Contentment is defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction, while ambition is defined as a strong desire to do or to achieve something. These are both positive mindsets in our opinion. However, both contentment and ambition can hold a negative connotation for many people. Some might think that being content means you are lazy or that you do not have goals. Others might agree that being ambitious means you are never satisfied with what you have, and you are ungrateful. We believe both mindsets can work together to create a balanced individual.
For us, contentment is something we strive for in many aspects of our life. Being content does not mean that people no longer have goals. It means they have achieved their goals. You are the only one who can define what success and happiness look like for you. Finding contentment in key areas is the ultimate achievement because it means all your ambition helped create your contentment. These two mindsets can build and reinforce each other.
One crucial mistake we feel many make is they look outside of themselves to measure their own contentment. This is happiness suicide. The epidemic of keeping up with the Joneses and only seeing an Instagram life is adding fuel to this fire. Individuals need to understand their current place in life. How can people compare themselves to others in their forties if they are just starting their thirties? These timeframes do not allow for the same opportunity for growth. If additional time was utilized, where would they be? How content would they be?
Another part of this that is often ignored is looking back to help move forward. There are so many people who beat themselves up because they are not where they want to be in life. It is important to look back at what you have been able to achieve already. This strategy helps grow confidence and the desire to keep going. Not only are you able to see your past successes, it is also an opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes. So often people get stuck on missteps they make. Instead, know that making mistakes is a must to grow. In fact, it is probably one of the most effective ways to grow. If used correctly, those past lessons can illuminate the path forward and become steppingstones to future success.
Ambition is the mindset we start with when setting a goal. The real question to start with is why? Why do I want to do this? Why do I want this as an achievement in my life? Who am I doing this for? Figure out the why. It needs to be a seed that grows in each individual. This will be what feeds individuals when goals are challenging. Another component to ambition is being smart with goals. When visualizing a desired life, how achievable is it? Are there realistic timeframes? If smart goals are not planned, the stage is set for failure. It isn’t good enough to just have an ambitious goal. A clear execution plan is needed. Then, the daily habits create consistency towards achieving that goal. Ambition is powerful and it helps build dreams.
When envisioning life, especially as it will come to an end one day, what does an individual want to achieve? What will their legacy be? Where do they want to leave their fingerprints? Know that mistakes are lessons learned. Use them wisely. Looking back can lead to growth and future achievement. That achievement leads to contentment. The two concepts are not dueling mindsets. They are actual compliments to one another and help create a well-rounded individual.