Late Nights on the Air and Being Trapped in Your Own Ambitions

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Ambition is an extremely powerful force that has the ability to take over an individual’s life without the correct comprehension of how to experience it in proper moderation. In the excerpt from, “Late Nights on the Air” written by Elizabeth Hays, Hays demonstrates the issues that can surface when ambition can become a problem. In this excerpt, Gwen became captured in the trap of her own ambition which ultimately led her to become out of touch with reality, becoming blind to her impact she has on others and herself.

My own particular experiences have shown me how strenuous a high measure of ambition can impact myself in all different domains of life. Ambition can push individuals to extraordinary status, however many individuals don’t set aside the opportunity to comprehend its meaning and get caught up in their own expectations. Frequently, ambition can get out of hand to the point where it will work to push others away, causing the individual to lose touch of reality with a distorted view of what is important to them. In, “Late Nights on the Air” there are two radio hosts being hired in Yellowknife. Out of the two, Gwen is the ambitious one but she is also completely oblivious to how her ambitions are making an impact on everyone else around her. Remarks such as “She’s so judgmental” and “But compared to you she’s inexperienced and unsure of herself. She’s shy.”

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From the excerpt show us that due to her desires to become as great as her mentor, Abe Lamont, Gwen has transformed into someone that she’s not which has made her viscous and snarky to her fellow coworkers. Gwen realizes that the choices she has been making haven’t been the smartest after she feels hurt listening to her coworkers talk behind her back. Gwen must realize that pursuing her ambitions in a way that is harmful to others can actually destroy her dreams, rather than help her achieve these goals. Gwen must find a balance between work and play, so she can see that it is crucial to socialize in a healthy manner in order to achieve success in a workplace. In order for ambition to lead to success, an individual must find a balance with moderation and consideration to others, rather than becoming blind because that can lead to failure rather than success.

In my own experience, I have seen firsthand how ambition can be a good trait, but also the detrimental impacts of being overly ambitious. Ambition can reflect on an individual’s self-doubts they could be experiencing, without a stretch, where their ambition becomes not an impulse to reach a goal, instead an impulse to please others. Without a doubt, ambition is a helpful trait to have, but only if you understand the purpose of it to see what exactly is truly driving you to achieve the particular goal. Sometimes, as humans, we can mistake ambition for sabotage. When an individual sees something they want so badly, sometimes nothing can stand in the way in order to achieve that certain goal. People do things that they normally wouldn't because they get so wrapped up in this idea that they lose consideration for anyone or anything around them. For example, in my life I have always had a grasp on my academic, physical and social skills.

Throughout my whole life, I have always kept myself busy with sports, work, school and friends. In grade 11 and 12 I noticed that I had begun to struggle with finding a balance between all of these things as my understanding of myself seemed like it was dissolving. I really enjoy myself when I’m socializing with my friends, often hanging out after school and on weekends. I figured that there was a major problem in trying to find time for friends, my studies and exercise. As I am a very ambitious person, I was falling into a great depression as my grades were dropping and I couldn’t keep up with the expectations that my parents had. I realized that I needed to make a change as I have high aspirations to achieve my goals in post-secondary school and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to attain this If I kept living the way I have been my whole life. I quit my sports so that I could become more focused academically while still being able to keep my job as I believed that was very important as well. I thought that this decision would have helped me, but I didn’t take into account how lonely it would make me feel. I felt isolated because even though I had no more distractions from getting my work done, I was constantly self-loathing. It was important for me that this came to my attention because I was able to change my ways in controlling my thoughts, knowing it’s absolutely necessary to know when it’s time to get your work done, and when it’s okay to socialize and relax.

When trying to achieve success, it is extremely important that an individual is able to find a balance between their desires and aspirations, and who they truly are, or else it could cause them to lose track of their life. Ambition is a fine thing; it’s what pushes us to complete tasks, take on new challenges and to excel at certain things. In order to keep our ambitions from getting ugly, we must ask ourselves if our ambition is fueled by something that lasts beyond ourselves but not for our reputations. In the excerpt from “Late Nights on Air” Gwen shows us how easy it is to become trapped in our own ambitions and become blind to our surroundings. My own experiences have shown me the importance of being able to manage your ambitions in a healthy way as I have seen the dangers in how it has the ability to lead to depression and other dangers. Ambition is an excellent quality to have, but only if we are aware of how ourselves and others are being affected.

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