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On the Road of Ambition

There are no rest stops here.

“If you have an ambition and you achieve it you haven’t had a good enough ambition!” I overheard a be-suited, well groomed middle age guy speak in a London pub. From what he was saying earlier he seemed to have been some kind of politician. He was speaking to a friend, an apparently well known film director — although I didn’t recognize him or his movies that they mentioned.

They were talking about how people laud them for their achievements but how they felt as if they hadn’t done anything yet.

“I did alright,” said the politician. “I didn’t squander what I was given. But you really exceeded your expectations.”

The film director disagreed. He said that what he accomplished wasn’t what he really wanted to do. He then mentioned the names of few more famous, even greater directors.

While these two men may have been disguising boasts with modesty, what they were saying was true.

The pursuit of an ambition is really just a search for your limits. It’s a search that cannot be satiated by success. Every step you take forward just pushes the goal farther away, each big accomplishment just produces the need for a bigger one. There isn’t an arrival point for success; it’s just a road that keeps going. The larger the victory the longer the road to the next one will be. Ambition is logarithmic.

Gamblers will keep betting until they lost it all, travelers must keep going until the end of the road, rivers don’t stop until they meet the sea. You never achieve an ambition until you can’t go on anymore — and what a sad, sad day this will be.

Filed under: England, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3563 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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