Marketing Eye

Are you ambitious enough?

Last night I caught up with my good friend, recruiter Michelle Fish, a new friend Chocko Valiappa and a couple of other people. 

As we sat down and enjoyed a bite to eat and a glass of wine, I began to talk to Chocko about Ashrams in India. I have been wanting to go for some time and wanted his insight into which ones were the best to investigate. 

Chocko is a spirital man - and although he didn't say as much, I could tell. I gravitated to him and before long we talked about different aspects of spiritality. He then mentioned that he read handwriting. Within seconds I was writing on a napkin hoping that he would pass on some wisdom about myself that would enlighten me.

He said:

"I am level headed and connect well between my head and my heart"

"I need to celebrate my highs more"

"I have discovered myself, but not other people"

"I need to have more ambition and more ego"

"I am a little regal"

The first three points made sense to me. I feel reasonably level headed and I don't make rash decisions. I am led by my heart but my head always levels things out. I never celebrate my highs in life. I have never celebrated a business achievement or a personal achievement - namely because I am not sure if it is an achievement or just something that happens in life if you work hard.

I believe that I know myself well - but he was spot on with the fact that I haven't figured out others and this is a constant struggle.

But the point that stopped me in my tracks was "that I need to have more ambition and ego". I honestly do not feel like I have to be better than anyone else and certainly, I don't feel as though I need to "beat" anyone but I do have goals. If I don't achieve them, it won't be the end of the world - but they do exist and I have a plan in place to achieve them - so am I not ambitious enough?

It's not the first time I have been told this. In fact, it pops its ugly head every now and again.

Which had me thinking to myself... am I ambitious enough? Do I want "things" enough? Do I care enough when something steps in my way of me reaching my goals?

Being ambitious means "having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed".

One of my favorite books was written by an entrepreneur, John McGrath. It isn't the best written book - by far, but in it John shares his determination to be successful and to achieve goals and what he does every single day to stay on track. Everything from having his goals plastered on the shower wall, through to his routine and how he goes about life. I have read this book many times because he reminds me that you have to make sacrifices and work incredibly hard to really achieve your goals. You can't just think about it and believe it will happen. You have to put in place everything in your life to make sure that everything is geared towards the result you are looking for.

But there are some realities about being ambitious:

"Ambitious people are unhappier and they don't live as long."

It's bad news for people whose goal in life is to get ahead. If an ambitious person keeps raising his or her goals after every success, then it's a bit like Sisyphus in Greek mythology: He rolls the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll down the hill so as to push it back up again.

Ambition is important, but so are other things and I think deep down I realize that more then most. It is also in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers are being an important ambitious goal, may not seem the same to another. Some people focus ambition on money, yet for others money means little. It is more about quality of life, health and love. 

Studies show that most ambitious people have common traits: They had parents with occupational prestige, and their personalities were organized, disciplined and goal-seeking.

Being ambitious is not just something that you are born with. You can become ambitious at anytime- you must have a goal or find a dream that causes you to take action and you will see the ambition rise within yourself.

Rather than procrastinate, like I have been known to do from time to time:

  • Strive towards a goal
  • Work through setbacks
  • Always set another goal
Are you ambitious?


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