Ambition is what separates people in life. It’s the difference between the guy driving the Ferrari on a nice Saturday afternoon in the spring with a hot 20-year-old right beside him, and the guy who is driving the Honda running on empty. You can’t get anything done in life without ambition. It is the most necessary trait for building your legacy and creating something out of nothing.
You can’t conquer Rome on your own and you damn sure can’t do it by being lazy and unmotivated. In life we get what we deserve. It’s not about sitting there and wondering how the hell the guy next to us managed to make it, but rather creating our own path and starting our own journey. We make what we choose to make- nothing more and nothing less. At the end of the day, as crazy as it sounds, it all comes down to ourselves and our ambition.
This is of course liberating because it leaves us to enjoy not only our own success but everyone else’s as well. You have to respect another man’s ambition and success. All the while providing us with the realization that if we aren’t where we want to be, it’s because we haven’t done what is necessary to get there – yet. It all comes down to ambition and how bad you want it from deep inside of you.
What many people don’t understand is that for our ambition to really play into affect and for us to strive for the success that we want, we must first be put to the test to make sure we are worthy of it. It is when we are at our lowest that our true will is tested.
That is when we have the greatest opportunity to show our strength, to develop the attitude of self-reliance and hard work, and get rid of the easy, lazy attitudes like jealousy and resentment. That is where it stems from.
Being jealous is easy. It gives us an excuse for why someone else is successful, and we’re not. Jealousy is our inner self-rationalization of our lack of success when the truth is that we don’t deserve success, and those who have it do because they worked for it.
Stop Crying and Start Working.
The moment you realize that it’s not the best and brightest people on the planet that are the most successful, that is when you will realize that you have a chance as well. It never comes down to talent or getting lucky, but what they do all have in common is the hard work, blood sweat and tears that they put into what they love doing. These people have, and will continue to have, what they deserve in life because they worked hard for it.
Whether it’s money, success, an empire, or loneliness as they age. They – and we – will be treated as they treat others. They – and we – will be rewarded for what we have given other people – whether that’s value, or a means to earn their keep. We all get what we deserve. So stop crying and start working so that eventually you can deserve a piece of the pie as well.
Where Would We Be Without Ambition?
Without the innovators, ambitious, successful, diligent, risk-takers our society would have nothing and be nothing. We would still be cavemen looking like apes and spreading the finest case of syphilis around. What many people don’t realize is where these innovators came from.
90% of today’s millionaires are all self-made. From the ground up, they created something out of nothing. It all stemmed from a simple idea, which lead to hustling to make it happen. Each of the following revolutionary thinkers didn’t come from a life of luxury, but had to claw, scrounge, and hustle their way to greatness.
Booker T. Washington: a man born into slavery that built over 5,000 schools, became an advisor to Republican Presidents, and founded the National Negro Business League. All he had to work with was a peanut. He added amazing value to society by finding numerous, unheard of ways to make use of simple peanuts.
Steve Jobs: a foster child, grew up to become the founder of the biggest and most successful public company the world has ever seen.
Bette Nesmith Graham: a longtime secretary and single mother who became a multi-millionaire and financier of a think-tank, aimed at solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil): a street performer who went on to start an international circus arts performance employing 5,000 people worldwide.
Thomas Edison: a man who was told he lacked creative insight, and failed 10,000 times, who went on to invent the light-bulb and found 14 companies which include General Electric.
The list goes on and on. But when you look back you understand that history repeats itself. It’s the ones that have the passion and ambition for what they are doing that continually keeps driving them and keeps them holding life by the damn horns.
The End of Ambition
“Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundamental of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.” ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
Somewhere along the line jealousy took the place of ambition. Where we once praised the ambitious, we now want what they’ve worked and sacrificed for – for nothing. We, as a society, are not only becoming more jealous, but lazier too.
Why? Why all of a sudden have the masses moved away from loving ambition and hard work and praising those who have the balls to follow that little voice that tells them they can have and be something better?
Is it because of tough times? I don’t think so. We’ve had tough times before, and instead of giving up, men and women put their heads down and worked. There’s no single reason for this move towards a hatred of the successful – because that’s what jealousy is, hatred and lust for what they have and we don’t.
That is what our world consists of today, as everyone is hating on the 1% for actually doing something with their lives. If they took that same energy they put into jealousy and channeled it into something that can propel them in life and allow them to join the ranks of the 1%, then maybe they will actually get there.
It’s so funny because many years ago this country feared the concept of communism and being average and just like everyone else. But now it is encouraged. It is seen as the easy way out. How many times have you heard the saying growing up- if you go to school get good grades, graduate college, wear a suit and have a resume on a glossy piece of paper you are set for life.
Yeah, if your definition of being set for life is being a pedestrian who dies with a balance left on his mortgage- but then I hate to say it but you are a fucking idiot.
The Death of Competition
This is at the root of the problem, along with the success of our parents. Like no generation before, the baby-boomers enjoyed much success and prosperity. The children they raised were given a lot. They now expect a lot. And by given, I mean given, not rewarded or paid due to their exceptional work, but given.
Competition, whether in sport, business, even schooling, has slowly disappeared.
Mark Zuckerberg had the idea for Facebook. He then took every necessary step and risk to make it what it is today. Same with Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. Same with Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett and Andrew Carnegie, and Bill Gates. Idea + hard work + risk + a bit of luck and timing, and in time, they’re billionaires.
They faced a lot of competition on their rise. It’s competition that made them great, and made their service great. It’s not fearing competition and refusing to accept failure. But in our schools, competition is a dirty word. Participation is becoming its replacement. It isn’t the strongest, smartest, hardest-working person who wins, and earns praise for winning, but the lazy kid who doesn’t care to work hard, who will be rewarded for merely participating.
This attitude has gone from our classrooms into the real world. People don’t want to work, they simply want.
We’re getting lazier, less ambitious, and less focused instead of the opposite, when what we need is unbridled ambition and a sickening work ethic to succeed. Vacations are monthly, bought on money we don’t have.
Hard work needs to be cool. Laziness, and the jealousy that somehow comes with it, instead, is.
Success should never be the enemy. The moment success isn’t praised, we all lose. And that is when we lose humanity at the same time. The moment we don’t praise hard work and results over participation and simply showing up is the day we all suffer.
Be ambitious. The world needs more ambitious, hard-working people. We need more innovators, creative minds, and risk-takers. We need more businessmen. Hell, we need more real men!
Preston Waters | Elite.