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Theme of the week

Issue LXVII (13.05.2012)

Ambitions Devoid of Commitment can Lead to Stress

The central theme of one of the famous tragedies (the Macbeth) of the celebrated poet and writer, William Shakespeare, is Ambition. If not managed properly, ambitions can lead to great stress. There are two possibilities. Ambitions can be a product of one’s commitment or passion for a cause. In this case, the chances of getting success and satisfaction are more. However, if commitment doesn’t accompany ambition, one is likely to experience such emotions like jealousy, anger and frustration.

Many times we attach our emotions with our goals.  Generally we get emotional when we are engrossed with some personal anxiety or desire. Therefore, emotions mostly make us more vulnerable. Commitment is one of the biggest requirements for getting success. Commitment leads to a passion for making continuous efforts. We may get confused between our emotions and passion and may feel that in spite of being highly passionate for getting success, we remain where we are.

Emotions move us from within. However, to attain a goal, we also need to move things outside us. This needs passion. We are passionate for a goal only when we are committed for a cause or when we are concerned about others. This concern on one hand gives us power to fight against the odds and on the other hand, it also adds to our trustworthiness in the eyes of others. If we achieve something without being trustworthy, it is like building a castle on water which is doomed to sink.

When we are engrossed with our emotions or desires, we tend to formulate a “Being” goal – to have a fat package, to be an I.A.S. or to be an IITian, or, simply to be famous. These being goals when achieved give only momentary satisfaction. When not achieved, they create a lot of stress. However, commitment generally helps us in formulating “Doing” goals. Narayan Murthy’s vision was to generate employment for youth. Dheerubhai Ambani’s vision was to do something significant.

When we are committed for a goal, we create alternative lines of action. They give us direction to work but the pressure to be something great is not there. Small achievements in the visualised direction generate satisfaction. To attain a big goal, we have to continue our efforts with small successes and maintain a high level of patience.

If we want to pursue a goal with passion, we should keep good control over our emotions. Emotions may create enemies whereas emotionless passion – that is, a genuine concern for a cause creates companions and leads to determination. Emotions put a block on our creative faculties whereas passion helps us in sharpening our mental ability and at the same time helps us towards right decision making.
Passion and Ambition are not one and the same thing. Passion can go with patience but ambition would not. An ambitious person would always relish  showing his heights or talking  about his success whereas a passionate person only thinks about the next line of action.

Passion, most of the times, begins with compassion – a high concern for others. Compassion has to be converted into commitment leading to passion. When Amir Khan first thought of making the serial, Satyamev Jayate”, he must have experienced compassion. However, when he started working on it, it was because of his commitment for the cause. Commitment leads us to action.  We can start by being committed for the growth of our family, for the development of an organization and then ultimately, for some social cause. The broader is our area, the more height we are likely to achieve and sustain ultimately.

Your Comments

abcdefg The image you have used for this article goes with the theme very well! The little Little-Master with pads touching his waist and gloves touching the elbow.....ambition is visible clearly. Commitment will indeed change his ambitions into reality. Only ambition but no commitment or an ambiguous ambition, both brings stress. In fact, only commitment and no ambition can also lead us nowhere. Ambition/passion/desire coupled with commitment, brings cheer.

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