"AMBITION" - OXFORD DICTIONARY MEANING- "STRONG DESIRE TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING".
"Achieve something", are the key words I try and pay attention to, my prime intent behind writing this down is because someone somewhere once shook my idea and meaning of ambition. "Tell me how much money you see yourself earning and I will tell you how ambitious you are?"Startled not only by the question , but also by the fact that I'd never really seen myself in monetary terms but rather a position. Now what that position would cost by the time I acquired it, was something I hadn't given a thought to. So, yes the question surprised me, I tried to catch hold of a rough figure running in my head and handed it out as the answer. I don't know how much I scored on the "ambition scoreboard", but the question still reverberates in my head. After almost a year I go back to it.
Now some concrete examples to debunk the statement that has revoked me to write this down. So a person running an N.G.O, extremely passionate about a cause and doing the world hell lotta good is obviously not more ambitious than say a ramp model , who barely finished graduation but yes is earning plenty of money. Also a girl I know of, who presently happens to be a coveted Rhode Scholar at the Oxford University doing her PH.D on Gujarat riots is the most ambitious I know till now. She wanted to be in that university since 10th std and she made it. She makes extra money by giving tuitions on campus, but she loves what she is doing and fulfilling her very rich dream. I am sure there are many, earning more than her but finding no satisfaction in what they do. Let me stretch it a bit further, Mahatma Gandhi, according to the new monetary trend was then obviously the most un-ambitious of the lot and so was Nelson Mandela, since they lived a life of penury.
My point being, in today's world, yes wealth is important. But how can one take that as the only barometer for Ambition, how can one decide who wishes to achieve what only by knowing how much one is earning.
Yes money = power, but sometimes even your work which evaluates to no wealth can make you ambitious. I can give countless examples of people doing fascinating things, driven by passion and ambition they are succeeding in their own right and bringing about a change far greater than what money can buy.
So yes, I would want my dear friend who made that statement to re-think the clause. Ambition isn't solely about how much money you will make, it's about how driven you are, it's about not caring about the money on certain occasions and just going with great impetus, it's about leaving a mark and doing something .