Scapegoating time past
The more I meditate on the question of what drives deeply ambitious people, the more the pattern of competition with oneself appears.
I know some severely ambitious people, and the ones with the most ‘drive’ are those who take cues from themselves mostly, rather than from their peers, their parents, etc.
Killing the old
When the marginally ambitious person arrives at a mile-marker, there is a moment of celebration, and at some point, the next milestone is planned for and life goes on.
This makes sense, as opposed to, say, resting on one’s laurels for the rest of one’s days, like some high school football-star living in eternal bliss from that one big play he made that won the ‘big game’ thirty years prior.
But the deeply ambitious act quite differently. Rather than hold the wins of the past fondly, they kill these accolades by downplaying them wholesale.
They scapegoat all efforts past, killing the very achievements they at one point deemed so important.
Of course, life has a certain forward motion to it. At least for those who haven’t reached an age where reflecting on the past brings more joy than to carve new adventures.
What’s to gain from hopping touchstone to touchstone always discounting the wins for what they once were?