Yes, ambition can be a a positive thing. But only if you use it for good purposes.
Ambition is a force. If you don’t believe, me, let me put it to you another way: We must use our ambition to increase not our wealth, but our being. That’s not so easy to understand, but stick with me and you’ll see what I mean.
Ambition is not a bad thing in and of itself
Having is about what we own — our clothes, our toys, our books, our CDs, our sports equipment, our money. But it is also what gives us a certain place in society: our name, our past achievements, our school degrees or sports awards, in short, our public image.
Being is what is behind it all — our intelligence, our culture, our affection (for ourselves, for others), our drive for truth, beauty, goodness, our efforts to become better, our love for the Lord who expects something from us.
Our natural ambition, an innate part of our being, indeed forms part of our character and can lead us towards having (wanting to earn a lot of money, wanting to become world champions …), ortowards being (for example, wanting to overcome the jealousy we feel towards a friend).
And the two aspects are often found together: we want to increase what we have in order to develop who we are. For example: we want to learn a new, difficult language (we will have a rather unique certification) to be able to work almost for free with the people who speak this language (our being will blossom in the generous gift of ourselves). Thus, ambition is not bad in and of itself. It becomes bad when it is debased into greed (in the primary character) where the aim is to accumulate more and more goods, or into covetousness (in the secondary character) where there is no motive to give or share.