Our ambition of course may also be in just envying another person’s achievements or wanting to be like him for what he is as a success. For a lot of us, our ambition may just be to make a living or get by in life with all the comforts and appurtenances that office or power confers. Just live happily, for, Life is Good. However, the tenor or colour of our ambition should be defined by the peace and progress it brings to the world, the happiness it gives others and the fulfilment it gives us in the joy we extend to others. This is because ambition is noble when it is for the edification of humanity, when it is to the glorification of the power above and when it is for the refinement or perfection our character.

Our journey in life starts not from the cradle, not even from the womb of our mothers. It is an inherited journey from the mud from which our father Adam was moulded by The Ultimate Potter. Some thinkers found a convenient way to describe our maker as the Grand Architect of the Universe, GAOTU. This architect has also been described as the author and finisher of our life in the Christian Scripture. He is Allah; for this is what the Qur’an directs humanity to call Him, or Ar-Rahman, the Merciful, among so many other beautiful names that qualify the majesty of the Almighty, His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience.

Since we owe our existence to this Living Being, Al Hayyu, in whose being is our being and what becomes of us in the morrow, to whom we shall render account, and who shall ultimately declare our success or failure and award medals or invoke punishment on the merit of our performance, then our pursuit or goal, our ambition should find expression in what gladdens this Holiest of Holy, Al Qudus. Is this usually the case? Do we recognise this Unseen Director of affairs to shape our ambition in the direction He intends?

At a certain time in my higher secondary school days at Baptist High School, Iwo, Osun State, in the early/mid 80s, I came across some seven cardinal sins in one of our literature set books, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, which I specially noted. These vices are Pride, Anger, Envy, Avarice, Lust, Sloth and Gluttony, all pointing to the drivers and the restraints in the force field of our life. They mostly define our ambition or reason for living, the purpose or essence of our being. These vices are well illustrated in Ayi Kweh Ama’s award winning “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” written in the immediate post-independence Ghana. The theme of that book is also reflected in many of the writings of the first generation Nigerian writers like Chinua Achebe, Ola Rotimi, Kole Omotosho, Femi Osofisan and Wole Soyinka as expressed in a novel like “A Man of the People” or “No Longer at Ease” and as dramatised in Soyinka’s “Jero Plays” or Ola Rotimi’s “Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again”.

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15 Responses

  1. fateemah

    well said sir. Ambition should serve as a drive to man. It’s should be that thing that’s a surge to your positive existence.
    Salaudeen Fatimoh Olorunseyi

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  2. Olamide Christianah Adeboye

    This is a great piece sir.
    When I was still a kid I used to say to myself “When I grow up I don’t want to be rich. I would just get married, have kids and live a ‘comfortable’life with my family in a small bungalow. “… That used to be my ambition. I didn’t except more from life. My environment limited my expectations from life. It limited my vision,because most people around me lived a life of mediocrity. Everyone’s concern was to wake up, eat, make money and sleep(no true happiness). However, growing up, I changed my environment and got exposed my mentality changed. I started seeing life differently. I began to aim for more. I began to dream big. I saw people’s needs, I discovered what gives me true happiness. I made a decision to make impact before I take my last swig of breath, to leave my footprints in the sands of time.

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  3. Musa Abimbola

    This is absolutely true, a life without an ambition is like a well without water. It’s better for it to be called a hole than a well. Man needs to be ambitious and also remember to set his mind on his ambition. This is a must read to everyone out there.

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  4. Salaudeen Roheemah

    Well said sir.
    Our ambition is the desire to achieve something or to succeed accompanied with determination and an internal drive.
    Then, the gravity of our happiness is not determined by the amount of money stocked in our account but by the fulfilment of our mission and desire.

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  5. Mubarak Adam

    Nice article sir
    Ambition is a very important aspect of our being successful, without ambition one is likely to remain in an exact position, ambition needs to be fuelled with consistency and intelligence.

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  6. Musbau

    Wow!!!This article is one of,if not the best I’ve ever read.Ambition! Ambition!! Ambition!!!What is the purpose of life without ambition?Just like Sean hapton said:”A dream without ambition is like a car without gas……it’s going nowhere.”
    I love this.

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  7. Adedamola Yahaya

    Ambition is a factor that defines most of a humans life. From the moment we can understand the word and its concept till the day we leave this world. Everyone wants to leave a mark but alot of people don’t realise that you have to have something that drives you.This is very capitivating and detailed.

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  8. Adeyemo Kabir Opeyemi

    Well penned sir. Life of no ambition will be lived in futility and damaging to the wards coming behind us. What is the essence of life lived unguardedly.

    But sir, if the children of Dangotes, Otedolas and the likes develop their own skill and not flamboyantly flaunting their parent’s wealth, their own goal can be achieved. DJ CUPPY, daughter of Otedola is a good example.

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  9. Ozenua Tobi

    Indeed, ambition can truly be called the essence of purpose …Some ambitions seeming greater than the other but all the same ambition sets a man to pursue goals. But how funny ambitions get limited by circumstances while some get driven. .. You just have to say.. Sometimes Ambition is proportional to situation and circumstances but anyways we all have to go beyond limits to reach our goals.

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  10. Arinde Segun

    this part really caught my attention.

    ” any man or woman without ambition aims for nothing, ventures for nothing and so gains nothing. He lives to be exploited by other players in the field of life and consumed by other forces that shape the world. ”

    because in the long run, your ambition coupled with self determination will be your driving force to achieve greatness.

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  11. Adekanmi Oluwatobiloba

    A beautiful piece I must confess. I enjoyed every single part of it. The instances given to enlighten us on the significance of a man’s ambition as well the conceptions surrounding it.
    I believe every man is born with a void – an empty space, a hunger and thirst to satisfy, I believe the pursuit for greatness (man’s ambition) is the link that connects him to this fulfilment.
    As it was said in the excerpt : “…ambition is noble when it is for the edification of humanity…” Ambitions differ but irrespective of which one it may be, it’s pertinent we channel it into humanity because that’s well the real fulfilment lies.

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