Ambition

Why New Year's Resolutions Are Worth Setting


I love it when a year changes over to the next. I especially love New Year's Eve and New Year's Day because people all over the world embrace the concept of a clean slate and a fresh start. They are international days of optimism and the energy is contagious.

New year's resolutions get a bad rap. Some people claim that they never keep them so they just give up on setting them. Other people claim that resolutions are an example of not being content with who we are or failing to embrace our flaws. I find, though, that wanting to change and be better stems not from a lack of self-esteem, but rather a desire to use some of the untapped potential that we know exists in us.

This is healthy. If I am the same exact person I was a year ago it means that I've gone twelve months without learning anything:

  • Nothing from books.

  • Nothing from conversations with friends and colleagues.

  • Nothing from a thoughtfully made TV program or movie.

  • Nothing from a joyful (or difficult) experience.

This results in a boring life. Our one over-arching resolution should always be to be a better person by this time next year.

You can't outsource potential and the thing about your potential is that you're the only one who can reach it. Success changes the dynamics of relationships more often than failure does and I'm convinced that we usually self-sabotage out of a fear of success rather than a fear of failure.

As the old saying goes, "People stay in hell because the street signs are familiar." Don't waste your potential just because the people around you may be wasting theirs. Change and growth are hard work, but worth it.


Originally published January 2012

Why 'Stay In Your Lane' Is Terrible Advice

99% of the time someone tells you to "stay in your lane" you can rightfully interpret it as, "Your talent and/or success threatens me and I'm afraid I'm becoming irrelevant because of it." 

Should you try to be all things to all people or a "Jack of all trades"? No, and that's not what this is about.

If your skillset allows you to pursue new opportunities that make sense for your brand, your family, and your goals, go after them. You don't need permission from those who would rather see you fail or, worse, coast along in joyless mediocrity.

Your goals belong to you and ambition is not a dirty word. You don't need your competitors to sign off on your business plan. 


Originally published April 2014

When Others Dismiss You

Some people will be threatened by your ambition.

Some people will be threatened by your work ethic.

Some people will be threatened by your talent.

Some people will be threatened by your personality.

Some people will be threatened by your intelligence. 

Some people will gossip to anyone who will listen that you’re irrelevant as a way to protect themselves from being seen as irrelevant. 

Some people will try to define you by work you did ten years ago as a way to dismiss your creative growth. 

And, in the short term, their tactics may work. People may listen to and believe them. In the long term though, their actions to dismiss you will backfire. People will see your work speak for itself. 

Keep pursuing your goals.
Keep showing up.
Keep innovating.
Keep developing your creative muscle. 

If the work you do makes life more enjoyable or easier to navigate, then the work you do makes the world a better place. 

Ignore the noise. We need you.
 


Originally published March 2016