Can I be ambitious and spiritual at the same time? A close friend asked me this question today and I loved her question.
I’m sure many of us might struggle with this question in our mind.
So I’m sharing my two humble cents on this topic as per my understanding of life & spirituality.
First of all, let’s get clear on the general meaning of these two words –
Ambitious means having a strong desire to achieve something.
Spiritual means being connected to the essence of human spirit which is whole, perfect and enough already.
A common belief is that when you are ambitious, you are somewhat dissatisfied, little stressed out, not content and are chasing your goals in order to do something more or to achieve success.
While spirituality teaches you ‘To be in 100% acceptance of who you are’ feel contentment with what you do and have in life. It’s an experience of “I am enough.”
Here’s the thing to realise, ambition and spirituality are not in opposition to each other as it seems like.
There’s nothing wrong in being ambitious or having desires to achieve something.
The only important thing here is to know why do you want to achieve, what you want to achieve.
For example, let’s say you want to reach a higher level in your career.
Ask yourself why do I want it?
Dig deep to find an honest answer!
Let’s say your answer is like this:
When I achieve this degree / designation / level in my career, I’ll have a competitive edge over others. I’ll make a name for myself, earn more money and fame and will be more successful.
Ask yourself again, what will happen when I’ve that degree or position, or earn more money and when I am more successful in my career?
What will I get or how will I feel then?
If the answer comes –
‘I’ll be happier and more content in my life. I’ll feel I am enough now.’
‘I shall feel I’m successful now. I’ve arrived.’ – then you’ve set yourself up for a failure already.
Because if you look around you, you can easily find not just hundreds but thousands of people who are at that level in their career and finances, but still not happier and fulfilled in life.
Rather many times, they feel miserable & depressed and wonder what went wrong?
“Success never ever leads to happiness, bliss and fulfilment in life.””
If it did, all the great and successful achievers of our time (Michael Jackson, Robbie Williams, to name a few) would not have died with depression and drugs.
Actually, it is the other way round.“Being happy & fulfilled in life, and feeling that your being is enough, leads to true success in career and ambition too.”
Think about it, if you’re happy and content, you’re more creative and energetic or when you’re stressed.
She wondered and asked, but how can I be content and fulfilled when I’ve not achieved my goals & ambitions?
I’m glad you asked. It means you’re ready to learn a new way of being.
The only way you can do that is, by knowing that anything outside of you is like a mask or fake identity.
Your degrees, your designation, status, your money and fame is not who you are!
It’s all your mind’s programming done by society, that makes you feel that your worth comes with all this.
The truth of you is, who you are without all that.
A simple way to realise this is to sit down with yourself and ask yourself, who would I be without all my roles and identity?
Strip off all the layers of your identity (mother, father, sister, brother, doctor, professional, wife or husband, all your roles and tags).
Reach to your true inner self, the way you were born. And you might come near to the truth of your being.
The moment you drop your Ego or Identity, uncover the veil and come face to face with ‘Real You’ – ‘you’ a being of joy, peace, love and bliss.
You’ll spread this love to yourself, your family, your friends and everyone you meet. You’ll feel content in all your relationships and feel joy & fulfilment in every mundane thing you do.
“From this place of happiness in your being, you’re free to do and achieve whatever ambition you have.”
Because now you’re going after your passion as an expansion of who you are and not in order to satisfy and add to your false or Ego self.
Your thoughts, your goals and ambition will not run your life any more.
You stop chasing your dreams. Rather, you follow joy every moment.
You run your life from a place of peace and contentment. You plan and take actions towards your goals and ambition, while enjoying the whole process.
You focus on Balance and contentment in life…utilising your mental faculties, your being and actions to fulfil your real priorities. To enjoy your loving relationships and work every moment.
Now if you ask yourself why do I want to achieve what I want and the answer comes –
I want to express my talents and potential fully. I want to be able to help more people, make a difference and contribute to the world in a positive way. I want to spread my joy and happiness to others. I want to live every moment of life with love and meaning.
You’ll know that you are on the right track!
Go ahead. Learn, apply, and keep moving forward!
That’s when you’ll experience being a spiritual ambitious person, both at the same time.
Her smile was reflecting in her eyes 🙂