Are You Letting Ambition Get The Better Of You?
Ambition often brings some tricky traits with it that you have to be mindful of.
1. Perfectionism. Many ambitious types are also big perfectionists. While this is good in many ways – attention to detail can drive success – it can also frequently hold people back. The fear of something not being quite good enough can lead all too often to nothing being done at all. I often see at the retreat how people are pushing themselves to be perfect, when really they already are: they just can’t see it. As human beings we have very high expectations of ourselves. Instead of being proud of who we are right now and the journey we are on, we tend to look constantly to the person we think we could be. At the retreat we encourage loving who you are right now.
2. Determination. The problem with having your heart set on one thing in particular is that you lose an amount of flexibility which is required for success. It’s good to have a clear idea of what you want, but if you are too focused on one goal you may blinker yourself and miss an obvious opportunity hanging right in front of your eyes. Yes, be like a dog with a bone, but remember there are also other bones, equally good, possibly even better than the one you’re so desperately clasping onto.
3. Disappointment. The ambitious can suffer from severe disappointment. In themselves. In others. In the world. They want so much that when things don’t work out it feels personal and soul-destroying. Ambitious people dream big, and the world needs these people, but they in turn need to control their aspirations. Strive for great things, but try to keep your expectations in line with reality and you’ll not go through the pain of disappointment. My motto in life (admittedly borrowed from a corporate slogan spotted on the wall at the easyJet headquarters when doing an advertising project for them years ago!) is ‘Underpromise and overdeliver’. Say you probably won’t be able to do something, then do it better than anyone could have ever expected – you will blow their minds!
4. Workaholism. Ambitious people are so compelled to succeed that they often don’t know when’s the right time to stop. It’s far too easy to burn out, to forget the importance of the work-life balance (believe me, I’ve been there). It’s really important to remember that life isn’t just about work. Make the most of every moment, of all the people around you who you love and who love you. One of the worst realisations possible is waking up feeling that your life has raced you by and you’ve missed what’s really important. Stop once in a while and take stock.
One of the principal elements of Reset Button is introducing people to Mindfulness, which in today’s busy world is fundamental to our wellbeing. It helps people slow down, decompress and rather than mindlessly following the goals they think will one day make them happy, instead allows them to choose the life they want to live today.