My Aim in Life
Many people seem to have no definite aim in life. They are like ships without rudder or compass, sailing to no definite port, blown hither and thither with every change of wind. They live an aimless life ; and what they do, and what they become, is largely a matter of chance, determined by the circumstances in which they happen to be placed. Such people, because they aim at nothing, achieve nothing. They are human driftwood, washed about by the ebb and flow of the tides.
To make anything of life, a man must have a definite aim of some sort. A man striving to realize a clearly defined ideal is like a steamship steaming by compass to a known destination. It does not depend on the wind, but forges ahead by its own innate energy, in the teeth of wind and wave. Such a man sees before him what he is aiming at, and his determination to attain it carries him forward whatever obstacles may stand in his path ; for “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.
An ideal is something desirable which we seek to achieve. It is always something beyond our present attainment ; for when we realize it, it ceases to be an ideal. Because it is beyond us, and because we greatly desire it, our aim in life, whatever it be, rouses us to put forth effort to reach it. A man, who wants to reach the mountain top, climbs.
Different people have different aims in life. Some aim at wealth, some at power, some at fame, some at business success, some at scholarship and the possession of knowledge. An artist has before his mind a standard of excellence in his art ; a statesman aims at carrying through great schemes for his country’s advancement ; a devout man has before him a high ideal of goodness, and will not be satisfied till he attains it.
But if it is so necessary to have some aim in life, it is still more necessary to see that one’s aim, one’s ideal, is noble and good. For the more earnestly we strive to attain our aim, the more surely shall we realize it. In all cases the ideal a man sets before himself determines the sort of life he will live, and the sort of man he will be. If the ideal be noble, he will become noble ; if it be base, he will become base.