Ambition vs Contentment

According many, you must constantly strive to better yourself. Always be ambitious.

You must increase your income, increase your wealth, increase your muscle mass, burn more fat, date younger and more attractive women.

It doesn’t matter what the goal is. The point is that you must always be better. You must always work at improving yourself.

Then there are those who are happy with what they have. According to them, you must be grateful and content with what you have. Many religions promote this view. For example, the Bible teaches that you are not to grumble. Philippians 2:14 says the following: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.”

So what should you do?

As with many things in life, the answer is in the middle.

If you are ambitious and if you always try to make more money or buy a bigger house, you may never be satisfied with what you have, and the stress and anxiety of not having enough can damage you.

That being said, if you are completely content, you are idle, and you do nothing. This is the fastest route to depression.

The solution that works for me is to always be working at improving yourself but to work slowly. Take your time and learn to enjoy the work you do.

Even if you retire by age forty, chances are you will discover that sitting by the couch doing nothing is no way to live. You need something to keep you occupied.

The best analogy is driving. There are times when you need to get somewhere by a certain time. You are stressed, you drive quickly. Chances are you scream and become frustrated with slow drivers. Compare this to driving on a weekend, say, to visit a relative. You have all the time in the world. You can relax, drive safety, and enjoy the song on the radio.

That is how life should be. Relax, go slow, and enjoy the journey.

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