When I was younger, I was very ambitious as far as my desire to get a college education, to move away from home, to live on my own, and to marry someone I deemed "good enough" for me.
Now that I have two children, my priorities have completely changed. I have put my career and future education plans on hold, I am relying on my husband for financial security, and largely, I have taken a personal backseat in my own selfishness. My number one priority today is to raise two (and possibly more) independent, self-confident, and well-loved children. It has been an idenity crisis, of sorts, to give up on everything I once thought was important, but I think most parents will tell you, it is worth every bit of the difficulty.
Without a bit of ambition in our lives it would be hard to get the motivation to get a mission accomplished. In my case, I try to make ambition a source of motivation, but I try to keep it realistic. What I mean by this is that, although I want to see myself in a good position in life, far removed from drama, and living comfortably enough to enjoy my elder years, I am not going to make that such a heavy mission that it will put me on a losing end.
However, ambition has one positive thing and it is that it always makes you look forward, and never turn back. If one knows how to use ambition in a smart way, the benefits that can be reaped from it can be very productive for all involved.
For me, probably not as much as it should have.
If you evaluate my life objectively, you might well say that I have underachieved. I was very smart as a kid -- enough so that I finished high school at 16 and college at 20. But, perhaps because of a lack of ambition, I have not really become "something" in life. I have been content to be a teacher. I hope that I have made a difference in the lives of some students, but our society does not really think that teaching high school is a "good" job for someone with a lot of talent. I have been content to be a part-time teacher after my kids were born because it was better for our family if I stayed home with the kids. Again, not what society says a talented person should do.
Of course, I'm happy with where I am in life, but that too might be seen simply as a lack of ambition. Because ambition does not play a big part in my life, I have remained contented in a place in life that (some might think) is below where I should be.
Well, I guess it all depends on what you mean by ambition. I have included a link to a definition below that should help you work this out. My own personal problem with ambition is that it is often associated with other negative characteristics, which I think is most unfair, as I believe ambition isn't necessarily negative. Is it wrong for someone to want to achieve the best that they can in life? I don't think so. I think in fact ambition is certainly very healthy if it is not taken to excess. I guess the question is whether you allow ambition to overrule other important aspects of your life such as your own morals and values. For me, I would describe myself as ambitious because I want to achieve everything that I am capable of, but I won't allow my ambition to succeed in the things I put my mind to to compromise my personal values and beliefs. In short, I believe ambition by itself can actually be very healthy, because I think it can help us achieve everything that we are capable of.