Lack Of Ambition And A Sense Of Entitlement

trophy.jpgRegarding the Mercury, Mars and Saturn energy I referenced this morning (War Tactics)  I wanted to comment on the drive to learn and ambition to be the best that the soldier exemplifies. This energy is impacting the collective now in the form of the Saturn Mars conjunction in Virgo and I was thinking of something the soldier said awhile back that posted.

He stated very plainly that a person would never be more than mediocre if they did not really apply themselves… do more than the others and I heard this in another form a couple years ago when I learned (to my shock at the time) that a child with normal abilities that applies themselves will surpass a gifted child at about middle school age.

I think it’s good to hear this and to know it and I also think we have lost a lot of our ambition in this culture. As satori told me yesterday, “Everyone gets a trophy.”  We don’t want anyone to feel bad so all the kids get a trophy even if only half of them did what was asked of them and consequently we seem to have a generation of people who lack drive and have a sense of entitlement.

It’s not everybody mind you but I think this is significant. Nobody seems to want to be excellent anymore. They want to hook up with someone excellent but what about being excellent yourself?

Do you have a drive to be great?

27 thoughts on “Lack Of Ambition And A Sense Of Entitlement”

  1. yes, but i have a drive to not be beaten on because i’m embarassing everyone else, too.
    and i can’t seem to keep my mouth shut when i cone across arbitrary and meaningless rules, which doesn’t endear me so much… or maybe that’s my unwillingness to blow smoke at authority figures any more. i think competence should speak for itself.

    but it often doesn’t. particularly with insecure people.

  2. I always strive to be the absolute best at what I do. If there are expectations to be met, I will kill myself to exceed them. But then, I am not part of the current generation…I have Saturn conjunct Mars, too…don’t know if that makes a difference or not

  3. My drive to be great and excel and do awesome things is inversely proportional to how psychologically (and physically) healthy I am. When I’m an utter mess, all I have are delusions of grandeur.

    When I’m exercising and taking care of myself, I’m okay to just be me. This is rare, so I seek it out a lot.

    I have no understanding whatsoever of people who have no ambition. I admit that I envy them sometimes, though. My ambition comes from somewhere dark, and it doesn’t have my best interests at heart. (Even when I’m healthy I have to quash little thoughts that pop up and say, “I wanna be the HEALTHIEST of them ALL!”)

  4. Avatar

    I’m with ewinbee.. I can have lots of drive, but it feels as though it comes from a neurotic place. I often wonder if driven pple can also be happy. Happiness and drive seem to be incompatible to me….?

  5. I totally agree with satori. I don’t think it’s that nobody wants to be excellent it’s that we’ve created this belief that everyone IS special or excellent in some way. An example would be the use of the word ‘genius’. If someone does anything even remotely smart or interesting they are labeled a genius and worse, children who do well in school are called geniuses when in fact, maybe they’re just intelligent. So people think they have achieved excellence when really they’ve done nothing special at all.

    There are a lot of books being published in recent years about this phenomenon as Gen Yers like me who grew up with this PC, don’t hurt anyone’s feelings mentality, enter adulthood and start entering the workforce. A good one I recommend is “Generation Me” which talks a lot about the good and the bad of such a philosophy. I remember reading that some companies are having to hire “confidence experts” or hold workshops to help younger people adapt to a Real World atmosphere where, no, sorry, you don’t get rewarded for mediocrity. However, on the other hand, people my age are more creative and ambitious and outgoing than any other generation. We also suffer from crippling self-esteem issues. It’s all so complicated but I find it fascinating….

    In other words, no, I am not driven to excellence.

  6. I have drive and ambition but it is not constant. Sometimes I push it and sometimes I coast.

    I had an interesting thought about goals this weekend. Someone told me about one of their goals and it not only sounded over the top, but I could not see the point of it. I didn’t say anything but I asked myself Why? Why do you want this? And it reminded me of when my girls were small and they used to ask why. I would offer an explanation and they would ask why again. This could go on forever.

