Ambition, according to Dictionary.com, is “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment’’.
And reading this you might wonder what could potentially be wrong with ‘’an earnest desire to achieve something and the willingness to strive for it’’. A lot actually. Or nothing. It depends on what’s driving your ambition.
What’s driving your ambition?
Let’s take a look at two different situations.
How about Steve? A professional rower with the ambition to win gold at the olympics. Dedicated to his training and his team, he does everything in his power to attain his goal.
Or Paula? A marketing & communications expert in a large pharmaceutical company with the ambition to climb the corporate ladder and make a difference in the world.
How can you find out, if their ambition is of the healthy or toxic kind?
Healthy or toxic?
The answer can be found in their motivation and the purpose that is driving their motivation. So you could ask a series of questions like:
- What will you get out of winning a gold medal in the olympics?
What will happen if you don’t?
- What will you get from getting to the top in your company and making a difference?
- What will happen if you don’t?
Listen closely and ask more questions, if necessary, to ultimately determine, if their ambition is fuelled by either:
- A lack of self-worth, self-love, self-awareness and therefore a need for some sort of external solution, achievement, praise or likes to fill the hole inside – toxic ambition
- An inner knowing and loving connection to what’s important to them, their core values, and a purpose that wishes to realise itself fully – relaxed ambition
If it’s the latter. They will be living a very rich life and loving it in the process. And if it’s the former their ambition will never get them what they’re ultimately after. It will be driven by fear of missing out, fear of being a nobody, fear of being less-than.
Are you ready to switch?
The good news is, it’s never too late to switch the energy provider of your ambitions. Just like it’s never too late to install those solar panels on your roof top 🙂
Once you realise it’s your inner critic, your ‘’hyper-achiever’’ or your ‘’status-freak’’ who’s driving your need to succeed you can take some time to explore who YOU want to BE. What values you want to live by so you can wake up each morning in your own centered presence. So you can look in the mirror with the kind of deep respect that comes from doing what’s right over what’s easy or socially endorsed.
There’s a part inside of us all which knows its purpose on this planet. Just like an acorn is predestined to become an oaktree, so are we predestined to become ourselves. If we let ourselves.
Relaxed ambition is falling back into this trust that life is benevolent and that each step along the way is bringing us closer to realising ourselves. The acorn does not wake up each morning and shouts at itself to grow quicker, grow leaner, grow stronger. It simply basks in the sunshine and rain the universe provides and the knowledge that everything takes just a long as it needs to.
You are perfect already
According to Etymology the word perfect derives from Old French word ‘’parfit’’ which means “finished, completed, ready”. And you are perfect right now, right here. After all, how could the little acorn be any less perfect than the sapling it will be one day, the oak tree it will become or the earth it will turn back into? The sun and rain are providing you with everything you need to unfold right now too. Trust the process and reconnect with your inner knowing. There’s nothing to do. Nothing to achieve. All will happen perfectly in time.
So take a moment and relax back into yourself. Celebrate the sensations of your feet touching the ground, your buttocks pressing against the chair and your breath entering and leaving your body. You’re alive. What a joy.
Can you feel the gentle pulsing inside of you? The life energy in you? The gentle happy knowing of your true self ready to unfold? Sit in your fullness and embrace this moment. It’s all you’ll ever have and it’s all you ever need. Relaxed ambition.
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Manuela Damant. Azkua