Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
Many of us are in two minds about the value of ambition. On the one hand, we praise those who work hard and achieve difficult goals. On the other hand, we condemn people for being selfish and power-hungry, and we often take delight in seeing mighty celebrities fall.
No wonder so many people have mixed feelings about being ambitious. On top of that, the goals they wished they cared more about may not really be their own. In order to resolve conflicts about ambition, we need to get a clearer idea of what we really want.
Ask yourself what you think you should be doing. Then ask yourself if that is something you really want to do, or if you are trying to live out someone else’s idea of what you should be doing. Sometimes a lack of ambition is a sign that you are resisting doing something that is not right for you.
Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks if you are feeling overwhelmed. Take one step at a time, and give yourself rewards for your progress.
Build momentum in your life. Tackle small tasks as soon as they come up to give yourself a sense of accomplishment, so that when you take on things that are important to you, you are already used to achieving your goals.
‘I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and make big changes. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.’