    All this has made me think about my goals in a new context, the context of why. Why do you want this? And I came up with some pretty good answers. Some of the answers may not have a lot to do with the original idea behind the goal.

    For instance, some people have to the goal to be rich. and I would ask them why. What do you want to do with the money? I don’t have a problem with people wanting to be rich. But in the truest sense it is not really a goal is it? What would you do with the money? Why? How would that make you feel? Why? Then what would you do? Why?

  7. I have drive and ambition but it’s not normal drive and ambition. when I was eight I wanted to grow up to be a horse. I was devastated when I found out that wasn’t possible (I KNOW, eight. old, right?).

    most of my drive centers around relationships and getting laid (getting/keeping a relationship cos it’s nice and so I can laid). I suspect even my extreme interest and drive to learn astrology centers on that as well. seriously. I want to be a Great Partner.

    I have a drive to Do The Right Thing and I’d like to make enough money to be able to sit around and do nothing in a hot tub a bunch. I also want a boat. a boat with cushy seats for getting laid. ::smirk::

    if everyone’s special then NO ONE is special. Fight Club– I think that was the point of the movie. I think I’m special whether I try or not, but then I don’t expect anyone else will value my specialness just for existing. that’s just me. I know if I want other people to think I’m special I have to put in the effort.

  8. I’ve heard of the Gen Y’s being this way, but they weren’t born with this attitude. Their teachers and parents were of the prior generation. I work with a bunch of boomers who complain about ‘kids nowadays’ but these are THEIR kids. It’s funny how people attribute an attitude to a younger generation when the influence they have are from their friends/family/etc who coddled them and gave them self help books telling them how great they are no matter what.

    Maybe the baby boomers worked hard and coddled their kids so they wouldn’t have it as hard as them? Also sacrificing some semblance of normalcy: sometimes your good at things, sometimes you suck.

    Sorry if this comes across as harsh, but I hear this complaint all the time from the boomer generation about the younger people we hire.

    1. Avatar
      Hildegard's Noviciate

      actually alot of boomers had millennials. I’m a boomer and my son is a millennial. way different generation. Pluto in Scorpio

  9. I don’t know if I have a drive to be excellent so much as I have a drive to be excellent at something *meaningful*. Make some positive impact in the world. For me, being good at what I do isn’t enough — if I excel at something (and there are many times that I do) but I don’t feel that the effort meant a hill of beans to anyone including myself, it doesn’t matter if I did it perfectly or put 110% effort into it. I’m thinking of work at the moment — I excel at my job, but I dislike the environment and feel, overall, that it doesn’t make that much of a difference in the world.
    This is one of the reasons I’m changing careers — if I’m going to put effort in and excel, damn it, it better mean something! 🙂

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    ambition yes! in spades. but not normal. it’s not ambition for money or fame. It’s just this awesome drive to do the best I can and to help. I mean heeeellllppppp people. It trips me up all the time. Not enough left over for me. Am finally in the first relationship in my life that I give some (but not all) and I get some. It’s a very delicate thing.

    I suspect my drive stems from a great insecurity. I feel as if I always have to work and help people so I’ll be accepted. I got the message very young that I didn’t have a right to a spot on this planet but that I had to EARN my spot on this planet by doing good for others. So the things I did before the age of 30 most people don’t do in a lifetime. I don’t even feel as if I accomplished those things. They were transitory. Others point to them in amazement and say “do you know how many people are dependent on or helped by what you did” and I say no.. not really.. and then go back to the current project 😀 I don’t really have a concept of that as there always more…

    I will probably never help enough people in my life to be satisfied or content and I don’t relate to people who are satisfied with a regular job, house, car and a TV show at night. I just don’t get it…

    And oh yeah, mars saturn conjunct. 🙂

  11. Regarding the Gen Y attitude, the changes we see transpire throughout each generation is indicative of the concept that nurture has a great deal to do with the nature/nurture equation.

