I was born ambitious. I have no memory of being any other way. Something inside me needs to make things better, and not only for myself – just better in general.
As you probably know, things have worked out well for me, career-wise, give or take a few bumps along the way. My ambition served me well, although it sometimes felt like a high-function mental illness. Let’s call it a grey area.
Anyway, I grew to an adult height of 5′8″. And in my culture, ambitious guys my height are widely considered to have something called a Napoleon Complex. The thinking is that our exaggerated sense of ego and ambition are some sort of attempt to compensate for our miniature stature. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I didn’t realize I was short until I was about ten years old. But I do recall having a serious ambition to be rich and famous since I was five. What happened after the age of ten, when I learned I would not play in the NBA, I’m not so sure. Lots of variables in play.
But here’s my real point:
What is the name we give to tall ambitious people?
I’m not complaining. Compared to the tall, my knees are fabulous, my grocery bills are low, and my life expectancy is awesome. When I fly coach, it’s roomy and cheap. And I rarely bump my head. When I need a service that only a tall guy can perform, I rent one on the Internet and order him to do that work while I go to the gym with my perfectly functioning knees.
Okay, maybe I do have a Napoleon Complex. Whatever. Call me what you will.
All I ask is that we create some additional labels to cover all the categories of height and ambition. For example, we need a name for the tall people with minimal ambition that short people with ambition hire to carry heavy things upstairs for them. And we need a name for the tall and ambitious people that take up too much space. Let’s just label everything.
Is that not fair?
Note: Yes, I know Napoleon was actually tall(ish) for his day.