lack of ambition

Ambition and the Lack of It

The first question that my son asks any adult he meets is, “What was your ambition when you were a child?” He has been asking this question for two years now, and often wonders about the lack of ambitions in his grandparents. Or why neither I, nor my husband, chased our childhood ambitions. We usually answer with a shrug and state something as adultish as, “We grew up,” or “Did not get a chance to pursue our wishes,” or whatever of that sort.

These days, I meet quite a few people who don’t have an ambition. Some of them state that they are happy where they are, some them don’t know if they even harbor an ambition, and the others have simply let go of desires that they have come to understand as “unattainables.”

As children, we simply want. Some of us want to be authors, some of us rock stars, another bunch of us actors, and so on. The thing with childhood wants is that those of us who wanted to be rock stars at one point of time, clamor to be sports stars at a different point of time. As children, we simply want everything that the mind desires.

All through this time, our “ambitions” are based on our impression of the world outside. So that is why they are just as fleeting as the outside world.

Growing up, and into the throes of adolescence, is when we begin to recognize ourselves. Along with a jump in the hormones, comes another jump. And this is into the world within.

How does this happen?

A typical teenager is viewed as a selfish, angry, jealous, and irritable person. This is a place I have been in, and this is the same place my son is stepping into these days. And I am sure that these feelings are something you have been through too.

While we know that the changes brought about by the body are what causes the change in behavior, let us try to figure out why this happens.

The physical changes that take place within the body symbolize growth. It is only natural one change leaves an effect on another. Physical changes lead to mental changes which in turn lead to personality changes, resulting in the growth of the spirit. And the spirit is the only place where we get an answer to the question – Who Am I?!

If we need to figure out who we are and what we really want to do, we need to do some serious self-introspection – we need to peel our own onion. Selfishness is nothing but a side-effect of this quest into ourselves.


The tween brain gives different answers to questions that a child’s brain delivers. While tweens and teens tend towards expressing their opinions, younger children who are continuously learning from the outside world, give answers that they have learnt from this place around them.

And here is some proof.

So, teenage is the stage when we figure ourselves out

Absolutely! When I was a teen, I was busy writing poems, and being appreciated for my creative writing abilities.

But why has it taken you so long to get here?

You see, the thing about teenage is the amount of confusion it triggers, and this confusion is something as simple as a war between the world outside and the world within.

The outside world presents itself with grand opportunities, distractions, temptations, fear of failure, etc, etc, etc, all of which are always calling out to us. And a lot of us succumb to this call.

I saw my friends picking up exciting courses, I did not work hard enough to get into the stream that I was good at, I was afraid of failing at something that I wanted to do. So, even though I found my way, I found it only to lose sight of it again. That is, until now. And there is no time like now.

Except this now could have happened 17 years ago.

I get your point

So, if you are wondering what your ambition was, or if you ever had an ambition in the first place, get back those teenage years, and blow the dust off those memories. If you had a definite want, and if you are still restless over it, get working on it. Or figure out how to let it go. Whatever you do, ensure that your actions give you inner peace. And if you have never had an ambition…well…looks like you are someone born into peace.

Here’s to Travelling Down Memory Lane Looking for Peace!


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