It’s the race of death. Before death, I need for myself a house, 3 cars, a growing business. I am racing. The clock is called death. It is ticking. And in this clock lies my ambition. My ambition is a race against time. There can be only 2 outcomes – whether time wins, or I win. If I win, my ambition is achieved before death comes. Thereafter, death will follow. All our worldly achievements will suddenly appear meaningless. This is called the vanity of achievement. We feel proud of what we achieve. But it’s value in universal terms is zero. It’s simple vanity.
It’s not vain to strive to achieve. It’s virtue. In our few days on this planet, to work towards goals is good. It puts our mental facilities to good use. But let us not feel to attached to our ambition. Because attachment to ambition is obsession. Treat your ambition like a simple hobby, enjoy it with playfulness, even the serious discussions don’t carry the burden and tension of failure. Because it is inherently detached. Have you heard of detached ambition ? Because when we talk of ambition, we talk of passion.
Detachment to ambition destroys the vanity of achievement. Because achievement was never the pure end. It was only a mere byproduct arising out of the joyful, and playful moments in our work. Playfulness in work does not mean jokes, and distractions. It includes serious work which is free in spirit, without the baggage or worry of failure. It strives towards achievement but it is without the partnership with vanity. This achievement rests easily, it is without pride, arrogance, because in the end this achiever simply says, “my achievement is not mine, it is His, because I am created, all achievements belong to the Creator”. Through the belief in this statement he has destroyed the vanity of achievement, and is able to enjoy the detached fragrance of being praised. He knows nothing belonged to him anyway. He rests in peace without the pressure to protect his achievement. Because he never achieved anything in his mind. The world applauded, he merely gave a nod, knowing very well that he was the lucky guy whose face was put in front of the camera.