Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Gratitude vs Ambition: Finding Balance in the Pursuit of Success

Being grateful is difficult for many of us. It demands we push everything aside and reflect on what’s going well in our lives. And that can feel scary.

It might still our appetite for greatness. Make us too feeble to chase our dreams. And perhaps even turn us into layabouts and losers. 

A very valid worry. Without dissatisfaction we have little motivation to better our lives. But focusing too much on what’s wrong might be even more worrisome. 

Thinking everything isn’t right fills us up with dread and has us frantically running from one thing to another. Without even knowing if it’s getting us closer to where we want to go. We’re simply making record time going nowhere.

To ease our panic and make better choices, we need to take stock of what matters. What does success look like to you?

There are endless ways to live a life, so it might be wise to look around for ideas. If we observe closely enough, we’ll notice that the majority of people live rather quiet and innocuous lives. And not necessarily due to their ineptitude.

Busy, prestigious lives simply come with tremendous costs. Long hours that strain close relationships, pressure to maintain an image that matches our professional status, high workloads that stress the body, and little to no time for ourselves. Most people will likely only be aware of our accomplishments rather than our personal quirks and details. 

We might be able to tell the world we’re wildly impressive, but it might not be worth the price.

We’ll, of course, never know unless we occasionally stop our fear of being a nobody from dictating our every move. 

So escape your anxieties for a moment and let your gratitude offer you some much needed perspective. It’s the only way to lead a meaningful life.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach