Ambition

There are many philosophies that treat drive, ambition, obsession, or the desire for success as a vice. The issue isn't the desired outcome itself, typically these other systems are trying to caution us against greed. There may also be some underlying thing driving us to want a specific outcome, and so fixing the ailment becomes preferable to tackling the symptom. For example, if someone's overwhelming desire was to become famous, we might question the reasoning. Do they need attention? Love? What is going on that they cannot live without this thing? People will justify their goals in a number of different ways, and like anything else, we accept some of these justifications more easily than others. Perhaps someone wants to be more famous because it will help them accomplish more charity. Most people would find this more acceptable than someone who wanted to be famous because they were addicted to the attention.

With that being said, what does Loricism say about ambition? First, Loricism's primary function is to help each individual realize the life they want in a way that doesn't interfere with someone else's attempt to do the same. It sounds very libertarian, but don't assume we don't incorporate society and others into the mix. We start with the individual simply because one the primary reasons for people failing to realize their dreams is that they don't believe they can. So our first priority is giving people the gift of knowing that their goals are possible. Second, people fail because they don't take charge of their destiny. They leave it to circumstance or to the opinions of others, so we give them the gift of assuming command. The next step is to give them the tools by which they can achieve the thing they desire. Persistence, discipline, etc.

Consider it a spectrum that lies between complete lack of confidence and complete overconfidence. Loricism's main focus is on helping people achieve a balance between the two. We don't want to focus only on one or the other, and simply telling people "ambition is bad" or "wealth is bad" would be a disservice. It carries no nuance. It's like saying "power is bad" in an attempt to curtail the negative effects inherent in gaining and holding power -- it corrupts. Yet, unless we come up with a system where no one has power, the optimal solution is to maximize the character of those we put into power. Instead of avoiding the extreme altogether, we build the person up so they are able to handle it. There are people who can drink in moderation, gamble in moderation, be around beautiful people without being overwhelmed by sexual desire.

Moderation. Figure out where you fall on the spectrum. Do you need more confidence to achieve your dreams? Work on that. Are you ambitious and have already achieved success? Work on being more grounded.

Lastly, some other systems choose to focus their attention on what is within our control. This is well and good, philosophically, but it is easy to misunderstand these things and slip into despair. "It's beyond my control, so why bother." This is the attitude we seek to avoid in Loricism. While technically, achieving your dreams is beyond your control (accounting for external factors), Loricism teaches that what is in your control are your thoughts and your choices. It is possible to maximize your odds of success through your thoughts and actions, so we would rather have you believe anything is possible than to get hung up on technicalities. It will serve you better, just be prepared for disappointment.