Money and Success

AMBITION Is Not A Dirty Word

Dr. Debra Condren


The late, existential psychologist Rollo May wrote, in The Courage To Create, “Courage is not the absence of periodic despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.” This is a particularly compelling notion today, when so many young people, who have recently graduated from college and are trying to craft a career, are having not only great difficulty finding a job, but are having great difficulty envisioning creating a meaningful, inspiring career, given what’s going on in today’s tough economic environment and brutal job market. The same struggle is occurring for many professionals who have lost their jobs, as well as for those who are employed but are dying to make a career transition. Periodic despair threatens to chip away at our optimism and test the courage it takes to stay true to our own ambitious visions. Rollo May also wrote, “Nor is the courage to create mere stubbornness. We shall surely have to create with others. But if you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also you will have betrayed our community in failing to make your contribution to the whole.” My guest, Greg Cahill, explores with me the courage to create, including: What is the courage to create? How do we nurture it in ourselves and in our children? How do we use the courage to create to craft the career path of our dreams? How do young people keep creative courage in today’s environment? How do older professionals who are dying to make a career transition do that? How do people who have lost their jobs keep their courage to create a meaningful career? Greg Cahill certainly understands the courage to create. He is the editorial director of Strings Magazine, the only publication in the U.S. for violinists, violists, cellists, fiddlers and all bowed string instrument players. Greg Cahill is also a freelance journalist for The Absolute Sound and The Pacific Sun; he’s covered arts and entertainment for Gannett News Service; and he has worked extensively as an investigative reporter. Greg is also a film critic and has written program notes for the Mill Valley Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Festival. Finally, he is a musician in his right. Join us for a fascinating discussion about what is takes to have the courage to create today – and how to use that courage to create your own inspiring career path, find your own niche, build an enduring personal brand, listen to your own being — and make the contribution you were born to make. Having the courage to create means that we don’t have to be swept along by fate, the markets, our bosses, or our personal relationships because we always have our ambitious vision – and the courage to create and stay that true course.