    But, what exactly are the baby boomers doing to be great? I come across a lot of middle managers doing a lot of nothing in the business world. And, in my personal world where I’m building a house, I find contractors who have no pride in their craft, yet find time to brag about the big, 10,000 square foot houses they’ve built, which are mostly crap made from cheap materials.

    So, we’ve got McMansions, SUVs, vacations in RVs, all among a world faced with political chaos, global warming, an energy crisis that most Americans have not yet comprehended (why they can’t is beyond me, maybe too much American Idol). What example is being set for our youth like Gen Y? Not defending the little buggers, but the majority of the population is not exactly being the best role model here.

    Back to the question at hand. Personally, when I have a task in front of me and it is meaningful (Pisces), I am all over it. When I can’t see the meaning or service in my work or a situation, I really struggle. It creates a huge dilemma because I know that I am capable, but my being just can’t participate at the level of excellence I prefer. No reward, bonus, or any other dangling carrot can change that for me (for this I’m thankful).

    I’ve always intuitively known this about myself, but it has taken some time to really connect the dots (thanks Elsa!).

  12. Avatar
    Little Miss Hermit

    I’m breaking new ground in my field.
    What I’m doing is driven by my desire to learn more about and make more sense of the world I’m living in, not by a desire to be “great”. If I should receive some acclaim for this, that would be nice, but it’s not important.

    I think the sense of entitlement often ascribed to my generation is exaggerated.
    “The information age” is our natural habitat (in the West, anyway). Making up one’s mind about what to do for the next 40 years and be certain that that specialization is the right one for you, has become a challenge. The options are overwhelming. I suppose if you’re not of my generation, it’s difficult to see the problem here. “Why not just become a baker or a civil engineer? It worked for your grandpa!”. Today, there are plenty of bakers and civil engineers – any education is divided into a vast array of branches. Lots of people excel in fields most people never even hear about.

    Elsa wrote:”Nobody seems to want to be excellent anymore”. I don’t know… There’s a potato coach demographic in any Western society, but it seems to me that we’re making some progress as a cultural region nevertheless. So, a lot of people must definitely be doing some excellent work:) Or did you refer to sports?
    I also think that it has become more difficult to stand out, as many have the opportunity for specialized training today.
    500 years ago an “enlightened” ruler had read 20 books or whatever, a couple on each subject;) To excel today, you have to keep your focus for decades.

  13. It’s funny – related to your prior post about the soldier and strategy. I recently had a sudden desire to up and ask my boss (who’s a former drill sergeant) about his philosophies, and so he gave me a book to read about how to be a warrior – in life and particularly in the business world.

    And one point in that book was that true leaders are great leaders because they do what they do for a cause. And what that make me think is that maybe right now there are not a lot of people striving, because they don’t have a cause to believe in. Maybe they’re too comfortable. Or maybe it’s just that our attention is pulled in a lot of directions (with internet, TV and all of the subjects presented through them). Maybe it’s that Pluto-Sag – where are beliefs are so big and “gassy” and and expanded, that they have all of the force of vapor. Maybe this will change with Pluto – Cap.

  14. Nope. Well, 90% of the time nope.

    I’d like to be great and all, but it seems like a lot of work with relatively little reward. I’d rather just be satisfied.

  15. I didn’t comment the first time you posted what the soldier said, but what he said REALLY spoke to me! I know I have the potential to do great things…I’m enthusiastic, hard-working (when I apply myself) and an eager learner. I have been getting so frustrated with school, because I am ready to be done already!! I complain that I’m moving along too slowly, but then I realized (after reading soldier’s quote), I’m not going above and beyond…so I’m basically frustrated with my own mediocrity.
    Soo….for the fall semester I am registering for 5 classes as opposed to my usual 3 or 4. It’s gonna be tough w/ the kids and all, but I’m not gonna be happy with my performance unless I push myself to the limit.
    So please thank the soldier for me, because his simple words really spoke to me!

