A few weeks ago Ann offered contentment as an intention for CPY2 class, and encouraged us to try new poses even as we focused on being content with where we found ourselves in our yoga practice that day. That got me thinking about the tension between contentment and ambition and wondering if you can be both content and ambitious at the same time.
Balancing Contentment With Ambition
If contentment and ambition were on a sliding scale, I’d put myself on the content end. That may seem odd coming from a type A over-achiever, but I am driven more by a desire to do my best rather than striving to achieve specific goals. I actually am pretty bad at goal setting, although I think some of that has to do with fear of failure.
The tension between contentment and ambition comes up with weight loss goals. Experts say that you should love yourself as you are, but can you really embark on big lifestyle changes without desperately wanting something different? I think it would be much easier to take a leap and change careers if I were unhappy at my job than to leave a position where I was content. And we’ve all heard stories of people who overcame alcoholism and drug addiction only after hitting rock bottom.
How do you motivate yourself to make sacrifices to reach a goal when you are content where you are? I am content with my race paces (and with my not-quite-race-paces) and not willing to do tempo runs or track workouts to get faster. I am not content with my lingering plantar fasciitis, so I am willing to dedicate more time to more treatment and stretching and foam rolling in earnest.
On the other hand, I am content with my yoga practice where it is, but still look forward to advancing. I am content not being able to do a headstand, but would not be content if I couldn’t keep trying. I don’t have an ambition to stand on my head with my legs straight up in the air, but I am willing to work towards it and see if I can make it happen.
Today’s Wednesday Word is content.
Check out Deb’s link up and see if others are feeling content today.
Do you think you can be both content and ambitious?