Ambitious – Excellence depends on ambition; the will to do well. Ambition motivates you to constantly challenge yourself. It’s the drive that helps you realize your dream. have grand expectations–even immodestly high ones–and believe them. Only when ambition prevails over inhibition is excellence truly possible.
What is your greatest vision of yourself? In five years? Ten years? Twenty? Forty?
Vision is perhaps our greatest strength… it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought trough the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.
Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly: what do you want? And how will you know when you get it?
People really do have their own situations. The problem is, either the don’t know how to discover them, or the avoid discovering them. But if you want to come up with good decisions of your work and your life, simply ask those two questions–because it all comes down to very simple things.
The man without a purpose is a man who drifts at the mercy of random feelings or unidentified urges and is capable of any evil, because he is totally out of control of his own life. In order to be in control of your life, you have to have a purpose–a productive purpose.
You need to develop a very clear picture in your mind of how you want and expect to work and live. The more clarity you bring to the decision, the better the decision will be.
Set your ambitions high. The higher your expectations, the greater your chances of excellence in whatever you set out to do. You know the story of the farmer who in his backyard had chicken, and then he ad a chicken that was a little odd looking, but he was a chicken. It behaved like a chicken. It was pecking away like other chickens. It didn’t know that there was a blue sky overhead and a glorious sunshine until someone who was knowledgeable in these things came along and said to the farmer, “He, that’s no chicken. That’s an eagle.” Then the farmer said, “Um… um… no…. no, man. That’s a chicken; it behaves like a chicken.”
And then man said, “No, give it to me, please!” And he gave it to this knowledgeable man. And this man took this strange looking chicken and climbed the mountain and waited until sunrise. And then he turned this strange looking chicken towards the sun and said, “Eagle, fly, eagle!”
And the strange looking chicken shook itself, spread out its pinions, and lifted off and soared and soared and soared and flew away, away into the distance. And God says to all of us, you are no chicken. You are an eagle! Fly, eagle, fly! And God wants us to shake ourselves, spread our pinions, and then lift off and soar and rise, and rise towards the confident and the good and the beautiful. Rise towards the compassionate and the gentle and the caring. Rise to become what God intends us to be; eagles, not chickens.
Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your minds lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.
Don’t limit your dreams. Make them magnificent. And as long as you’re going to think anyway, think big. Start with a dream. Maybe a dream that is personal and small, but worth doing. Then dream a bigger dream. Keep dreaming until your dreams seems impossible to achieve. Then you’ll know you’re on the right track. Then you’ll know you’re ready to conjure up a dream big enough to define your future and perhaps your generation’s future.
“I had ambition not only to go farther,” said James R. Cook, “than any man had ever been before, but as far as it was possible for a man to go.”
It doesn’t matter where you start. Don’t be afraid about starting at the bottom, that they can work their way up, that they need to learn all they can from people who have been in the business longer than they have been. They should be a sponge and just absorb what is going on around them and learn everything they possibly can as soon as they step inside the door.
Never settle. You’ll never approach anything like excellence if you settle for mediocrity. Nothing is more sterile or lamentable than the man content to live withing himself. Success is the capacity to dream, and the determination to live in obedience to those dreams. An important but little known American poet, Delmore Schwartz, once wrote, “In dreams begin responsibilities.”
And the most important: ambition never comes to and end.