Bare with me on this one as I don’t really know where I’m going with it.
For the most part, I have spent my life having goals, things to achieve, targets to aim for. Being determined and ambitious have been two qualities I have held pretty dear to me. They have been the two most common characteristics other people have mentioned about me. I have lived with ambition and believed this was the best way for me to go through life. The majority of the content I have consumed reaffirmed this life choice or way of being.
But more recently, say in the last 3 months, I have come to believe that ambition and determination haven’t been all that helpful. They have given me a lot, I have enjoyed the process of working towards goals in the various fields I have an interest but there is another side to it. The downside has been a hamster on the wheel type of existence, forever running and trying to go faster. I have achieved things and have grown but there has been a lot of action with no real movement. Books such as ‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday and ‘Become What You Are’ by Alan Watts as well as articles on Buddhism, Nihilism, Stoicism and Existentialism have highlighted some things I had never before considered. They have shown me that ambition is ego and that trying to figure out how the world works is, for want of a better description, pointless.
Reaching a certain point, goal or achievement is argued to have no real meaning as life itself has no real meaning. It sounds extremely nihilistic and pessimistic but it actually makes things a lot more fun. If everything we are working towards or doing has no real meaning outside of what our ego constructs, then can’t we make it more fun? Having been exposed to ideas such as this, I know I am beginning to think and operate differently from how I once did. Goals are still a huge part of my life and you probably would still describe me as ambitious but my outlook and focus have changed in some way that I’m not quite sure I know how to put into words yet.