Where ambition ends happiness begins.Hungarian Proverb
Training to run an event like a marathon is a long process. A lot of people quit before the race begins. People drop off during the race, people have slow enough times they get pulled from the race, and that is why people train for months to do it. They run that 26.22 miles and in the end, their ambition is complete. They are in some sense happy. Hurting but happy.
A man tortures himself mentally to advance his career. He thinks about it day and night. He struggles and pushes his way for advancement, losing friends, making enemies, and missing time with loved ones. All of that to find he made it, but it wasn’t worth it. He is alone with his victory and his only way to interact with others is through work. His ambition was to high a price.
An artist sets out to become a living legend. She wants to become world-famous. As she does her art suffers. The intention and passion are let out of it. She works on in frustration. The art no longer brings her joy, it has become work. She takes a break. She clears away any high ideas of being famous and focus on the work. Her joy is back, her peace of mind is back, her ability to express herself is back. Her happiness in the moment is back. She is free to create.
Sometimes we set up goals that were not meant for us. They are unnatural to our way of being. They set us up to be miserable in the pursuit. When ambitions like that end so does the pain and that is when we are free to just be. Just being, once you get used to it, is a constant of happiness. That is not to say you must get rid of ambitions. Not if your ambitions are aligned properly with who you are. Then it is like a hand in a glove. Not necessary to be alive, but useful to get things done.