A Conversation with My Mother

It was the day after my birthday. I was sitting in my bedroom thinking about work. Then my mom walked in. My mom is one of the few people in the world who can have one look at my face and know that something is on my mind. So she asked me what was going on…. I said I was just thinking of work stuff, and the following conversation took place:

Mom: So you’re 30. Are you happy with what you have achieved by age 30?

Me: Yeah I guess I am. Just every now and then got stress from work.

Mom: Of course you have stress from work. You chose to be an entrepreneur. Everyone has stress but an entrepreneur’s stress is different from that of a professional. But you have so much to be thankful for so don’t worry about having to deal with whatever stress you have.

Me: Yeah I guess.

Mom: You know you’re really lucky to have what you have today. You have a good business, a great family and good health. What more can you ask for in life?

Me: Maybe to be a billionaire someday?

Mom: No… don’t think like that.

Me: Why not? Isn’t it good to be ambitious?

Mom: Society expects us to be ambitious and never stop trying to get bigger and bigger from whatever we have achieved this far. But that’s wrong… there must be a limit somewhere. There is an optimum amount of ambition needed in each of us. Anything beyond that is bad because then you will never be happy no matter what you achieve. You will always keep trying to do more and more and when you can’t, you get disappointed in yourself. Why do we have to always be ambitious? Why can’t we just be happy?

As I sat on my bed that night I pondered upon the wisdom my mom had parted unto me. That yes it’s good to be ambitious but being ambitious means never being satisfied of where you are and always looking to achieve more. If we’re always ambitious… then will we never be satisfied? And if we will never be satisfied … then will we never be happy?

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