In Praise of Ambition:
Why were the ancients anti-ambition?
In reading a lot of Roman philosophy (Seneca, Cicero, etc), I was always puzzled:
Why was ambition seen as a vice?
I’ve always believed that ambition is one of the ultimate virtues, especially in modern times!
My definition of ambition
The etymology of the word “ambition” came from Roman times, in which to have “ambition” literally meant to go around and ask other people to vote for you. (“ambio” in Latin)
I prefer the more practical concept of ambition as,
Striving towards greatness.
Always strive and prosper
Is a life without ambition a life worth living?
This is why I love the rapper ethos:
The harder you hustle and work, the more you prosper and thrive.
This is why I love the rap of JAY Z, Rick Ross, A$AP crew, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Dr. Dre.
The idea is simple:
You have control over your own fate.
The actions, risks, and ambitions you have in life dictate how your life will turn out!
“I took the top off my Maybach!”
With ambition, you want to keep flying higher.
You disdain the ground. You love to soar and fly!
You’re always curious of,
How much more am I capable of?
How to become more ambitious
I’m fortunate enough that my mom was my ultimate “hype man”; she empowered me and always believed in me. She pushed me forward, and never doubted my abilities.
Yet not everyone is so fortunate.
To have supreme confidence in yourself, you need to install a new operating system in your mind.
This means “reformat” your brain; erase all that bullshit from your past (Zen and Taoist philosophy), and start to study empowering philosophy (Stoicism, Nassim Taleb, Nietzsche).
Avoid what weakens you, and ruthlessly prune “nay sayers” and leeches from your life.
And also perhaps watch more superhero movies; you can become a superhero!
I also believe to become more ambitious, you need to have enough physical strength. Simple things:
- More muscle mass, less body fat
- Sleep enough (wake up without an alarm clock)
- Follow a no sugar, mostly “ketogenic” diet
- More fasting during the day, more feasting at the night
- Walk more, and stand more (I believe in standing desks, and going on walks to clear your mind).
Don’t be humble
Don’t be humble. Know you’re dope. You have lots of great things to contribute to society.
You’re doper and more ill than you think!