“When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it.”
― Jim Rohn
Ambition: It’s where it all begins
I’ve been a leader for the past couple of years and in those years, I’ve worked with several teams composed of diverse set of people. I’ve managed teams made up of young, up-and-comers, seasoned veterans, and a mixture of both. I’ve seen the best and I’ve seen the worst. BELIEVE ME!
One of the responsibilities of a leader is to bring out the best in the people he leads. It is the duty of a leader to unleash people’s potential and to set them up for success and over-the-years, I’ve worked with a lot of people who had it in them. I’ve worked with young talents who are passionate in what they do and driven enough to have goals of moving to the next step in their careers and someday become “someone” and reach the top.
Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same hunger for success and it makes me sad to see people waste their potential by settling for the comfortable and being contented where they are without any plans for the future.
I used to work with this guy who was a bit older than me. He went to work just for the sake of showing up. He came in the morning, do his assigned tasks and at exactly 5pm, he’s gone but come appraisal time, he’s expecting high performance reviews which, of course, he didn’t get and this got him upset.
I spoke to him about it and asked him what his goals were for his career and I was surprised to learn that THERE WAS NO PLAN! He said he was fine where he was and that he didn’t want the additional responsibilities a management position entails.
Growth and progress is a continuous process and without goals and ambition, none of these can ever be achieved by anyone no matter how talented or skillful you are.
Know where you’re headed
One of the most important reasons why ambition is a necessity is because this will dictate the direction you’ll be taking in your pursuit for success. Living a life without ambition or goals is like not living at all because everything will be the same everyday. There’s no big destination waiting to get conquered. There’s no reason for living other then existing but for how long?
Ambition inspires you to become a better person. It motivates you to keep working on yourself so you can meet all the goals you set out for yourself. It adds meaning to your life. It adds PURPOSE.
Have you ever gone on a road trip to nowhere? Perhaps you and your friends just decided to go without a plan and just hopped in the car not knowing where you’re headed. It can be fun and exciting at first but if you think about it, wasn’t the whole trip just a waste of time and fuel?
That’s life without ambition. You just keep on going without knowing where you’re headed.
Refuse to settle
Complacency is the enemy of growth.
No matter how successful you become, there will always be room for improvement and this is something you should start within yourself every time you reach a certain milestone because progress will stop as soon as you begin to consider that you have reached your highest point.
Why do the rich become richer? It’s because they refuse to accept that they’ve ran out of goals to conquer. Reaching a goal becomes a stepping stone that leads to a different goal. They don’t stop to work and just lie on their backs because they’ve made so much money. Instead, they work even harder to make their money work for them.
Remember the saying don’t settle for anything less? Well that’s something you need to live by because if you value yourself enough, you’ll only accept what’s best for you. You’ll go for the gold all the time and not settle on silver or bronze.
Don’t stop dreaming just because you were able to accomplish one. Dream more, and dream bigger!
Be relentless in your pursuit
We all know that life isn’t perfect. Life can even be unfair depending on your perspective but this shouldn’t stop you from reaching for your goals. Failure can happen when we least expect it and no matter how hard we try to avoid it, it is inevitable and bound to happen.
I loved watching the Discovery channel especially their episodes about predators, specifically about lions. As we all know, the king of the jungle has one of the best arsenal for hunting. They’re big and strong and relatively quick for their size. They like feeding on gazelles (at least in the episode I watched) and as much as I admire the lion, I equally admire the gazelle’s persistence in not getting killed.
They’re fast and agile and they just refuse to give up even when they’re already outnumbered. When it comes to your ambition, you have to display gazelle-like persistence too. You have to be relentless and in chasing your dreams and refuse to give up even if the odds are against you because success doesn’t come easy but like what I’ve always been saying, it will be all worth it.
Be wary of comfort
It’s human nature to go for what’s comfortable. I mean, who would want to go through hardships if you can achieve something with ease? It is however, dangerous to stay comfortable for a long time.
I worked in a call center for 10 years. It was my first job and I enjoyed my stay in the company, perhaps too much, that I may have neglected myself of better opportunities waiting outside.
I got too comfortable of the shift, the less stressful work and the friendships I’ve built. My mindset back then was why change something that ain’t broke and not that there’s anything wrong with being contented but I guess I was so comfortable in what I was doing that I failed to realize that I wasn’t growing at the pace I originally planned and expected.
Doing something easy, comfortable and familiar will not make you improve. Doing something you’ve always been doing won’t give you progress either. Do something difficult, something that challenges you to think and be creative. Something that scares you and you’re not comfortable with. That’s where growth lies so if you’re beginning to feel too comfortable with whatever you’re doing now, assess yourself.
Is what you’re doing bringing out the best in you or is it keeping you stale?
Be happy but stay hungry
There’s this huge misconception that being ambitious equates to greed or ungratefulness but I don’t see it that way. You can be happy and thankful with what you have but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be contented with it and stop striving for more. Life is a journey and we never stop moving. We go for more destinations after reaching one.
If you were given a million dollars you won’t stop working just because you have the money wouldn’t you? I mean, a million dollars is a lot of money but it’s not bottomless iced tea. Pretty soon, it will run out and if you quit your job, you’ll have nothing.
Always stay thankful for all the blessings you receive but don’t ever think that longing for more than what you already have makes you a bad person. Self-improvement is a constant process.
Over to You
What is your ambition? How do you plan to meet it and when?
I would love to hear from you so if you loved this article and want to contribute, leave a comment or feedback below. Share your story.
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