  16. I’ve been thinking about this and I wonder what IS great or excellence? it’s pretty subjective. I’m a cosmetologist and most people like what I do. some of them refer their friends to me but some of them (very few) don’t come back. so some think I’m “great” and others, well, I don’t know what they think. I do my best with everyone. I try hard and that’s the best I can do. I’m never going to please all of the people all of the time. so am I great? to some people. can I do more than I do? not really.

    for me being great means trying hard and doing my best. for others it means having a full book. for others it means doing clients who are influential. I just know I feel good about the job I’m doing cos I give it my all, but that’s subjective too. my all does not include working when my kids need me, so to some that makes me not great. subjective.

  17. I take a different view from Elsa. I remember plenty of hard working, average people in school who could never surpass the more intelligent students who were obviously coasting. A friend of mine who is something of a pothead and a partier completed 2 BAs and 1 MA and taught as a prof despite not having a PhD yet in a reputable university – youngest in the faculty – all by the time she was 25. I’m not saying there isn’t value in hard work but not everyone has to apply themselves to the same degree as others.

    Another thing to consider – there are many talented, hard working people who will never achieve what less talented, less hard working, but more privileged people will. Where I used to work, excellence is graduating from high school (!!) b/c social/cultural/economic factors make it a real struggle whereas the average middle class Canadian will attain this goal without much effort. None of this is fair, but it’s life, says the Capricorn in me.

  18. satori- ‘most of my drive centres around relationships and getting laid’ Isn’t that the the truth!!!

  19. Satori – a very good question. Makes me think.

    I have struggled with this – I was one of those overly-motivated people as a child. Used to drive everyone nuts. I got burnt out and tired of trying to be “the best” and then later, “perfect” (which was the downgrade). At that point I just gave up altogether and kind of let my life go except for the parts that seemed critical.

    I am now re-figuring this out. I have ambition, I have said I would like to “really do something”. But I am now stuck in the netherlands between having an intuitive sense of what those statements mean and having actually formulated articulate thoughts and beliefs around it.

    I think the goal of life is to make yourself happy. That said, I guess in my current stages of figuring I don’t know how to tie that through words to excellence, except I feel that somehow there is an important relationship.

    This is pretty close to about as far as I have been able to restructure my thinking (from an email from the Chopra Center today):

    “You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.”
    – Mary Oliver

  20. I’m about as ambitious as they come. Sometimes just plain insane. It’s in my chart/nature. . . and it’s been very interesting what’s happening lately – I’m still. Often just very very still . . .

    Ambition has really allowed me to have my dreams come true, but that’s all in the ego, right?

    I mean, where’s the ambition in stillness? And stillness is just so rich.

    Anyway, somewhere in all my ambition, I can often lose the ability to feel satisfied. And what’s life without satisfaction? So one of my ambitions right now is just being regular. Just sometimes sitting on a couch with a friend or finding a good deal at shop rite-


  21. oh, Althera, I like that!

    and yeah, doublecappy, I get the being regular thing. currently one of my ambitions is to learn to do what “regular” people seem to just be able to do. for me that’s hard. I was brought up thinking I ought to cure cancer, or some such. needless to say– I burned out early.

    in one year of high school I did these things: editor of the newspaper, two choirs, lead in a play, tennis team, full load of academics, two youth groups, etc.

    I had a sort of breakdown in college. yeah, I’m sure that’s a SHOCK. I literally went catatonic.

  22. Satori – not working when my kids need me – is such a powerful statement! Descartes, Aristotle, Einstein didn’t enjoy the demands of family/domestic life. Descartes, who never married, was said to spend all morning in bed, getting 10 hours a sleep per night, enjoying his solitude. Not many of us have that luxury. Would you produce groundbreaking treatise if your time was our own?
    Astrologically – Stephen Arroyo talks about greatness in his book Astrology, Karma & Transformation. Arroyo suggets that planets in the Fire house Trine is an indicator: Ascendant, 5th house and 9th house: Vitality, Creativity and Aspiration!

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