Updated: Apr 7
This is an extremely important article because we have seen a lot of people who dabbles in and out of everything with the notion that the ambitious do everything. When you ask them to define themselves in one word, they will tell you, " Ambitious." I am ambitious is what you get from those who think they are getting it all done. The wrong definition usually leads us in the wrong direction. Your goal after reading this article is to re-evaluate all that you have going in your life. Are you being strategic about them or are you just doing a lot because of the way you define ambition? I have never seen anyone who arrived at multiple finish lines at the same time. Rather than throwing all your energy into everything, invest your energy where it is needed.
If ambition is not doing everything, then what is the real definition of ambition and how does it apply to you? There may be a couple of definitions for it but let's consider the following definition as what applies to our context.
Ambition is an act of having a vivid desire and a determination to succeed - Dictionary.com
The common belief that resonates with most people that I have seen is that ambitious people are known for going after everything without stopping. While that may be fairly agreeable, ambitiousness is not a certificate for us to do everything. This does not mean to stop you from chasing after all your goals but to be selective in what you chase after if you truly want to apply the quality of being ambitious. Being average is just an effect of not defining ambition in the right way. You put all the subsequent goals that you could have achieved later in jeopardy if you think of being ambitious as an act of doing everything. I used to think of our school system as an environment where this whole idea of doing everything as an act of being ambitious started. You probably have once wondered why your academic advisor will recommend you take an elective that does not have anything to do with why you are enrolled in school in the first place. To have an idea about other aspects of life could be the answer, but does it encourage you to stick to what you are in school for?
An Ambitious man is not a man who likes to travel with excess luggage but a man who likes to travel with needed luggage. You will probably not use all that is in the bag when it is excess. Select what you need and go after what you selected aggressively.
You may start life by picking up all that is thrown on your doorstep but sooner or later, you should learn how to discard away some of the things that do not necessarily impact you and your journey in life. In the beginning, saying yes to a lot of opportunities if you are still struggling to discover your why and what you plan to accomplish is not a bad idea but if you say yes to everything after discovering what your goals are and what you plan to accomplish with your life then you are denying yourself an opportunity to meet your future self with greatness. Imagine when an ambitious man channels all his energy towards one thing and that is what the few successful ambitious people do. Once they decide on what to do, they will go all out to dedicate their entire focus and strength to that thing they desire to do. Paul the apostle said it well, "This one thing I do...I press toward the mark.” -Philippians 3:13.
What is that one thing you are doing? Are you doing it well or distracted by a lot that is going on in your life? Do you have a goal that you are working on but taking forever to be completed? A strong desire to complete that goal is what being ambitious is all about.
The real Ambitious people invest their energy where they are guaranteed to fight. They do not go after all the fight in the community, but they deliberately choose one fight and then press towards successful attainment.
Two words that save everybody time and energy are "Yes or No,” answer.
There will come a time in our life where we will use those two words if we are not already using it, but the real battle happens when the answer requires "No.” It is easy to say yes to everything, but it is quite difficult to say No to everything. The answer "No", is a complete sentence that does not need a full stop for you to know that the speaker has finished speaking. Be confident in using it when you are selecting and embarking on a worthwhile goal, it will save you a lot of time and energy. This will help you to not misunderstand the meaning of ambitiousness but to use it for the right purpose.
Ambitious people are individuals that invest their energy in one thing and do that one thing excellently not carrying around a lot of garbage’s that does not serve them right.
If you must have enough on your plate, then make sure they are in alignment with what you need to get done while meeting the deadline you set for yourself but remember that too many errands lead to exhaustion and late arrival. Confusion is an effect of having too many to do but nothing to concentrate on.
If everything you plan to do is a priority, you absolutely do not have any priority but a list of excess To-Do-List. With such list, you are about to be busy, not productive. "Scratch where it itches you" -Alice Roosevelt. Do not scratch your whole body but the place where your utmost attention is directed towards.
To recap, an ambitious man is not he who is doing a lot but the hungry achiever who likes to show up to get one thing done and completed excellently despite all the excuses and circumstances that convince him not to try or succeed.