Friday, August 17, 2007

Losing my Ambition

I would like to say that I don't watch TV, but it wouldn't be exactly true. When on the gym's treadmill, I'm quite the captive audience. Once, I tried to read a book, but text was too small to see while running. Generally, I get a few minutes of ESPN or Food Network and as much time in commercials.

A few commercials were for shiny new sports cars. One may expect that I would be more sensitive to such persuasions, given my fender-bender from Monday. In fact, the accident made me less excited about a new car, given possible interactions with other young mothers distracted by children in the backseat.

Also, I have my friends to thank. They do not pursue extravagant lifestyles, and I, likewise, work only as hard as to keep up.

Perhaps that is the bigger issue: that I've lost my drive. Last year, a friend lent me "The Paradox of Choice", a pop psychology book which proposed that more choices often resulted in lower overall perceived happiness. One of the suggested remedies was to be satisfied rather than trying to maximize every situation. The idea appealed to me, and I took it to heart, even too far. In finding contentment in my station of life, I've quenched the fire to go further.

Yet ambition is not so dichotomous. Rather than abandon it completely, I ought to focus my priorities. Even if I do not strive for materialistic superiority, it is of little benefit when the saved time and energy is lost to idleness.

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