Ambitious and proud, yet contented?

Those who know me well will not fail to notice that I am ambitious. In fact, Chris said that my level of ambition is 10 out of 10 (I gave myself 10 out of 10, also). I’m not sure what the definition of ambition is; I just realize that I always have many things I want to achieve and I always be so upset when I fail to achieve them.  I guess that is not far from the exact definition of ambition.  One thing to note is that my ambition is generally related to be something instead of do or have something.  The idea of being, I think, is closer to ambition.  Doing and having is related to mere wants and not ambition.  Although in my case, the idea of be something usually leads to certain doing and having.  This idea will be elaborated further in the next section.

It seems natural that ambition goes hand in hand with pride. I have an ideal, I will be proud if I achieve that ideal, so I have ambition to achieve it.  Talking about pride, I know that I have a big pride.  Note that ‘pride’ here does not refer to the negative meaning (I sure hope so! after all, pride in the negative meaning is listed as one of the deadly sins).

Unsurprisingly, these pride and ambition of mine often lead to discontentment and restlessness.  For sure I have so many blessings to count, yet when I see others that seem to be granted more, the discontentment will creep within me.  I was granted one of the things I want most – admission to direct PhD + full scholarship, and I am so childishly proud of it; yet when I heard my friends getting scholarship in a more famous  (not necessarily better) university, I always sigh silently and tell myself, “maybe I should have tried those universities!” Note that I have never, as far as I remember, envy someone for his / her possessions.  It is achievement that I long for and value most, not wealth.  Yet in our materialistic and imperfect world, we must admit that wealth follows achievement most of the time. Whenever I see a young, successful professor, entrepreneur, top manager; I always look up to them — and say to myself that I will try to beat them somehow.  When I see a rich young lady pampered by her parents or her husband, I never envy them.  How can you envy someone that you look down upon?

Now about the discontentment.  I wonder whether other people feel the way I do? If you see someone more succesful than you, do you want so badly to beat them? Do you find your plans getting higher and higher up with time? More importantly, is it bad or wrong to feel so? I know that ambition is good as a driving force, but I also know that all-consuming ambition is definitely not healthy. And so unchristian. Sigh.

A bit of recap: when I was a high school student, somehow I wanted to go to ITB.  That may not be so odd when you are in a favourite school. But for me, who came from a not-so-good school, where everyone seems to be more interested in sweet 17th party or Meteor Garden than their choice of university, it is a bit unusual.  It turned out that I was the only one who apply to ITB, and admitted.  How proud I was at that time.  Four years later, I was about to finish my undergraduate course with flying colours and a presentable final project. I was grateful, indeed. Yet a new ambition comes to me. I decided to pursue PhD, and somehow I wanted it so badly. Yes, so badly. For did not I give up a sweet lovestory for that? And now, I’m coming to the end of my PhD journey, and a new ambition comes to me.  Does it mean that I’m not contented nor grateful?

Yet, my dear, I think this time will be different. For ours is not only a lovestory, but a decision to love made based on careful thoughts and prayers. I made a promise to myself, that if ever (but I hope not) my next plan requires you to give up something important to you, I will try my best to prioritize you. There. I decided to love you.


2 thoughts on “Ambitious and proud, yet contented?

Add yours

    1. maunya sih begitu ….
      kl ditawarin postdoc sih judulnya bukan ‘ambitious’ tapi ‘hore hore hore’, Sit 😀
      kamu ngerasa kayak aku jg ga sih? atau akunya yg terlalu pgn macem2?

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