Am I supposed to be ambitious?

Am I supposed to be ambitious?

If this is Ambition-less Anonymous then, hi, I’m Louise and I have little to no ambition. When I talk with my friends about careers and goals and plans for the future, I often bring up the fact that I don’t really have anything that I’m really striving for and it’s met with ‘Don’t say that!’ or ‘Sure you do!’ But no, I really don’t and it really doesn’t bother me.

Even though the word is synonymous with words like ‘goals’ or ‘mission’ or even just ‘plan’ I feel like ambition has a whole different undertone and it eludes to careers in particular. I wanted to see if there was anyone else out there who felt like me (because I’m just so misunderstood in this mixed up world – cue eye roll) and a quick Google turned up results with people spouting their disdain for those who have no ambition. Several people said they would never date someone who had no ambition while many other articles were simply step-by-step guides to gaining ambition as if the very state of being ambitious was something to strive towards.

It was a weird Google search.

Of course, I’m not completely devoid of wanting things or striving towards something. For instance I have loose goals like the fact that I aim to post on this blog once a week (failing spectacularly) and the fact that I would like to go for a walk every day (weirdly, not failing spectacularly). Those things don’t really count as ambition in my books, they’re more like very short-term goals and, as a lover of to-do lists, I have plenty of very short-term goals.

When I think long-term, nothing really springs to mind. Nothing that really sets me on fire and makes me want to make big decisions to get there. Of course, I’d like to be a better person, a better friend and just generally do things better but, for the most part, I’m happy where I am.

Loads of people have dreams of becoming teachers or nurses or the Prime Minister. Others want to be pilots or famous or create life-changing inventions. My dream for a long time was to work in an office in a dependable job. That was it. Probably not the kind of thing Barbie is spouting on her little YouTube channel (mind-boggling) to young girls these days. I think not having ambition – particularly in your career – is seen as negative. I just don’t think that’s always the case. It doesn’t mean you have nothing to live for – I’m not ambitious and there is plenty to live for and look forward to.

For such a long time, women were cut down if they were too ambitious and I’m glad that the world is opening up more and more each day to allow women to climb to great heights but I just want to give a little shout out to those gals who are very happy sittin’ where they are. 

I think it’s similar to seeing leading ladies in books and movies – of course, we want to see strong women but what is even more interesting is seeing well-rounded women. I want to see strong, weak, flawed, sad, happy, varied women leading the way in stories and in life. I want to see women who have ambition and I want to see women who don’t really have ambition at all but are okay with that.

So, look, I’m no one in particular – just a gal chomping on a family block of Dairy Milk in her toasty warm bed right now – but I don’t have ambition and I’m pretty happy hanging out here doing my thing in obscurity with no plans to push forward. If that’s you too, then I think we can be friends. If that isn’t you, then I think we can still be friends and I’ll happily cheer you on from the sidelines and maybe make you supportive t-shirts?

I think the best thing about being human is that you’re allowed to change your mind. I might wake up one day and decide that I would like to find the cure for cancer, enroll in some medical school and chase it unapologetically. You might wake up one day and realise your dream of being a teacher is maybe not actually what you want to do and you’re quite happy at your retail job for now – and you know what, that’s completely okay. You do you.

1 Comment

  1. Kristina Munro October 2, 2018 / 7:51 am

    I’ve felt the same way for a while now and am starting to be ok with it too! The beauty of society progressing and being more open minded is that now we have a choice, so let’s make the choice (whatever it is), guilt free!

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