I liked this piece: Where Did My Ambition Go?
I suspect many people will suffer this problem, wondering why be ambitious at your work when for many jobs the opportunities to succeed are decreasing.
The whole piece is worth reading, but the ending (below) was noteworthy:
At the same time, my ambition for my community and the wider world has gotten bigger and broader. I don’t know exactly where I fit in it, but I do know that I want all workers to be treated with dignity and respect — a small, humble ask that requires an unending amount of work. And I want all people who are unable to work or unable to find work to also be treated with dignity and respect. I want to become more active in organizing, I want to be a resource for those looking for guidance in their careers — at least while we’re living under capitalism — and I want to make enough money to be able to throw some of that money at the world’s problems. My medium-size dreams for myself may be getting smaller, but my ambitions for the greater wide world have to be enormous. It’s the only way to get through.
If you are ambitious in this way, you will achieve things beyond what you could achieve through your job. Wanting to succeed and achieve something of value is a good thing to want. Don’t limit that desire to just your work life: make it a desire for your whole life. That is truly ambitious.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten on setting long term goals is one I heard at a client I was working with. His team was making five year goals. It’s a difficult thing to do. It’s easy to make a vague statement about where you’d ideally like to get to in five years. To make it concrete, he told his team that they had to make a one year goal that bridged to the goal in year five and that they would commit to do before the year was done.
This is something you can do for any longer term goal, from one year to ten. Let’s say you want to run a marathon in a year. Then decide what your goal is for the next 1-3 months that brings you closer to that goal. If you want to own a house in ten years, what are you doing in the next 1-2 years to get there. By committing to shorter term goals, you get greater certainly you will achieve your longer term goals and you get closer to them with each short term goal you achieve.
If you want to set some financial goals, try reading this: How to Save for Short & Medium-Term Financial Goals? | WiserAdvisor – Blog.
It’s also where I got the image above.
How you read this piece depends on who you are: Is It Ever Too Late to Pursue a Dream? You may recall it: it’s a long article about Dan Stoddard, a 39 year old, 6 foot 8 inch, 300+ pound guy playing basketball for a small college in Ontario who want to play pro.
When I read it, I first thought: no way. The guy’s too old, too big, too…you name it, he isn’t going to be a professional basketball player. That’s one way to read it. A very grounded way to read it.
Another way to read it is to consider how dreams and goals shape us and change us and change others around us. I have a friend who sets very high goals and sometimes lands short of them. But even landing short, she accomplishes something beyond most people and beyond herself. The accomplishments matter, because they matter to her. The accomplishments matter, because they get others to seek out goals too. Others, like her, setting aim and leaving the ground. Leaving the ground, the way Dan Stoddard does.
How you consider these quotes depends on who you are.
This is brilliant: 44 Short Books to Help You Reach Your Reading Challenge Goal – Goodreads News & Interviews.
It’s a great list of books, for starters. Second, they tell you how long they long they are and a number of them are under 100 or 200 pages.
If you are trying to reach a reading challenge goal, or if you are stuck trying to get started reading, or if you find you never finish books due to their length, then you should check out that list.
Good advice on how to get started on that project / hobby / adventure you have always want to start can be found here: How to Dare to Begin.
Beginning is often the biggest hurdle. Before you begin, you can imagine all the difficulties you will have, and such imaginings stop you before you can even start. If this applies to you, read the article. You may find yourself getting started after all.
Another thought: take an athlete’s approach to getting started and keeping at it. Get a coach. Get cheerleaders. Talk it up while you are doing the thing you’ve held off doing. Give yourself as much encouragement as you can. Give yourself a goal. Do all those things and you will find you not only get started but you keep going.
Good luck. Dare to do good things. Great things, eventually.
(Image from the article linked to.)
If you’ve decided to become more fit, work better, or be better generally, then consider these resources to support you as advance towards achieving your goals:
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