William James once said: “The deepest urge in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” John Dewey called it “the desire to be important”. Either way, both men elucidate the root cause of human ambitions. Unfulfilled ambitions may spell doom, but, at the same time, success at meeting ones goal can be blissful.

During my schooldays, inspired by my favourite novelists, I was eager to hit it off as a fiction writer. I have won prizes for my literary efforts as well. But I began to falter on other fronts. Though I always aspired to top my class, I never could. My determination ensured good grades in exams, but the rewards were infinitesimal compared to the mental anguish I had to go through at the time of our results.

And isn’t it amazing that as soon as we fulfil an ambition, another one pops up in our heads? But a series of disappointments may finally lay to rest all our big dreams.

Early on, I was worried about the demands I placed on myself. But I need not have for I have been achieving one dream after another. The great achievers of the days gone by have inspired me to persevere in the face of sternest of challenges.

It was their earnest desire to feel important that inspired Dickens to pen his immortal novels, Rockefeller to amass millions that he never spent and Columbus to discover America. Similarly, many scientific breakthroughs would not have been possible were not the scientists very ambitious.

Being ambitious, I discover, only helps one to achieve more in life, provided one is determined enough to realise his dreams. However, one should always keep in mind that failure to realise ones dreams can sometimes cause a lot of trouble. Unfulfilled desires have even led people to insanity. It is hence important to know ones limitations and keep his dreams within the bounds of his capabilities.

I cannot help but agree with Logan Pearsall Smith, who says: “There are two things to aim at in life: First to get what you want and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieves the second.”

Let us continue to dream but be realistic about our limitations. Let us first savour the fruits of our earnest efforts before chasing after another dream.