From times immemorial a lot of people have mistaken used the words vision and ambition interchangeably but they do not in any real sense of it mean the same thing. It is possible for you to find some correlations in the English meaning but they are still deeper than what they both seem to portray.
It should be noted that in most cases ambition would be personal and selfish but vision is selfless. While ambition thinks about what to become and vision thinks about what can become of others. Ambition thinks about what to take and vision thinks about what to contribute. Take for instance the case of two young people who both want to become medical doctors. When the first was asked why he wanted to be a medical doctor he said, “I want to be a doctor because doctors are rich.” The other boy responded by saying, “I hate the way people are dying and I want to be the solution to their problems when I become a doctor.” From the statements made the intentions are clear. One is seeking social and financial security and the other is seeking the expansion of life expectancy of others.
When all you think about in what you want to do is what you will become then all you have is an ambition. When you begin to think about other people then you have a vision. What most of our politicians in the country have today is an ambition and that is why they cannot solve most of our problems yet. They got into office by thinking about what to become and not thinking about what to do for the society.
A community or local government must be vision driven and a state must be vision driven. A nation and a continent at large should be vision driven because that is the only way to move forward. Your personal life must be vision driven so that in all you do you will think about the progress of others and the advancement of your nation.
The best that a man with ambition will do is to leave some inheritance for his children and his children’s children but a man with vision will touch generations. The victory of President Obama as the first black president of the United States is not unconnected with the vision of Martin Luther King over four decades before the reality. He said, “I have a dream that one day my four little children will no longer be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” Now we know that Obama was judged by the content of his character and not by the colour of his skin.
I have not said that ambition is bad because we must understand that there is an ambitious part of every vision. We can both receive a vision but our hearts may not be in the same capacity to enlarge the vision. It is not God’s responsibility to “big-the-picture” for us after giving us a vision. It is our responsibility. Dr. David Oyedepo said, “any vision that does not add value to others is an illusion.” The likes of Mandela and Ghandi had a vision for the emancipation of their people and not the personal political interests that others had. The vision of Bill Gates was to make sure there is computer in every home. The vision of Henry Ford was to make sure cars became affordable for the common man. The vision of Mark, the young man who founded Face Book was to create a platform for reconnection of people who have lost contact.
Life barely survives when we all have ambition but life flourishes when we have a vision.