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What happens to ambition as you get older?

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 09:35 pm
I seem to have become ridiculously ambitious recently. I've stopped wanting to be an academic and I now want to head a cultural institution, something like the Barbican if that's not completely unrealistic.

Recently I've heard a few of my lecturers comment on 'when they were young and ambitious' and then yesterday I was telling my Dad recent progress I've made and what it meant and he seemed to think my attitude was a symptom of youth.

I was wondering what changes? I can imagine quite a number of things; the joy, love and responsibility of having a family gets in the way, the career you chased might not be what you imagined, or you may lose interest, but how does this affect your vision?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 3,870 • Replies: 18

 
Rockhead
 
  3  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 09:36 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
you run into the buzz saw of reality one too many times...
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 11:01 pm
You find a place in your life ( emotionally) where you're content to 'be' and you stop looking for something else to do and different circumstance (such as a different job or career) that will lead you somewhere else to 'be' because you're happy 'being' and doing what you're being and doing.

I don't think I was more ambitious when I was younger than I am now. I just think when I was young, I didn't know what would make me happiest - and now I've found it so I don't have to keep moving and striving to 'be' something or somewhere else.

There are still other things that I'd like to do that I haven't done yet, but I'm happy with what I've done and 'achieved' in my life.
If I die tomorrow, I'll die feeling fulfilled.
That was really my biggest ambition- even when I was young- to be able to feel at the end of it that my life was meaningful (maybe even only to me) and that I had the experiences I wanted.
Prestige was NEVER important to me - even when I was young.
Other things were and those were the objectives I personally pursued.
I feel I was successful in achieving what was important to me.
That was only ever the extent of my ambition.

And truthfully, when I hear a young person say they want to be a nurse or a social worker or a botanist - I feel those are wonderful and worthy ambitions. Ambition doesn't have to include prestige or fame.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 12:15 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
When u feel that your life is behind u
and u don 't have much energy,
then ambition seems alien.
U just wanna relax n have fun.
I do.





David
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 01:57 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
You become a little "wiser" and commune with thoughts like.....

http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_if.htm
0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 02:38 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Does ambition really leave us if we are ambitious or change directions to be more focused on self?

As for youth, I want to re-capture , and I do, I think we get to an age whereby it's all about us, all the things we loved about "us" and instead of remembering, we bring it back into today...

And why the heck not Smile
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 06:22 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

I seem to have become ridiculously ambitious recently.


why do you think that happened?
what about you has changed?
why did you stop wanting to be an academic?

~~~

People change constantly. We value different things at different times in our lives.
~~~

Career ambitions are just one small part of some individuals' lives. Others are never interested in a career.

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 07:59 am
Strangely enough, I was just reading this: http://www.cracked.com/article_19722_7-scientific-reasons-youll-turn-out-just-like-your-parents.html, which seems quite relevant to your question.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 08:18 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
I think I've remained pretty ambitious. Heck I am currently writing a book at age 41 which at this point I think could actually be published. (I've had illustrations published and some writing published at a minor level, but not a novel.)

Note, I'm not necessarily thinking this WILL happen, and in fact think that it's more unlikely than likely, but I'm putting some effort towards that goal and am ambitious enough to think it's a possibility. I'm not assuming that it won't happen so I don't even try -- I'm trying.

I do think that there are generally more options and possibilities for young people than for older people, just as you move along in life and obtain more responsibilities. (Partner, children, house, career, etc.)

That's not written in stone, though, and is not purely a function of age. I know a woman who is in her late 60's and just started a new career. She's a widow, her parents have died, and she never had any kids, and she has lots of options and is doing a lot with them.

She also has enough money, though, as do I, and that has a big impact on ambition in my experience. There were periods where I had very little money and the energy that now goes towards Big Ideas had to go towards the more mundane stuff of keeping myself fed, clothed, housed, and emotionally stable.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2012 05:27 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

The Pentacle Queen wrote:

I seem to have become ridiculously ambitious recently.


why do you think that happened?
what about you has changed?
why did you stop wanting to be an academic?

~~~

People change constantly. We value different things at different times in our lives.
~~~

Career ambitions are just one small part of some individuals' lives. Others are never interested in a career.




I think it changed because I completed a load of ambitions and developed a load of new ones. Got to Cambridge, which is great, decided I don't really want to be an academic as I don't want an academic position, at least not here; loosing battle. Got a load of new ambitions pertaining to my creative side with the realisation that I need both sides to be occupied equally in a joint endeavor to be happy, and then went hardcore on them to keep myself occupied because It's boring here and I need the buzz I guess - there's nowhere to go out. I think that, say I did get into a position which was equally academic and creative I'd be happy and then maybe would keep projects on a bit of a plateau rather than aiming up a mountain all the time. I think it would be okay.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Mar, 2012 06:35 pm
@sozobe,
What book are you writing Sozobe?
0 Replies
 
nixbone
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2012 04:21 pm
@aidan,
i think she is talking about ambtyion not aceivment
0 Replies
 
nixbone
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2012 04:39 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
what is the old/ young age definition? Ithink ambtion (mine anyway) was slowly stolen with negative attitudes and nonsupport then eventually you lose ambtion however old you are.I suppose it is related to what elders vision is for your life
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 08:38 pm
@nixbone,
I am still ambitious even in my 70s, but the nature of my ambition has changed with my advancement in age. My career is behind me but I wake up everyday and go eagerly to my painting studio where I work on my latest projects. Then I practice my violin in preparation for performances at the Emeritus college of my university or for a private event at some home. My ambitions have to do with projects, with paintings and perfomances rather than some generalized "career." I even count the years of life I may have left in terms of the number of paintings I can complete. That is SO much sweeter than the often grinding efforts at completing degrees, landing university jobs and gaining tenure and promotions. That was often exciting but a bit of a drag compared to this new freedom.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 08:46 pm
@JLNobody,
Ditto! Beautifully said.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 11:19 pm
@Mame,
Thanks!
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:25 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

I am still ambitious even in my 70s, but the nature of my ambition has changed with my advancement in age. My career is behind me but I wake up everyday and go eagerly to my painting studio where I work on my latest projects. Then I practice my violin in preparation for performances at the Emeritus college of my university or for a private event at some home. My ambitions have to do with projects, with paintings and perfomances rather than some generalized "career." I even count the years of life I may have left in terms of the number of paintings I can complete. That is SO much sweeter than the often grinding efforts at completing degrees, landing university jobs and gaining tenure and promotions. That was often exciting but a bit of a drag compared to this new freedom.


That's so nice. I hope I'm able to do similar Smile
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:29 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
It succumbs to the warm summer breezes and French wines and cheeses.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:33 pm
@Ticomaya,
That's a good one also.

Actually I did have a bit of a rethink about being so ambitious recently. Basically I think it was because up until a month ago I hadn't actually had to do anything that difficult for my degree so I developed a load of fantasies. Then came two excruciatingly difficult essays and I was in the library from 10 am to 1 am every day for three weeks and I will literally be glad if I scrape 67 for them.
0 Replies
 
 

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