Ambition is an extremely powerful force that has the ability to take over an individual’s life without the correct understanding of how to experience it in proper moderation. In the excerpt from, “Late Nights on Air” written by Elizabeth Hays, Hays demonstrates the issues that can surface when too much ambition becomes a problem. In this excerpt, Gwen became caught in the trap of her own ambition which ultimately led her to become out of touch with reality, and blind to the impact she had on others and herself. Individuals often get caught up in their own successes at the expense of others.
My own particular experiences have shown me how strenuous a high measure of ambition can impact the different domains of life, especially when aspiring to reach goals that are not often your own. Ambition has the ability to push individuals to extraordinary status; however, many individuals don’t set aside the opportunity to comprehend their own actions when working towards their goals.Frequently, ambition can get out of hand to the point where it starts to push others away. It can cause an individual to lose touch with reality by giving them a distorted view of what is important. Sometimes, as humans, we sabotage others in pursuit of our own goals.
When an individual sees something they want so badly, sometimes nothing can stand in the way of them achieving that goal. In “Late Nights on Air” there are two radio hosts vying for the same job. Out of the two, Gwen is the ambitious one, but she is also completely oblivious to how her negative and often obnoxious behaviour is impacting those around her. Remarks such as, “She’s so judgemental” and “But compared to you she’s inexperienced and unsure of herself. She’s shy”, show us that due to her desires to become as great as her mentor, Abe Lamont, Gwen has transformed into someone that she’s not. She is often seen as vicious and snarky to her fellow coworkers.
Gwen realizes that the choices she has been making haven’t been the smartest, and she learns this after listening to her coworkers talk behind her back. She must realize that pursuing her ambitions in a way that is harmful to others can actually destroy her dreams, rather than help her achieve these goals. Gwen must find a balance between work and play, so she can see that to achieve success in a workplace it is crucial to socialize in a healthy manner. In order for ambition to lead to success, an individual must find a balance with moderation and consideration of others. Becoming blind to other’s feelings in an attempt to advance yourself can ultimately lead to failure rather than success. Through my own experiences I have witnessed first hand how ambition can be a good trait, and in contrast I have also seen the detrimental impacts of trying to reach too many goals as well as goals that are not your own. When pursuing ambitions, self doubts and insecurities can be reflected when it becomes a desire to please others. Without a doubt, ambition is an helpful trait to have, but only if you understand the purpose of what exactly is driving you to achieve your particular goal.
People do things they normally wouldn’t because they get so wrapped up in attaining their end goal that they lose sight of anyone or anything around them. For example, throughout my life I have always had a grasp on my academic, physical and social wellbeing. I have always kept myself busy with sports, work, school and friends. In grade 11 and 12 I noticed that I had began to struggle with finding a balance between all of these things as my understanding of myself seemed like it was dissolving. I really enjoy socializing with my friends and hanging out after school and on weekends with them, and I figured that there was a major problem in trying to find time for friends, my studies and exercise.
As I am a very ambitious person, I was falling into a great depression as my grades were dropping and I couldn’t keep up with the expectations that my parents had. I realized that I needed to make a change as I have high aspirations to achieve my goals in post secondary school and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to attain this If I kept living without balance. I quit my sports so that I could become more focused academically while still being able to keep my job. I thought that this decision would have helped me, but I didn’t take into account how lonely it would make me feel. I felt isolated because even though I had no more distractions from getting my work done, I was constantly self-loathing and did not understand why. It was important for me that this came to my attention because I was able to change my ways in controlling my thoughts, knowing it’s absolutely necessary to know when it’s time to get your work done, and when it’s okay to socialize and relax.
I also realized the importance of setting my own goals instead of always trying to please others. When trying to achieve success, it is extremely important that an individual is able to find a balance between their desires and aspirations, and it is also important for them to ensure that their goals are their own. If they lose track of what they are trying to attain they may lose track of who they truly are.
Ambition gives our lives meaning; it’s what pushes us to complete tasks, take on new challenges and to excel at certain things. One can only do better if they aspire to do so. In order to keep our ambitions from getting out of hand, we must ask ourselves if our goals we set out for ourselves are fueled by something that makes us better and not just for improving our reputations or trying to please others.
In the excerpt from “Late Nights on Air”, Gwen shows us how easy it is to become trapped in our own ambitions and become blind to our surroundings. My own experiences have shown me the importance of being able to manage your ambitions in a healthy way, and with balance, as I have seen the dangers in how it has the ability to lead to depression. Ambition is an excellent quality to have, but only if we are aware of how ourselves and others are being affected in trying to fulfill our aspirations.