Ambition is the one trait that makes success possible.
It's a characteristic that keeps you fighting, even when you're not sure it's worth it.
They say there's no creating it. You're either born with it, or you're not.
Your direction is clear, and you absolutely refuse to accept anything less than what you want.
Hard work never generates fear. You just know things will work out.
However, this title you hold on to with pride should also come with a warning label. To the outside world, ambition is powerful. But to those who know its strength, it's a double-edged sword.
These are the reasons why:
1. It's hard to be satisfied.
Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach, we are never satisfied.
— Niccolò Machiavelli
I know this feeling all too well. I like to blame it on my incessant need of perfection.
Ambition is a naturally vicious cycle of goal-setting. Once a goal is met, you're looking for another, higher goal to reach. Whether it's personally, professionally or financially, the dream of "having it all" is our driving force.
But because these goals are set so high, it's easy to assume we're falling short.
This is why we have to constantly remind ourselves to be grateful. I'm guilty of becoming so focused on where I'm going and how I'm getting there, I forget all that was accomplished to get there.
But, you have to remember achieving smaller goals naturally leads you to bigger ones.
2. Timing is everything.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
— Leo Tolstoy
Ambition means you're never short of drive. You want it, so you do everything in your power to get it.
However, your goals sometimes take a little longer to achieve. This really frustrates ambitious people.
So, why is timing a struggle for the ambitious? Probably because when you're pushing so hard toward a result, you need to see you're making progress. However, you just need to trust that eventually, you'll get where you need to go.
3. You expect more from yourself.
Ambition is not a vice of little people.
— Michel De Montaigne
No one is more critical than you. When things aren't working out like you think they should, the first person you look at is yourself.
What could you be doing to make your situation better? Is there something you're missing or doing wrong?
We hold higher expectations of ourselves than we do of anyone else around us.
I think this is why those with ambition can deal with the pressure of leading or pursing difficult endeavors. We know no one could ever put more pressure on ourselves than we can.
I suppose this isn't always a bad thing. We are accountable for our actions and continuously look for ways to improve. It's just important to remember to step back and give yourself a break.
4. You sacrifice too much.
The only question to ask yourself is, how much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve this success?
— Larry Flynt
I feel like sacrifice is more a worry for our friends.
I say this because I always have family and friends making statements that show their concern about me being too focused. They claim I'm abandoning my friends, family and love life.
Now, my tunnel vision isn't so bad I don't see there are other things going on around me that are just as important as my work. They have their place in my calendar.
Although I may not be able to make it to every family event or friendly outing, I try to attend a few a month and mix some play with work.
It's important to know yourself and your work ethic because all of us view sacrifice differently. What I'm willing to sacrifice may not be what others are willing to.
But sacrifice, ambition and success all come hand in hand.
5. You wouldn't change anything.
There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
— Nelson Mandela
I've always half-jokingly told my parents I would take over the world if I could figure out how to do it.
Ambition allows you to think this way. Ambition causes you to have big thoughts, optimistic points of view, the talent to adapt to changes and steadfast resilience.
The good comes with the bad in every situation. Ambition is a tough quality to have and manage, but I wouldn't change a thing about it.
It's the force that drives me forward.