Ambition: Blessing and a curse

The interesting thing about ambition is it can end up being a double edged sword. Something that calls to you and yet strikes back when you commit yourself to it.

Countless hours spent on projects that go unnoticed and a mountain of failures that seemingly amount to nothing. I like to think I’m ambitious because I enjoy creating and producing regularly.

I also enjoy challenges and tackling new projects that at times seem overwhelming. It’s not uncommon to find myself nearing completion on one project only to get heavily invested in new projects.

In this piece I’ll discuss a bit about the trials and tribulations of ambition as well as the benefits. I’ll point out some key concepts that may help some of you manage your ambition a bit more and in doing so get a bit more control over your time and efforts.

The juice is worth the squeeze, but it take a lot of patience and determination. It also takes consistency and perseverance.

This may sound obvious, but it’s applying these components that can become difficult. Especially when there are so many distractions in todays world and that’s not to mention the uncertainty of pay off.

Ya gotta love the process.

When’s the last time you took on a project that from the beginning was anticipated to take more than a few month? Maybe even a few years?

Understand Your Awareness

Let’s standardize our understanding of ambition before we get too far into this. A quick search and you’ll see the definition as follows.

Am·bi·tion / amˈbiSH(ə)n/ noun

  1. A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
  2. Desire and determination to achieve success.

Where does this strong desire come from?

If you’re like me you’ve had something pushing or pulling at you your entire life. Something that makes you feel the need to do more than sit on a couch and binge watch your favorite sitcom for days on end.

No hate to those that enjoy that lifestyle. If you’re happy then congrats, you’ve found your calling!

In some ways I wish I could find contentment in not producing and rather just consuming. However, when I’ve tried that I become my biggest critic.

I’ll remind myself of all the things I could have created or produced if I hadn’t been consuming whatever form of entertainment it was. So the idea of relaxing and taking time off can become anxiety riddled relatively quickly.

I use to play video games years ago. I love video games. Video games are my vice. My kryptonite.

That said, video games gave me plenty to achieve and work hard at. Spending hours, days, weeks… to achieve the thing that was important in that moment. That is until the next game came out.

In the end I was left only with a high score or some cool unlocked item that wasn’t available until achieving god like status in the game.

I digress.

Define and Conquer

Ambition, a blessing and a curse. The second aspect of the definition includes the concept of success.

Here lies a very important aspect of understanding and managing ambition.

Define success for yourself if you haven’t already. Different occasions call for different definitions, but keep it relative and you’ll be alright.

Understanding the nature of your ambition is also important. I believe I picked up a bit of this mentality from my mom. She’s always been a go getter and a motivator.

This was not only out of necessity, but because it’s who she is at the core. I’ve integrated a lot of this in my own life as to how I approach creating and producing.

Growing up we didn’t have much time to just chill or sit around. If we wanted nice things it was up to us kids to figure out a way to earn the cash to buy them.

If we wanted a bike or a car. Figure it out. I’ve worked many jobs in my life, but my childhood taught me a lot about perseverance and dedication.

So for me, I’m aware of why I have this ambition. I’ve been in a place where I had little, but I’m fortunate to have had the experience of how hard work pays off.

I’m grateful for the childhood I had because it instilled a sense of motivation in me to continue to produce far into my adult life.

Self Aware

Once you know why you are the way you are and understand what makes you tick you’ll better be able to manage your ambition. Like I said at the beginning, ambition is like a double edged sword.

If you’re not careful your ambition can strike back at you. Sometimes in the form of an unbalanced life or excessive anxiety due to the load of deadlines you have running in parallel.

Be aware of your time. Manage your time. This may sound ridiculous for those of you out there counting the minutes to your day. However, it’s a good place to start for anyone that’s feeling overwhelmed by their self initiated projects.

Another consideration is back to your definition of success. For some people they’ll see success as a financial achievement. A certain amount of money in the bank or properties owned.

For others, achievement may be freedom of movement and a balanced work life that allows ample time with the family.

Choose your adventure, but knowing what success is to you and understanding your capabilities and limitations will take you far. Manage your time and apply persistence and patience.

The world is your oyster!

Go Forth and Prosper

So that’s about it. I’m not trying to write a book about this, but rather a reminder for those that find themself always pushing to create or searching for the next project or objective.

Remember to define success. This gives you something to gauge your progress against.

Now go forth and create with a clear understanding of what it means to achieve your objective.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my podcast. It would be great to hear your feedback.

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