Can a person be content and have ambition concurrently?
While they may seem exclusive of each other, they don’t have to be.
Contentment = Being satisfied.
Satisfied with what you have, and don’t have.
Satisfied with what you have accomplished. Being at peace with your life’s situation, with the material aspects of that life not being the least aspect of satisfaction.
Ambition = Inner drive
Not everyone has the same level of inner drive, and it’s not for me to judge a person that seems to have more drive than others.
What can trip us up though is when we are seeking ambition for the wrong reasons.
And that can lead to a whole bunch of problems, including for our financial freedom.
When we have ambition for the sheer sake of being inspired to reach goals, that’s ambition for the right reasons.
But when we have ambition because we aren’t content with what we have, are we then pursuing our dreams for the right reasons? It doesn’t necessarily mean they are the wrong things to be pursuing, but it does require us to step back, assess why we have them, and if the right set of motivations lie behind them.
So how does this tie to personal finance?
If we are content with the material comforts we have, we are able to funnel more money towards our financial freedom.
If we are ambitious for the right reason, it likely will lead to the opportunity to earn more money that in turn leads to us being able to meet the goals we have for our life and family: college education, retirement, starting a business, taking care of loved ones, leaving a legacy for causes dear to our heart.
This is an intrinsic part of financial planning: What are your goals and dreams for yourself and your family (ambition)? What is your cash flow and where are you willing to make tradeoffs if needed (contentment)?
Having ambition for the wrong reasons, such as wanting to impress others with our lifestyle, can lead to a whole bunch of churn in our lives that places the wrong priorities on the wrong stuff.
Don’t believe me? Go ask a retired professional athlete about this and see what they say.