What is the difference between Ambition and Discontentment?


Ancient scripture says to be content with what you have and be content in all things. But this causes a internal struggle personally for anyone who has ambition to have more or even become more than they already are. So is it justified to feel guilty about being ambitious? If you want more are you discontent?

Well I think defining the two will help clear the air.


  • dissatisfied
  • restless
  • malcontent
  • unhappy because you crave more
  • thinks happiness is dependent of achievement
  • a sense of grievance
  • an unquenched longing


  • a strong desire to accomplish something
  • typically requiring determination or hard work
  • a drive for success

If you have ambition it doesn’t nessecarrly mean you are discontent. Rather discontentment normally stems from external forces not satisfying the internal needs of a person.  A person who is discontent is relying heavily on external needs being met in order to be happy.

Ambition is being happy with what you have in pursue of what you want. Ambition is when your internal needs are satisfied while you try to achieve external goals. So can someone be ambitious without being considered discontent? Of course they can! And they can do it without guilt.


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4 thoughts on “What is the difference between Ambition and Discontentment?

  1. Jalon Scott says:

    This provides great clarity. I often find myself extremely discontent as I associate my happiness with personal achievements. When others ask why I’m so hard on myself, I always reply, “I’m just ambitious.” It’s interesting to understand that contentment and ambition can coexist in their proper context.

  2. Okay, I like this – I totally get this! It’s not always easy to balance being happy with wanting to improve, but I like this, I can be content and happy and thankful for where I am in my journey and still be working towards improvement! Thank you!

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