Show me a man who has nothing to do and I’ll show you a man with no ambition.
I’ve always wondered when people tell me they have nothing to do, whether it be at work or in their personal life, whether or not they realise what they’re saying. I’m one of those incredibly lucky people who’s been able to be focused on my goals for a very long time and it’s a quality I see in so many successful people. The common term used for this is ambition or drive, as a lot of successful people will tell you they just felt the need to achieve their goals. This idea came to me after a few weeks of one of my housemates telling me he had nothing to do, and I realised it was because he had no real ambition for any goal.
There are many things in life that can lead us to have a lack of ambition. I often find myself hitting road blocks in plans (like my last 3 week struggle with banks, brokers and lawyers ugh) that lead me to question what the point of it all was, and then throw my hands up at the situation thinking there’s nothing more I can do on it. Sometimes this is true, there are times in life when you can’t make any progress on a problem and the best thing you can do is leave it. What you have to avoid is the trap of never going back to address that problem as with time comes wisdom which can often be applied in ways you may not have previously thought of.
I’ve found the best way to keep myself motivated is to have 2 sets of goals. The first set is a set of small short term achievable goals that are mostly based on time invested. Something like this blog is a good example. It takes me about an hour every day to write a post and that’s something I can easily achieve without having to sacrifice anything else. I also have goals set for myself in the games I play (yes admittedly its World of Warcraft, but that doesn’t invalidate the idea!) and that small reward keeps me motivated for the rest of my activities. The second set are long term goals that I’m constantly working towards, like financial independence or getting my pilots license. It’s this combination of almost instantaneous gratification and long term prospects that keep my ambition going, and leaves me with few dull moments where there’s little for me to do.
The hardest thing about all this is finding what drives you, but once you discover what your passion is so many things seem to fall into place.