I am an ambitious man. My ambitions are not who I am. Yet, I am becoming my ambitions.
The question I want to ask is if in the course of your pursuit, your journey, you are forced to surrender parts of you, then were those areas of your life that were never you or are they parts sold off by the dictatorship of your goals? Did you sacrifice weakness and take loss for the greater good, or were you stripped of your humanity, your uniqueness?
You sat idly while accusation after accusation rained down on the nature of your business.
How can we know if your silent suffering was a testament of your endurance or the cowardice of a victim?
You rose above the rest, and you were heralded as a woman born for a different time. None could compete with your foresight or compete with your wit.
But how can we know if the dwindling number of friends is evidence of our forward-thinking or the aftermath of cockiness?
You always dreamed of becoming a philanthropist, to be the one that lends a helping hand. You were an expert of saving, ready, at least in your mind, to jump on the right opportunity, the right person, or the right organization.
But how can we know if your frugality is the wisdom of finance and scrutiny and not the greed of your heart?
You were always the first at work and the last to leave. No work was too menial for you, you were a proponent of the team and the company.
But how can we know if your motives were without blemish, that it wasn’t your intention to curry favor and to pave the way for promotion?
At what point does the demands of our ambitions become more than just catalysts and infiltrate the pillar of ethics, morality, faith, identity, and personality in our lives?
For many of us, we are knowingly or many times unknowingly ruled by the thrust of our ambitions. And instead of moving towards a future and a life in which our ambitions are the thrones to our dreams, they mutate into the kings and queens that we serve.
Think about the few things that drive you, the things that keep you up at night, things that’ll make you forget to eat, and consume a majority of your waking thoughts.
You’ve made plans and goals, some very lofty concerning these things. They might be a company, a title, a location, a philosophy, a belief, a stance, a body, or a face. And when it comes to taking stock of where we are in our journey to success, we do it often and so long as we’re generally on track nothing else seems to be of importance.
But when’s the last time you took a moment to consider the woman or man you wanted to become or gave yourself a moment to feel the effects of all the changes that might have taken place because of the path you decided to pursue?
We make the assumption at the beginning of our journey that the person who ends up achieving success will inevitably be the same person who started out. We are essentially too confident in our ability to live above influence. Even though everyone else changed or failed, I’m different.
And it is this very idea that makes blind to the transformation that takes place in our hearts and minds.
When you get rich and famous, don’t forget the little people.
That’s because along with those “little people” countless people have forgotten their roots, their humility, their genuine and pure drive, their untainted dreams, their love and empathy for others, and their founding principles.
Each of us has a fire inside of us. Some needs kindling and others are already blazing. But any fire beyond the limits of our authority is dangerous and unruly. Our dreams and ambitions are meant to grow and to ignite but they were never meant to consume the person that is you.
Take back control of the steering and redirect your steps in the direction of your hopes, your passions, and your identity. It’s time to impose your style and your way of doing things instead of what your ambitions might demand.
Just because the industry is like that doesn’t mean you need to sleep around to move up. Just because hard-work doesn’t always gets noticed doesn’t mean you should quit trying. Just because stepping on others and talking behind people’s backs gives you an upper hand doesn’t mean you have to be cruel.
Don’t let the signposts of society condemn you for not being “on time” whether it’s graduating college, getting a job, buying a house, or getting married.
Don’t let the unspoken rules of success make you forget who you were, who you are, and who you are fully capable of being.
Move forward. Grow and live, but at the pace of your life’s internal clock, and not at the sacrifice of your individuality.