Imagine fearlessly pursuing your dreams. Despite those "hating on" your ambitions you tenaciously set out to explore the landscape, solve the tough problems, fight for important causes and leave a dent in the world. No matter the day, you wake up energized and enthused to navigate the rugged terrain. When everyone else is hitting a wall you’re able to ramp up and stay productive. And the moment your competitor loses motivation you separate yourself with an unwavering drive.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain
The trailblazing entrepreneurs, trendsetting business owners, and inspiring leaders have learned and understand the value of ambition. Although many others often view ambition in a bad light it does not constitute a character flaw. It’s a trait with positive, long-term implications for both individuals and organizations.
Ambition has shown proven returns in career success, organizational growth and economic and social value. Here’s how you can use it for long term success in your business:
- Be Bold- Stop playing it safe all the time. It’s time to level up. Instead of wallowing in the status quo step up and step into your fear. Do something challenging – individually, collectively, - that makes a difference. Do innovative, courageous things to achieve your potential. Transcend the norm (most of which is mediocre) and push yourself. Learn the landscape of building a bold brand; one of enduring value. Once you understand the terrain choose a journey that will stretch you daily, testing your will, endurance, and perseverance.
- Envision Victory- Thoughts are things. The mind is arguably the greatest strategic tool we have. Use it to bring to life what you imagine to be possible. Craft a sustainable strategy with a success mindset. Pull together your aspirations, capabilities and strengths to produce your distinct competitive advantage. Train your brain to recognize risks, see opportunities (this doesn’t mean be stupid) instead and execute. Go for it. Play to win.
- Grow Resilient- You, like a muscle under tension, can grow from stress. Recognizing your stress threshold is a make or break point. Be mindful of your edge, walk the line and tests your limits. Train yourself to work well under pressure without overwhelming yourself. Create environments (your internal environment too) that boost resilience, decrease stress and improve performance. Set milestones that scare you a little bit, and lean into your fear.
- Believe in 10x- Humans, in general, think much too small. It’s not your fault, it’s an instinctive mechanism in our brain to keep us feeling safe. Most will conform to this and cultural norms. Despite the difficulty to define what it means to be a high performance company, I challenge you to think limitless, believe in possibilities and realize your potential. Think in the top 3% and above (whatever that is for you). Ask yourself what can be done? What hasn’t been done yet? And what can I do to bring this to life?
Ambition is often viewed as selfish, greedy or excessive. Ambition, however, is more far-reaching and flexible. It doesn’t reduce us to selfish, materialistic desires; it bends us and expands us for the greater good. Ambition is rarely just about oneself. It is an integration of unselfish contribution and personal growth; created not without courage, sacrifice, and failure.
Explore your ambitions, shape them and be grateful despite struggles. Free the desire to succeed and the willingness to strive for each achievement with an unbridled spirit. Feast on the fruits of virtue, wisdom and serenity. Find the insight and strength to control its blind forces. And you’ll have not only a great year, but both a life of true distinction and a lasting legacy.