Fr. Joe Mariadhas
St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama
Aspirations are inner motives in professional achievement. Aspirations bring changes in life and enable one to achieve the best and the highest level one can reach or achieve. Aspiration is a strong desire, longing, hope or ambition to achieve success in ones goals (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1980). Aspiration denotes the goal or aim an individual plans to reach in his life. It also means a desire of reaching beyond his already achieved position; that has serious personal importance for an individual. It is a pre-requisite for every achievement. The word aspiration is derived from the Latin word ‘aspirare’ denotes ‘to breathe upon’. In a right sense it signifies ‘to breathe life into’ as well as ‘strengthen with desire’; thus, aspiration is both emotional and inspirational in nature. Aspirations have two distinctive aspects, first they are future oriented which can only be satisfied at some future time and it distinguishes them from immediate gratifications. Secondly, aspirations are motivators and goals individuals set and are willing to invest time, effort or money to attain it. This distinguishes them from idle daydreams and wishes that was never realized and achieved. Aspiration is an inner strength which is expansive in nature; initiates newer and wider possibilities opens variety of alternatives and opportunities for an individual to navigate his or her behavior into appropriate road to travel. The awareness of the preferred aim inspires the vision and mission of the individual to reach the same safely and securely. In fact, aspirations clear a persons’ mind to what to aspire and achieve. It infuses inner energy and induces life to the individual to reach the target steadily.
In the same line, level of aspiration is the expectations; an individual keeps in order to attain his or her goals in every situations of human endeavor (Hurlock, 1967). The word level of aspiration was used initially by Dembo (1931) and has its roots from the German word ‘Ansprush’ and ‘Niveau’ signifies the ambitious longing every individual fixes for himself / herself in reaching his/her target in life. Researchers have unearthed the fact that level of aspiration is usually influenced by environmental and personal dynamics and pressure or force hailing from outside such as, parents’ dreams, societal desires, peer demands, values, believes inherent competitions in every sphere of human life and social oneness. All of them either together or alone had crucial role in shaping the aspiration of the children when they were in the beginning of their life. But as they grow the physical factors, such as, desires, unique character features, values cherished, interest, gender role and social surroundings, exercise power over the aspiration of the individual (Rahman and Gowswami, 2013). The gender and demographic details such as rural and urban background has a strong influence in forming the level of aspiration of an individual (Kruezer, 1992). The cultural variations between people hailing from cities and villages, traveling and communication facilities available to them, production and selling conveniences, access to technological advancements and mass-media are considerably maneuvers the levels of aspiration of the individuals. In a research by Bajema (2002) asserted that diverse aspiration levels have been identified between the rural and urban students. Even in choosing the occupation and establishing aspirations students differed significantly (Harbison, 1992). On the other hand, greater aspiration is aimed equally by all types of people in the society; but, when the individual’s hails from lower social echelon struggles seriously to reach their aim and generally could not phase with the demands of the aspirations end up in delinquent activities (Phylon, 1960) and it leads to frustrations in life as a result become victims of addiction to substances and other unwanted activities.
Every individual essentially possesses a psychological need inherently to reach or fulfill the aspired aim even it may be very insignificant. The aspiration level remains greater than the anticipated level of achievement in most cases. The difference between the aspiration and achievement seems to be ensured by the individuals’ cultural background and his or her earlier achievement history (Lewin, 1944). The occupation that individuals hold moderates the level of aspiration of the persons (Rohrer & Sheriff, 1951). Personality characteristics induce the aspiration levels of the individuals and people use the aspiration as a device to shield their self-image and to keep on their self-worth and safety (Gruen Source, 1945).
The level of aspiration an individual sets for himself / herself systematically facilitates in enhancing their decision making skills. Appropriate aspiration accentuates the inner capacity and energies in simplifying the decision people take in every spear of their life (Simon, 1955; March & Simon, 1958). Festinger (1942) spelt out the view that aspiration level acts as an indicator in deciding the success or failure in any performance. And, the changes people make in their aspiration levels depends on how far they are able to retain their consistency with the target at hand (Starbuck, 1958). Further, the levels of aspiration adopted by the individual get altered through the clear picture of the life space people have cherished. Either revising or discarding the levels of aspiration seems to ring out the awareness of the individual life space. Thinkers and Psychologists like Starbuck, 1963, Carl Rogers, 1961 and Abraham Maslow, 1943 have stated that every individual has the capacity to strive for higher and greater levels in their life; they have the capacity to reach an unimaginable height in their life all of us possess the strength to grow to the fullest capacity. But, level of aspiration decides the inclination to actualize as much as possible with one’s potentials (Goldstein, 1971). Every single desire can lead to dream and every single dream has possibility to become a reality. So dare to dream and desire to do.