Ambition Disguised as Conviction
We like our ambitions. They give us a target that will gain us much more attention than our convictions. Ambitions are a sexier motivator because they point to a better day rather than the hard work and effort that true conviction has to offer. We disguise our ambition as conviction when we make an amoral issue into a moral one. Something is amoral when it is not inherently good or bad but can be used in a good or bad way. Condemning a method, or suggesting that our method is best, may sound like conviction. However, what it really demonstrates is that we want to stand out as superior based on a false pretense of “conviction”. We may not be measurably better, but we feel better about the stances we take. Unfortunately, when that stance has no real moral authority, it cannot be a true conviction and is a disguised ambition allowing us to feel important. I notice this whenever I see people who dislike the New England Patriots describe them as cheaters. They say, “My team may not have won nearly as many Super Bowls in the last 15 years as the Patriots, but at least my team doesn’t cheat like them.” But air pressure isn’t the deciding factor in any football game.