Most of us wait for things to happen to us. And I am one of them, or at least …I was. For over a decade, I was a dedicated employee, working every day, all day and sometimes all evening for the company I loved and in jobs that I enjoyed very much. There was only one way to succeed in my mind: building a corporate career vertically, one that I would be able to look back on and be proud of when I retired. That was my career objective and it was a damn good one and sure on the side I would dream of doing other things, have more hobbies.
But suddenly everything changed. My father passed away and my whole world, in perfect balance till then, came down crushing this perspective of mine. I realized I never had factored in this probability and by probability I don’t mean the passing of loved ones alone. But also the realization that in an instant, everything you have could be gone. As humans, we tend to navigate life with the arrogant presumption that tomorrow will come, that we have more time to achieve other things, more time to figure out what we want. With the passing of my father, along with the deepest sorrow that I ever experienced, I realized that tomorrow is never guaranteed. That thought alone, changed my perspective and eventually my destiny.
As we near year two of the Pandemic, it is safe to say that it has changed most people’s perspectives on their lives, their dreams, ambitions and purpose. It created the space needed to observe and evaluate how they spend the time they have every day. I keep wondering why it is that we need tragedy to strike, for us to wake up and consider the possibility of our most desired dreams and needs? Why does it take so much effort and courage to follow your true ambitions and get after opportunities you have been staring at for a while in the back of your head? Well, while we research the why, we can also decide to do something about it. Now.
Ambition is a quality that is present in everyone of us, but it takes many forms and colors. To me, it’s the force that drives us towards achieving something greater for ourselves. But here is the thing: ambition can be misplaced. Let me give you an example: If you throw yourself into the work you are employed to do, you are most likely driven by the ambition to deliver great work. But if you have in your day too little room to re-center yourself, separate yourself from that work and remain connected to your own dream or purpose, then you lose it. You start absorbing your team’s ambition as your own. Or worse, you mistake the company’s ambition for yours. You lose sight of yourself, your own self worth and purpose. You drift further and further from what you really are meant to achieve in your life.
Don’t wait for tragedy to strike to figure out what is important to you. Spend the time now to re-center yourself and tune into your very own ambitions. It doesn’t have to take over everything, a simple first step is to reach out to someone you feel understands you and will challenge you just enough to further understand yourself. And if I can do that for you, then go ahead and reach out for a (digital) coffee. And let’s look together into your future.