Letter No 68 - The meaning of ‘ambitious’

Dear friend,

Do you consider yourself as an ambitious person?

Hmmm, I sense some hesitation. Ambitious doesn’t mean just about money. It could be about art, or music, or social impact, or healing… it could be just about any sphere of life. Ambitious means you want to generate excellence, in yourself and in others around you.

Ahhh, now I think you are saying "yesssss, then I’m ambitious!"


Then, let me ask you the next question - "are you just ambitious, or are you very ambitious?"

Very ambitious mean you really want to dig deep in whatever you are working on. You want to learn all there is to learn, meet people who dug deep, ask new questions, find new problems to solve, and create new knowledge and impact in the world.

I feel you are hesitating now.

It’s understandable. I am pushing you a bit. I want you to think.

Take a few moments right and think what are you very ambitious about.


In order to live a life of peace and joy, you must be very ambitious.

Haha, now you are totally confused.

But it’s true. Only when I give myself completely to something, only when I immerse myself, only when I drain off the very last drop of energy on the projects I take up - even if it is in being a good parent, or in the way I pray to my God, or in my business, or in the way I study, can I find peace and bliss.

Ok, that went off in a bit of spiritual direction. But I believe it’s true. At least it has been in my life.

True joy comes only in losing oneself in something bigger than oneself.

And only the very ambitious can do that!


Now, here is my final bit.

What’s the difference between the very ambitious and the others?

In my view, the difference is the difference between sacrifice and compromise. The very ambitious don’t make compromises, and they are willing to make sacrifices.

Compromise is when I am ready to accept something less than what is desirable.

Sacrifice is when I am intentionally willing to give up something I desire, for something I desire even more deeply.

The very ambitious are willing to let go of something’s, in order to do much much deeper into some other things that they hold in even higher importance.

And here is a corollary to this, in order to be willing to make a sacrifice, you must have the clarity to understand the ladder of priorities your own life. You must know what is the hierarchy of priorities. What do you want more than other things.

It may be possible that you don’t need to sacrifice anything. You may be able to have it all. But the very ambitious are clear about if and when it comes to be, what they will sacrifice and what they will do deeper into.


Woah. That was a heavy-ish one🙂

But a very important once. Do take some time to think about what is truly important to you. I ask this questions in all my coaching calls - with students, with parents and with entrepreneurs. Think about it in the short term (3 - 6 months), medium terms (1 - 3 years) and long term (3 - 10 years). Note down your answers. Writing brings clarity.

Hope that was thought provoking for you in some ways. If yes, and if you are in the mood now, do write back with a sentence or two and let me now what you found provocative for you.

Until next time,

In fratitude (friendship and gratitude)