Happiness vs. Ambition


I’ve always had a plan. Not a detailed one, but a plan all the same. One that consists of graduating from college, finding a great job in a big city and becoming a respected professional.

This newly minted life would come with my own place, a new car and hopefully a cute dog (beagle mix, please). I’d meet friends for drinks during the week and explore my new city on the weekends. I’d join the yoga studio down the street and be in the office early each morning. I’d drink expensive coffee (even though I don’t really like it), wear well-tailored suits and basically have my life together.

I’ve always wanted to be successful.

In the past few months I’ve realized that the definition of success is different for everyone. The life I described above sounds great, smooth and without any problems. It’s the life that’s advertised in the media. Then a thought hit me. What would I learn from such a regulated life? What value would I bring to the world around me?

I’ve realized that my ambition may be stepping in the path of happiness.

I began to look at the dreams I pushed to the back corners of my mind. First, I’ve always wanted to travel overseas. The top three countries on my list are Ireland, Australia and Greece. Early next year, one of those will be crossed off my list – the plans are all set!

Second, I’ve always wanted to volunteer regularly at a soup kitchen. Maybe it sounds cliché, but it’s been placed on my heart. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10).”

There’s many other things on my “happiness” list. I want to learn to surf, to go on several mission trips and to run a half marathon.

On the other hand, I’ve realized that I also want to be successful in my field. Working hard is who I am. I like pushing myself.

For me, happiness and success are intertwined.

I’d ask you to look at your life and your goals. See what you’ve been ignoring. As the saying goes: you only have one life. So live it.




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