THE BLOG

Can Spirituality And Ambition Coexist?

05/08/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"To be successful you need the desire to be successful. Ambition can be a dirty word, but it's pretty much more important than anything."

- Natalie Portman

In a world saturated by positive thinking and spiritual gurus, religious dogmas, moms and dads and many threatened by others' success, the word ambition has gotten a bad rap. In fact, the word Ego has become synonymous with words like Devil, Hate, Bad, Wrong and the like. Our aversion and misunderstanding of ambition and the ego is leading to a disturbance in The Force.

I think it's vastly important to work on yourself everyday. My mom always told me that no matter how old I get I will always be a student of life, and she is 100 percent right. But what I've been noticing a lot lately is that in our endeavor to better ourselves, to positively think our way into a better life and to live up to our Highest Potentials we've gotten a little sidetracked.

Carl Jung said it best, "Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious."

So why do so many on The Path have an aversion to Ambition and Ego? It's common to say that EGO stands for "Edging God Out", but I wholeheartedly disagree. Ambition is seen as the doom of enlightenment, a trait reserved for politicians, bankers and oil tycoons. But our creator (insert said deity name here), created us with an ego and with ambitions. So the subtext of demonizing these parts of ourselves is to say that there is a flaw in our design.

I don't think so. I think the human being is a perfect creation. But as the driver of your own life, it's vital that you learn how to steer yourself properly.

Per Merriam-Webster, ambition can be defined as "an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power"." So, if you're like me and on The Path you might take a first glace at this and think, "no, that's NOT me!" But I say look a little closer.

All of life is a form of managing our power. If we don't manage our power properly we end up in toxic relationships, ill health, poverty and even worse -- living in a constant state of fear.

But if we manage our power and step into our greatness (which Marianne Williamson reminded us is our "birthright"), then on some level there is a desire and almost need for us to have power, rank and fame in our lives.

I think we need to look deeper at ambition and come out and admit that we have goals, desires and things we want in our lives. It's true we live in an abundant universe and that we ourselves are abundant, so knowing this, its only natural for us to want to experience abundance in our lives.

Giving up everything and dedicating your life to a certain monastic way of life might be one way to find this inner abundance, but this article isn't for those people. This article is for the house holders of the world, whose job it is to live in the world, but not be of it.

For us, we all have ambitions -- for love, a home, a family, a successful career, enough money to not just survive, but THRIVE! These desires are completely natural, okay and are something that you should have, even if you are on a spiritual path.

Each and every one of us was born with a seed, a gift, a potential within us. We were each born with this gift in our heart of hearts and it's our strong desire to birth this gift from our heart, give it full expression, have it be seen and recognized by others and to be compensated for this gift. Each of us knows that this is the life we really should be living.

The ambition of our hearts is calling us to express it. We need an ego to form an identity and to manifest our ideas. The trick is to not let the tail wag the dog. When the Ego is a Servant of the Heart, THEN there will be balance, prosperity and proper manifestation.

When we finally accept our ambitions as gifts from beyond and claim our right to manifest these ambitions that's when the real magic happens. What would have happened if your role models hadn't had ambition on some level? They would have never manifested and been passive observers of life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a strong desire to express yourself, to be validated from it by your peers and to have enough power in your life to manifest abundance.

If we can take Carl Jung's advice and look into our darkness, release our judgments of these sides of ourselves and give them expression life will finally be in balance. Embrace the ambitions of your heart, give yourself permission to shine, love your Ego and watch what happens!