No Lamb for the Lazy Wolf: The Difference Between Aspirations and Ambition

“Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf. No battle’s won in bed.”
– The Havamal

wolf

I just can’t be bothered to chase that lamb today.

Dreaming helps us ensure the banality of life.  I used to imagine what life would be life after school.  Would I have a good job?  Would I be famous as a writer, drink lots of wine, and own six-toed cats?

heminway

That cat is cooler than I’ll ever be!

There comes a time when you have to make a choice between aspirations and ambition.

Aspirations are a dream.  Ethereal.  Sometimes that amuses you to pass the time.  It isn’t real unless you will it into being.

Ambition is the willingness to pay the price for what you want.  That price is comes in the form of time, effort, and usually tears.  You have to work to make things happen in this world.

Sometimes you get really lucky.  You might start off ahead of the game in terms of background, privilege, or talent.   You might get a lucky break.  It doesn’t guarantee you anything.

The difference between Aspirations and Ambition is jealousy.  If you are jealous of someone’s success, work harder.  Wake earlier as the vikings said.   Use the desire for what someone else has to fuel your drive.

Jealousy is a form of self-loathing.  Why don’t I have what I want?  Why is that person better?

The truth is harsh.  The world doesn’t care.  No one owes you anything but kindness and respect.   If you want something, you have to earn it.

How then does anyone survive in the world of making art for a living?  The trick is to be willing to pay the price knowing that it might not be enough.  You could work your whole life towards a goal and never succeed.

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