But I have known people whose lives are filled with pleasures and manifestations of success that are yet hollow and unfulfilled; I have also seen a lot whose lives are laced with pains and adversities, trials and tribulations that are the happiest people. Of course, these may seem unfathomable ironies. But the attitudes of either group are conditioned by their understanding of the meaning and purpose of existence, the goal of life. So, each person’s understanding of the goal of life or the purpose of existence will qualify his or her perception of pleasure and happiness or pains and adversity; similarly, how he enjoys or endures either situation.

What baffles me is that the more we tend to be epicurean, the more we defeat the spirit of Epicureanism that is pleasure and enjoyment of life or happiness. On the other hand, we tend to see stoicism as human failure whereas true Stoics are not flattered or unaffected by the storms and sweetness of life. They are not shattered or defeated by failures or embittered by disappointments in their journeys in life. In the coping and comportment of this class, I find lessons of strength. Such strength of character can be equated with a kind of pleasure or happiness.

Whether we fall into the category of the Stoics or of the Epicureans, we must look and live beyond the ordinary categorization of pleasure and pain to find true meaning of happiness. MTN and LG Electronics, in fact, every big advertising spender glamorizes life as being good. Yes. But the good life that is portrayed on the tubes and the giant billboards is hardly affordable by the ordinary or average man in our world. So, as we romanticize on living it, we accelerate our desperation, even when we are already blessed with some qualitative but unacknowledged enrichment.

This is exactly where we all mostly err. It is in our inability to see the reason to be happy and be grateful in spite our situation or ordeal. We also falter when we see the reason to be happy, in the mindless celebration of our achievement or accomplishment. In both cases, we must bring ourselves to the understanding of the pursuit of happiness. Since we all see wealth as a major source of happiness, we must begin to count our blessings in order to be happy. We may however be very unwise even in the enumeration or evaluation of our wealth because what we count most are the tangibles while we discount our qualitative wealth. When we reflect and discover our areas of strength and wealth in spite of our seeming want, we will find reason to be happy.

So, the extent of our happiness can be measured on our premium and discount in either of quantitative wealth or qualitative riches. Both can be the source of our happiness and the fountain of our desperation. We will also find happiness in our endurance, no matter the turbulence in which we swim, after all the test of our strength and integrity and faith is our steadfastness in the face of odds. We can however multiply in our happiness in the extent of joy we spread to others regardless of the ordeals we suffer or the deals we enjoy.

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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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