Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feeding Our Ambitions

Every day there are things we need to fuel our endeavors. We need sleep and we need food and without these we do not have the energy to accomplish what we need to do much less what we want to do. However, we need to be able to feed more than just our bodies, we need to feed our ambitions. When we feed our ambitions there is a fine line between an unproductive kind of daydreaming and the actual focusing of desire and mind on the task at hand.

The problem with ambition is that as we feed it, it puts on weight quickly. Small, good ideas grow quickly into huge, unattainable goals. The key is to maintain enough food, enough fuel to power the ambition, to give it the strength to motivate us while at the same time not letting it go crazy at the buffet table and grow too huge to manage.

One solid tool for feeding our ambitions are written goals that are measurable (we can clearly track our progress towards completion), and time sensitive (by giving ourselves a deadline we move from "some day" to a more immediate way of thinking.) The advantage of written goals is that they also have built in limits; they clearly define what we want and when we want it. This helps keep our minds from wandering, from making things bigger, better and more complex then is realistically achievable.

Another technique for feeding our ambition is to remember why we want to achieve something in the first place. A firm understanding of what we want, what desire we are feeding by ataining a goal, is a good way to keep our ambition strong but still in check.


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