Ambition and Success

Ambition and Success by Orison Swett Marden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a notion I have come to hear of recently in that there are very rarely any’ new’ ideas anymore. That all the ideas we so firmly believe in and know to be true have already been written and expressed in the wisdom of those who lived long ago. ‘New’ ideas are merely contemporary interpretations of those same principles, helpful but often ultimately unnecessary.

This is a book that makes me agree somewhat with the sentiment. 

This isn’t to say that the usual books of this kind are worthless, but that this book is a masterpiece which seems to speak directly to the reader. Don’t let the short length of the book fool you, on almost every page you will find thoughts and ideas worth taking the time to internalise. Swett Marden seems to be a master at this.

Marden proposes the idea that no matter what our circumstances, it is the amount of ambition and desire for wholesome success that is determinate in an individual’s life trajectory. He says that not only is ambition vital, but it is intrinsic to our human existence. Much like the seed that pushes against the encompassing soil and up towards the light, or the caterpillar that achieves its higher state as a butterfly, the desire to better ourselves and to push ever upwards in innate in us all. 

Some people are left restless until they achieve what was written in their Destiny, while others may abandon their dreams because they do not trust themselves. Others even still may strive but will not achieve any beneficial result due to the fact that their ends are anything but noble.

So not only is it upon us to strive for success, but we must define our success less in terms of material wealth and more in terms of our characters.

All in all, a fascinating book. One in which I ended up taking proportionally more highlights in than many similar, longer books.

Short, succinct and full of nutrients for both the mind and soul.

Don’t miss this masterpiece.

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