Ambition is an eagerness to acquire personal advantage, wealth, power, status or fame while aspiration is a gentle but firm determination

to achieve something. A first look into a thesaurus states that Ambition and Aspiration are synonyms. Does this mean they are different ways of saying the same thing? The uneducated mind doesn’t bother about the difference. The literate mind is confused about the difference. The philosophical mind will read too much in those two words and spew gyan. Aspiration is a strong ambition toward a particular goal or outcome.

Aspiration lies at the root of inspiration and triggers team motivation.

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir mens blood and probably will not themselves be realized." - Daniel Burnham
A noble man compares himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than his. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition”. - Henry Beecher Ambition is that part of our emotions which craves for success. History has given it a negative connotation. Napoleon Bonaparte had an ambition: to become the ruler of Europe and consequently, the world. So did Alexander, William II and Hitler. This ambition drove them to massacre a million lives and thus the negative connotation arose. Aspiration on the other hand is described as the “will to succeed”. In our civil society where diplomacy is a virtue and being politically correct is a requisite, aspiration should be our ideal. Having the Will to succeed is preferred over having a strong desire to succeed.

Taken superficially, there seems to be just no difference. But subtle changes in words make great changes in our thoughts. In the rat race of today every living being has to compete with over a billion lives to survive in our country. Economists & many other people have sprinkled water on faces and wake us up to the fact that the number of people we compete against has just multiplied six fold. Point they are trying to make is that “desire” is just not enough. Strong desire will take you ahead by two steps. It is “will” that will take you all the way to achieving your goals. It is “will” that will be the defining difference between surviving and thriving in our present world. Having aspiration towards a higher cause will translate into achievement, something our peers will describe as success. The ambitious is content in being successful. But the aspiring knows that success is a by-product of their actions.

That is the state that many refer to as super consciousness or Samadhi or bliss. we come to possess an ideal that will soon start possessing us. Thus we saw the journey of ambition to aspiration. We now a see the true difference between ambition and aspiration – ambition is related to our baser goals while aspiration is more towards the ideal. But our forefathers have explored far deeper into the human psyche than science currently has. but the journey itself. Like the old saying said. . you just be it. tat tvam asi”(I am infinite. They were what aspired to be. This purpose will come to define that person. It is a well known fact that the Vedas. we try to reach the ideal as if we are trying to reach the moon. Ideals aren’t a destination. One transcends from being just one thing to being everything – infinite. But we fail to reach it and fall amongst the stars. The Vedas and the many treatises on them have gone beyond this theme to give a whole new dimension to ideals. the rich cultural heritage of our country. fame and power. Aspirations might lead us to someplace where we might not want to be. From “Aspiration” one “Acquires” the essence of his purpose. everyday. has done ample research on ideals and thoughts. they came up with the doctrine of “Aham Brahmasmi”. But from aspirations. The end of road to ambitions is success – an accomplishment or an acquisition of a worldly goal. “Aspire” isn’t always a magic word. But we aspired to live a happy life. we “become” the ideal. relishing every moment of one’s life and living it to the full. which will one day start to possess him and define the future of the world. Does the journey end here? We might want to think so. Cast away all your aspirations and apprehensions and live life. literally meaning “I am infinite”. now.As the youth transform into the wise. from aspiration to acquiring and from acquiring to becoming. But where does aspiration end? We aspire towards an ideal. Gandhiji was and is still considered to be the embodiment of “Ahimsa”. Mother Teresa is considered to be the personification of compassion. They became the ideal they aspired for. He acquired the ideal of “equality” through this aspiration. The ideals that we acquire from our aspirations are thought to be the destination – the purpose of our life. thou art that). Gandhiji aspired for a free India where everyone was treated as an equal. to love our wife and kids and make a change in someone’s life. This doctrine is two part – “Aham brahmasmi. realization dawns upon us that we were ambitious primarily about material things – we wanted money. It may not turn out to be the garden of life we envisaged with blooming flowers and joyful children. When someone says “be the change you want to see” it isn’t just a forceful statement but a deep attempt at changing one’s perception. From being just some random ideal. The rational mind considers that “ideals” are goals. Muhammed Ali is considered to be concrete representation of perseverance. You don’t aspire to be something. The journey of life is made beautiful by just being. By being what we idealize.

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