘will to power’ and Ayn Rand’s advocacy for rational self-interest in Objectivism further enrich my understanding of ambition.

Every reflection, challenge, and triumph leads me to a deeper understanding of my purpose and place in the world. The philosophical debates between fate and free will, the insights of thinkers like Plato, Seneca, Nietzsche, and Rand, all contribute to the tapestry of my journey. They don’t just guide my steps; they challenge and expand my perspectives.

Standing amidst this journey, I am struck by a profound realisation: ‘There is so much to do.’ This isn’t an expression of overwhelming burden, but an acknowledgment of the endless possibilities that lie ahead. My list of aspirations grows each day, not as a daunting accumulation of tasks, but as a deep and wide ocean of opportunities and adventures awaiting my pursuit.

The phrase ‘there is so much to do’ has become my personal mantra, a reminder of the uncharted paths and unfulfilled potentials beckoning me. It’s an expression of my unyielding desire to actualise my dreams. It’s a nod to the ever-expanding universe of knowledge, experience, and achievement that lies before me.

In a boundless journey like this one, the certainty that ‘there is so much to do’ fills me with excitement and determination. It fuels my ambition, not just to reach the goals I’ve set, but to discover and embrace new ones along the way. As I continue on this path, I am ever mindful of the richness of this journey and the infinite opportunities it presents. 

Lastly, my reflections on ambition lead me to reconsider the concepts of success and failure. They are not merely outcomes or destinations but states of being that compel me to question the very essence of achievement and the role of setbacks in my journey.

As I conclude this exploration, I ponder what ambition means to me. Is it merely a pursuit of external achievements, or is it a deeper, more existential quest? How does my ambition shape my understanding of myself and my place in the world?

— Josh