Monday, December 14, 2009

Learned Ambitions


I met with a friend the other day at good ol’ Starbucks to discuss mentoring the need for male mentors (be looking for a new writing about that soon). She had recently seen the movie Blindside with Julia Roberts. She brings up a good question that I cannot answer, but do consider exploring it a bit deeper may lead to some positive, progressive thinking.

“What is it in a person that makes them have the capacity to make it, like 9 out of 10 won’t make it, but something inside him made him make it…”

This is a good question. The question has nothing to do with circumstances. It has nothing to do with positive influences that effect a person’s most intimate ponderings. It has nothing to do with external elements impacting internal psyche. There is an intangible element that one possesses deep within themselves that pushes them to greater things than anticipated or even available to them. Obviously it is something within them that others do not posses. The 1 kid out of 10 that probably will make it regardless of any external influence also has the ability to be destroyed by the external influence he does not require. I had lunch with a friend from work today. He was asking about applying for a job within the company we work for. He was asking questions like, “Like what do I apply for, how do I know what and when to apply for this?” Why can some answer these questions for themselves so easily and effortlessly while others scramble for even hints? So what is it, what’s the intangible element, the mysterious factor, the x-factor to success?

I came up with my own philosophy on professional success years ago that has worked for me. This internal ambition that propels some to great places is an element many can domesticate though. It is not a Darwinist selective gene that makes one greater than another. Some are born with the natural abilities and innate facility to draw upon this x-factor. Let’s call this x-factor and seemingly intangible element internal ambition.

This intangible is something built of confidence, not arrogance, but being comfortable with yourself and your abilities, humility, and a set up realistic expectations, a full mental capacity to consider all angles. One must be confident in himself to even approach a goal greater than himself. This is what success is; it attains, conquers, or obtains something greater than anticipations warrant. Comprehension of expectations takes a bit of effort to begin with, but one must move past acknowledgment towards honesty and the formation of realistic expectations. Walking into any situation with a realistic view of circumstances and expectations can aid in self awareness and humility. This is the way spirituality works. One’s self awareness and reflection causes them to reach for something greater than themselves. This concept is easily understood within a nice suite and large community gathering but too often fails to translate into practical life, such as a profession or personal life. Once one becomes self aware by analyzing the situation they find themselves in they can do an honest audit of who they are and where they stand in all of it. This is the beginning of humility. I say this is the beginning only because the choice to be arrogant still exists. One can offer themselves self delusions of greatness, but circumstances and tangible elements will reveal the epitome of who they really are, thus eventually bringing humility. Humility leads to a realistic view of the circumstances, not swayed by fantasy, and allows expectations to be established clearly. These expectations should be viewed from all angles, good to bad. Once all the angles are viewed and considered it is easy to approach whatever goal it is one faces or desires.

Again, some have an uncanny ability to discern a circumstance holistically and move forward humbly and successfully, but it is not only these men and women that lead the march, we can join them in the ascension to success, both personally and professionally. In the grand scheme of things internal ambition is what thrusts individuals past their counterparts and is truly a tangible element that can be domesticated and learned. The question then becomes a sobering one, is this desire true, is the goal for yourself or another? An honest look into yourself can answer a lot, hopefully many can look within and find ambition soon.

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