Ambition Management: Aiming High vs. Going With the Flow
Let’s look at the two spectrums of personal/business ambition. It’s important to note, neither side is “better” than the other side…but it’s interesting to think about the reasons behind ambition and how we can develop a level of drive that is congruent to our authentic selves, and not forced by ego.
On one level, you’ve got Elon Musk, an entrepreneur who actually decided to start a company that builds rocket ships with the ultimate intention to colonize the planet Mars. No big deal.
On the other end of the spectrum, well I guess the opposite of ambition is truly not wanting to do anything at all…but you’ve got to be pretty ambitious to pull that off!
Something I’ve been wrestling with internally is the thought of “how big of a company do I really want??”
The stream of consciousness would sound something like: “Would I really want to run a 1200 person company with an office building, board of directors, payroll, corporate culture…Could I handle the stress? The challenges? Is Elon Musk level stress really just the same type of stress we all experience on a daily basis and we are all going to be working hard every day anyways…so shouldn’t I just shoot for the moon? What would I be trying to prove? What about my legacy? My impact? This isn’t my ego talking right? What am I afraid of? YOLO. Should I eat salad for dinner tonight? Yeah I should get some salad. Squirrel!”
On the other end of the spectrum, I could just create a small 3 person company that satisfies my core desires of freedom/creation/serving others, and generates enough income to live a certain desired lifestyle, like a 4 Hour Work Week style “Muse.” Would I be selling myself short?
This “Ambition Management” is something I’m sure a lot of budding entrepreneurs face. It’s perfectly natural. I’d like to make a suggestion on how to approach your own ambition management:
Don’t make any expectations of how you want things to be “someday”, and just shoot for consistent improvement EVERY day.
Also, make sure your ego isn’t the one calling the shots. You shouldn’t try to start the next Facebook just so you can impress people or fill an emotional hole/insecurity. Rather, your ambition should be fueled by excitement.
You’re gonna do it because taking on the project will amp up every cell of your being…to the point you literally don’t want to go to bed so you can keep connecting the dots and breathing life into your vision. You do it because it’s a quest.
You do it to fully live in the constant ebb and flow of personal growth and impacting humanity in a of positive way. Only you will know how to tune-in to that feeling, like your own unique radio channel.
So, I’m deciding to ignore the annoying voice in my head. I’m deciding to not make plans, and just go with the flow of the challenges I’m currently taking on. It’s more important to use The Force to guide where things may go.
Don’t force ambition. If you can connect to your authentic inner drive, I’m confident that whatever you accomplish, big or small, will bring you joy. And, like a ripple in our earthly pond, any level of ambition will brighten up our world just the same.
“Shine on you crazy diamond.”