On Being Ambitious
“A ball that contains all the potential in the world at rest will never be anything more than potential.”
People are motivated out of force or necessity, but ambition is something that feasibly cannot be forced. Your boss can’t force you to want a promotion, a professor can’t force you to want to study harder, etc.,etc. If you don’t feel the ambition or drive to better yourself, you remain in the status quo, which is essentially regression. It may not be as extreme as Brooks Hatlen’s mantra, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin'”, but maybe it should be. We get older with each passing day, why don’t we make every concerted effort to fill our lives with joy and live them to fullest? Why don’t we drive ourselves to try new things, pursue our dreams, take some risks; and if we come up short, what’s the worst that could happen? We end up where we started but at least you tried. Even baby steps in a positive direction is absolutely better than not moving at all. This doesn’t have to be as stark as quitting your job as an IT technician or investment banker to pursue a career in marine biology because it’s what you always wanted to do since the first time you watched Flipper on Nickelodeon despite the fact that you grew up in landlocked Iowa thousands of miles from an ocean. But if that’s what you end up doing, then don’t hold back. Mitigate and, if possible, eliminate regret and remorse. Your surroundings and environment are vitally important in all of this and surrounding yourself with a positive circle ingrains that mindset and behavior in you as well.
But who am I to preach, unless I practice just that? My aspirations in their simplest form is to be a positive influence on those who I come into contact with on a regular basis. No matter the medium; blog, e-mail, telephone, personal contact, postal mail, Facebook, Twitter, skywriting, buried treasures I have left behind; my ultimate goal is to bring positivity into people’s lives. In most cases it is something minimal that may make you nod your head and smile, and in the best cases, you get up out of your chair and go do something. We all may have an aspect of our lives that we have allowed to fall into a complacent cycle. Our career, our hobbies, our relationships with both friends and significant others, but only you have the power to change your now.
It’s hard to create a post like this without sounding trite or cliche, but you know how it goes. The adage “If I can inspire one person to chase a dream after reading this than it’s been a success” is absolutely true. The dream doesn’t have to be extremely elaborate or overly risky, but even a change from the routine(s) you find yourself stuck in. Paint or draw a picture. Can’t draw? So what. Some of my favorite drawings are sketches I saw when I worked at the daycare made by 4 year-olds, so I’d probably like your doodlings as well. Make up a song. Write some words or make them up on the fly, hum a melody, and sing it for fun, out loud, wherever you are, even if you’re embarrassed of your singing voice. Cook an elaborate and decadent dinner for you and some friends. Everything tastes better when you’ve rolled up yours sleeves and prepared it yourself and when someone tells you it’s delicious, you can’t help but feel proud. Build something. A shelf for your toys, a homemade crate for your books or records, a Pinewood Derby track, build something with your own hands and I promise the final product is amazingly rewarding. Buy a cheap video camera and make a movie. Write a script and act it out or make a documentary. Whether it’s a video travel journal or maybe it’s about your dog, but edit it, add a soundtrack, and give it life. Write a story. Maybe that story will turn into a novel, maybe not. Sometimes it feels good to sit down with a pen and notebook/computer/typewriter and let your stream of conscious flow.
There is a point to all of this. This is almost like a Rorschach Test or a word association game…but with more words. I say inspiration, you say _________. Whatever it is that comes to your mind first, go do it. No matter what the outlet may be. Go. Do. It.
We don’t all have to be world-shakers, but we can at the very least shake up our daily grind. One thing I felt my blog has been lacking is heart and soul. I could post a million pictures of limited edition toys and sneakers, obscure bands’ new singles and videos , beautiful art and cinema releases and clothes I hope someday I have the money to buy, but it still feels lacking without some flesh and blood. A pulse and a reason to keep posting. My reason to keep posting is for the people who read this, but ultimately I would love to foster more interaction. Get involved, comment, make fun of me, reply to other people’s comments, share links, share stories. I’ve had one guest post on the blog, but would love to have more. Anyone interested in sharing anything with the masses, let me know and we’ll make it so. E-mail me if you feel the urge. Send me your address, I’ll write you a letter. Human interaction is irreplaceable and as we continually progress technologically, especially with the barrage of social media we encounter, we are effectively eliminating that human interaction while exponentially multiplying how much is being said. Let’s utilize these tools we have at our disposal to facilitate growth, new experiences, connections and adventure.