Notable quote from this talk:
“When you start changing how you think, how you act, how you treat others, how you treat yourself, when you start responding instead of reacting to life, life will start responding to you.”
To a lot of people, ambition is kind of a mystery. The dictionary says it’s an eager desire for distinction, power or fame.
But what does that really mean?
Well, let’s start with the word EAGER. All by itself, eager is kind of exciting. Kids are eager for their birthday parties. They expect to be the center of attention. Get lots of presents, eat too much.
I guess grown-ups are eager for birthdays, too. Unless, of course, they’re embarrassed that the number of candles on the cake outnumber their achievements.
But we can be eager to see a ballgame. Eager to see our kids in a dance recital. Eager to see an old friend. Eager to shop for a new car. Eager sounds like a lot of fun.
But do you ever hear people say they are eager to live a better life? Eager to have a better family? Eager to make a lot of money?
And that’s a problem, because how I see it living a better life, having a better family and making a lot of money takes an eager desire.
We have the remarkable ability to get exactly what we must have. But there is a difference between wishes and desires. We’ve all heard people say, oh, I wish I could just drop five pounds. I want to be a little lighter. And we’ve probably set it ourselves, especially after a big holiday dinner of turkey and homemade pie; and every other thing we can possibly stuff ourselves with in one eight hour period of time.
And even though we may wish we could breathe a little easier on our clothing, we have to have the desire to exercise a little more and eat a little less.
The “I wish I could lose weight” has to become “I have the eager desire to lose weight.’
I’m also sure you’ve heard people talk about wishing they had more money to pay the bills or take a vacation or just to take a little pressure off of life.
But before their lifestyle can change, their wish needs to become a desire. If they really desired change, they wouldn’t spend their evenings just watching TV and wishing they were doing something more.
The backbone of an eager desire to change is discipline. True ambition is discipline, eager desire.
It’s that little part within us that says:
‘If I want to be ready for that meeting tomorrow, I need to finish preparing for it today.’
‘If I want to make sure I can pay for my kid’s college education, I need to start saving today.’
‘If I want a better life tomorrow, I need to start working on it today.’
Ambition is a minute by minute, day by day mentality. To have the ambition to work towards a better family life, a newer car, a bigger house, a financially secure future, you have to live it every moment.
If living a successful life was easy, I’m sure more people would be successful. If just being ambitious was enough, I’m sure all of the broke and perplexed people in the world wouldn’t be broke and perplexed.
While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily working at building and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them.
And here sits the much larger group wondering in awe on how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.
So what’s the major difference between the little group with so much and the larger group with so little?
Despite all the factors that affect our lives, like the kind of parents we have, the schools we attended, the part of the country we grew up in, none has as much potential power for doing good as the ability to dream.
Dreams are a projection of the kind of life we want to lead. Dreams can drive you, dreams can make you skip over obstacles.
When we allow our dreams to pull us, they unleash a creative force that can overpower everything in our way. To unleash this power though, your dreams must be well defined. A fuzzy future has little pull power. Well-defined dreams are not fuzzy. Wishes are fuzzy. To really achieve your dreams, to really have your future plans pull you, your dreams must be vivid.