How Do We Think About Ambition?

I am turning 60 in a week and digging into a new career. Still not sharing publicly until all the pieces connect, but it is fun, exciting and It keeps me happy.  I love having my fingers In multiple places, and perhaps at one point, I won’t.  But for now, I am going with it. Is it ambition I strive or do I find comfort in working? Or for me, are the two just connected?

I continue to read about so many companies strapped for employees.  On the one hand, I wonder why?  Is it because of the work, the money coming from the Government, or is it not a place where people want to go to work?  How do the Millennials and Gen Z think about ambition? Is ambition are dirty word? On the other hand, is it just relative to what you are ambitious about?

Our country champions ambition from a young age.  We need to win!  Win at basketball, win in grades, get into the right college, win at the right job, win at climbing up the ladder.  Most 20-year-olds get out and wonder, is this it?  I have been working my life to go to college, graduate, and start a career, but this isn’t making me happy. How about living my life? Will the shifts where people begin to have more flexible work lives change this?

Ambition is a layered word.  What one is ambitious about could be a variety of different things.  Ambition is defined as “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”

I have been ambitious my entire life, but at 60, it is different. Perhaps because my goals are different. If I went back in time, each decade of my life has had different desires, needs, and goals: some ambitious, some not so much.

Perhaps at one point, we all come to terms with ourselves, and what it is that gets us up every day.  For me, it is a working my brain.  And for a while, I thought I needed to pull back from that, but then I realized it’s ok to embrace my ambitious self just in a different way. This is my 60-year-old brain talking.