Journalist Kate Orson of Breathe recently posed this question:
Is there a negative side to ambition? Can it make us unhappy to always be projecting into the future, and not finding happiness in the here and now? How can we find
Interesting. Is ambition good or bad?
Here was my response to her question about ambition:
The positive side of ambition is that you have a drive to accomplish something.
The negative sides of ambition can include:
*Not defining what that something is. You’re constantly on the hunt to go after that thing you think will make you happy without first identifying what exactly that is. You end up frustrated from constantly chasing your tail in circles or running into dead ends.
*Obsessing about the future while ignoring the present. In the quest to remain in motion, driving forward, propelling oneself toward the ultimate goal, you can end up completely oblivious to the joy of the present. This can lead to many “down” moments and a bumpier journey.
To lean into your ambition without succumbing to some of the negative components, I recommend that you Reflect, Celebrate and Strategize.
Reflect at the end of each day on each big or small step you’ve accomplished.
Celebrate the big and small accomplishments each day, pausing to give gratitude for all of the positive people, activities and situations you have in your live. Relish these moments along the way! This will make reaching the finish line that much sweeter. And, it helps to reinforce your strengths so you can build on what you did to be successful.
Reflect on what didn’t go according to plan or didn’t meet your expectations.
Strategize how you’ll adjust your course in order to address this and meet your specific objective, then map out your steps to accomplish this.
When you reflect on the past, celebrate the present and strategize for the future, your ambition can be one of your greatest assets.
For a step-by-step guide to balance, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.