Personal vs Social Ambitions

with No Comments


As a faithful Capricorn I’ve always been somehow climbing. Getting further and higher, day in day out, in many aspects of my life. It’s always been quite natural to me, so I can’t even say I do with a lot of determination or effort. Life seems to set me into contexts where I naturally initiate something new, progress and climb. And I have to admit I feel very comfortable doing so.

At the same time, I’ve always set my mind into future and found it very difficult to stick to the present. In my future projections, there is always space for new projects, dreams and goals.

If we combine these two ingredients – the climbing and future projections – we get a cocktail called ambition. Simply put, ambition is the desire to achieve success in something.

However, I’ve come to realise that there is a curious polarity in understanding and living out ambition. One polarity projects into the outside world, the other into the inner world.

We all are quite familiar with the outside one. It’s social ambition, the desire to achieve something in society. Let it be a prestigious job, an expensive car or an important social status. Every ambition needs an engine, an the engine here is extrinsic motivation – you are motivated by external goals.

Living out a personal ambition has to do with inner, personal goals and success in a personal development. You may want to understand yourself better, to live a more peaceful life. Or perhaps you want to live a healthier life, and your goals will be related to this. The engine to achieve this is intrinsic motivation.

How about you, are you climbing the personal or the social ladder? What motivates you, and in which area of your life do you project your goals?

Often we’re in both polarities. If you’re ambitious, you’re probably ambitious in both ways – in your social life as well as personal. The difference is in the satisfaction it gives you to finally achieve the success you were longing for. Connecting yourself with the authentic and socially unstained part of yourself, you’ll get to see which of these two polarities gives you what you’re ultimately looking for.

As climbing the mountain is about you seeing the world, not about the world seeing you.