It is a Saturday night and I’m watching a documentary about former professional road cycling racer Lance Armstrong, whose well-publicized cycling career was fueled by drugs and lies. So, it got me thinking about what lengths I would go to to achieve what I want in my own life, and to ask the question: how much ambition is too much?
When it comes to ambition, New Zealanders are a nation of people who are quietly confident. We still prefer our celebrities and Olympic sporting heroes to be devoid of any trace of arrogance, and we respect them more for just getting on with the job. But there are always those who are prepared to do anything to get what they want.
A situation comes to mind from my time spent at drama school. One exercise involved lining up on one side of the room and having to make our way to the other (I can’t remember the minor details), except that one person stood out to me from that point on. This person was hungry— I would even go as far as to say, ravenous with a frothing-at-mouth, ‘pit bull with rabies’ kind of desire! It was not only the fire in their eyes, but their elbows thrusting forcibly back and forth to push anyone (who dared to inch forward), out-of-the-way that indicated their true, unashamed drive and ambition. So too on that day, I came to the realisation that I didn’t want what that person had to have, as they physically shoved and walked over other people to get what they wanted. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just not my style. There’s an issue of ‘culture’ that comes into play too, and having been brought up in a New Zealand-Chinese family, I was always told that even if you want something you should always step aside and offer it to others first, whether it be food on the table or opportunities that come your way. I can see the reasoning, but it’s also problematic and isn’t conducive to moving forward in a world where showing ambition is a sign of being interested and eager, rather than complacent or reticent. Needless to say, within my current career I have not been shy about addressing what I want, but never to the detriment of others.
The long and short of my great lengths story really comes down to the fact that I’ve been wearing longer lengths and more trousers lately. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with becoming a mother, but I almost feel uncomfortable baring my legs these days, whereas before I was pregnant I ran around in mini skirts without a second thought. It also appears that I should never head to the tailor after trying on my new trousers in the dark the night before (which I also did without shoes on!). Sigh. I’ll put this one down to sleep deprivation and a teething baby! So yeah, I think it’s another trip to the tailor to magically lengthen my new trousers before they make another outing!
Thanks for dropping by!