Success for the Unambitious: A (Slightly) Tongue-In-Cheek Guide!

As regulars to these pages might recall, I have periodically referred to myself as alternately "lazy" or as a "Creative Slacker."

To be honest, neither of those are particularly accurate; what is accurate is that I tend to lack the sort of ambition and drive that seems to propel the vast majority of the world forward. You could say that the usual "motivational carrots" that typically get a rise out of people hold little attraction or interest for me.


I also never bought into the piece of "motivational wisdom" that my ostensible "problem" is simply that I have not yet discovered the thing I am truly passionate about.

The whole thing is actually rather ironic because I was both raised and educated to become a so-called "Captain of Industry," a moniker I actually never aspired to... or had any interest in. However, other people such as my family of origin and spouses seemed to have a lot of interest in it, on my behalf.


The few people who have actually taken the time to sincerely sit with me as we explored this particular sideways twist of of my nature did come away with a slightly changed perspective on the entire idea of life and how we fit within it. Not that I think myself special or anything; I just tend to be more "self-referencing" than "other-referencing."

"But don't you want to travel and see the world?"

Not particularly. I've already seen many parts of the world and there are very few places that "call" to me, in any meaningful sense.

"But what about money in the bank? Building a fortune?"

Save me! I don't want the attendant responsibility! Money is merely a means to buy a minimal measure of security. Security does matter slightly, to me. I want to have a life in which the cost of my shelter, food and life basics (electricity, phone, internet, medical care) are covered without my having to worry about it. That, to me, is "wealth."

"Surely you have a 'if money were no object' dream car, right?"

Nah, I don't. For me, a "dream" car is paid for, reliable, economical and gets me from point A to point B with a minimum of worry. I wouldn't mind having a truck or compact SUV because we like to go camping.


"But don't you want to be admired and seen as successful in your community?"

Honestly, I'd rather be seen as kind, and helpful; maybe even wise. The whole obsession with power and influence was always a mystery to me.

"Haven't you ever wanted to live the life of luxury?"


Nope. Too pretentious. Too... inflated. Too many... wasted resources.

Truthfully, I somewhat grew up with it, and let me assure you that it's not "the answer" to anything. One of the "lessons" I got from my parents is that when you're rich and powerful everybody WANTS something from you... I'd rather be able to trust the intentions of the people I choose to call friends.

Not that the rest of the world is necessarily pure as the driven snow!

On Having "Enough..."

A while back, a young friend of ours came from a visit, and to help with some art photography.

He'd spent a few years in South-East Asia helping a friend of his establish a chain of hotels. He related how everything had gone really well, but they just didn't seem able to hold onto go employees. And they paid them very well; almost three times the typical local salary.

They liked their jobs, worked hard, were loyal and honest... yet after six months to a year they'd suddenly quit. It didn't make any sense.

The "problem," as it turned out, was that after 6-12 months they'd earned the equivalent of a year or more's living expenses, so they'd just stop working and go home to do whatever they wanted.


They didn't care about "careers" or building a fortune, they just wanted comfortable lives.

As Michael told this story, I realized that they reason I have so often felt out of step with the world is precisely that I am just looking for a comfortable life. And, as soon as I have some "cushion" I tend to just stop working until I am out of money again.

Earlier today, I realized how little separates me from this approach: Since yesterday's blog post is doing "rather well," I almost chose to blow off writing one today.

Then I reminded myself that I write because I enjoy writing, not because it is a "job."

And — for the moment — I have my "version" of success.

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!

How about YOU? Are you an ambitious go-getter? Or more of a go with the flow type of person? How would you describe your ambition level? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!


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Created at 20211006 23:48 PDT


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