Ambition is the decision one makes and the resolution with which he carries out that decision. It provides us with the required driving force to accomplish any undertakings in our life. Just as Joseph Epstein, a famous American writer put it, “And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed.” Indeed, once we make up our minds to choose to do something, then our life becomes meaningful and specifically orientated. This notion of life, as far as I observe, is closest to truth and does apply to almost all aspects of life.
First things first, ambition renders us a sense of mission. No matter what decision you make you have to be responsible for your choice. Your choice procures you a sense of orientation, or more specially a sense of mission. And only a strong mission may enable one to accomplish greatness. Caesar of the ancient Roman Empire was urged by his ambition “I came, I saw, I conquered.” And became an unrivaled empire builder in the history of Rome. John Milton, stimulated always by his ambition that aimed at writing some “mighty lines” which England would unwillingly forget, had in due time secured his position as the second Shakespeare in the history of English literature.
In the second place, ambition can bring one’s potentials to the full. Ambition may well serve as a catalyst activating one’s dormant potentials. Without ambition one’s potentials will remain slumbering like a dormant volcano. A case in point is Ms Zhang Haidi, a Chinese Helen Keller. It was her ambition to be a useful person has turned the almost paralyzed Zhang Haidi into a well-accomplished figure whose achievements would dwarf those of some normal people aim at the sun, though, at worst, they may probably land on the moon.
Influential as it is upon us, however, ambition must be channeled in the right direction. If wrongly directed, one’s ambition may bring havoc on him and others. Hitler, whose ambition was to conquer Europe by whatever evil means, finally turned him into a demon. It was this demon that almost cast Europe into an unfathomable abyss of anguish and suffering. Another case is Macbeth whose ambition was to become the king of Scotland. However, his ambition was materialized by the murder of King Duncan. Consequently, unbearable guilt and psychological agony drove him to his tragic doom.
To sum up, ambition can benefit us tremendously if wisely and correctly channeled, otherwise it may ruin others and ourselves. A poet says: life can be bad; life can be good; life can be dirty; life can be sad,; life can even be painful. In my mind’s eye, a person can make his life beautiful, meaningful and rewarding and stand out as a respectable personage if he is motivated by a well-orientated ambition.