The burden of ambition

I recently listened to a podcast on ambition, it challenged the idea of ambition being some kind of hot-ticket personality trait. Especially in the age of #girlbosses and the rising appeal of entrepreneurship, ambition is seen as a must-have quality. The conversation drew upon how this it doesn’t (and shouldn’t have to) come naturally to everyone and not wanting to be the owner of a business empire at the age of 25 is ok.

But for some people who live with adversity, ambition is a lifeline. It’s what they rely on to do more, to achieve more. Why would you not want more than you currently have – or don’t have which is more the likely case? This is where ambition the driving force becomes ambition the burden. A burden accepted by many. To reject a want for better, to deny the burden is ultimately a privilege that many people aren’t entitled to.

The other side of ambition, when you’re from a disadvantaged background, is not being ambitious. Logically, it just doesn’t make sense. It seems unproductive and irresponsible. But what happens when you don’t want to carry that burden? Ultimately, it is a constant pressure and, in a situation, where deprivation is very real, desperation for success for not only yourself but potentially dependants as well, it can be unbearable. A cross too heavy to carry. To some extent its understandable but is it ok in the same way it would be for someone in a more *comfortable* life position? This is where I struggle.

 

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