Spinning your Wheels Yes? But, are you Driving to Success?

by Guy Ralfe on October 21, 2009

Off Road - VW TouregI have been giving some thought to motivation and ambition and was trying to determine which is the more powerful.

My initial thoughts were that if you didn’t have any motivation then you wouldn’t be able to piece together any ambition, so that must be the most important. But then I reflected on what happens during those days that we have to dig deep for the motivation and what makes us dig deep, maybe that is where ambition kicks in.

Ambition is described as ‘a desire to seek after earnestly or aspire to

Motivation is described as ‘to provide with an incentive; impel

Assessing these two descriptions, ambition seems to imply a ‘Pull’ force and motivation a ‘Push’ force. I liken this to the ongoing debate about vehicles – which wheels are the most important to be driven. If importance is performance and driving feel, the argument always seems to settle on rear wheel drive, but if you want safety and efficiency then the argument is favored towards front wheel drive. There is however one scenario when everyone will agree and that is in off-road situations, everyone wants 4 wheel drive (or as many wheels as you have). We can all muster up some motivation on occasion, we can have some ambition and we can get somewhere. But, to be truly successful, we need to have both motivation and ambition clearly worked out and working together to get through the tough stuff and realize our goals!

I speculate that Ambition is the more dangerous of the two, because if we don’t have a real ambition that we are clear about with a tactical plan to achieve, we can easily get caught up in our own fantasies. These fantasies will allow us to still produce the motivation in the short term but will ultimately result in miss guided energy.

How many people have you heard have started a diet and given up just as quickly? People have usually packed on the pounds over a number of years and then suddenly wake up one morning expecting to change their habits and lose the pounds  in a couple of weeks of concerted effort. After the first week when they have barely lost a fraction of what they had intended to, the motivation goes out the window and the diet ends. In this case the ambition was a fantasy and the motivation wasted.

To be successful we need to forge our ambition, be clear in what it is and have a plan to get there. Going back to the diet, it would be to hold the ambition to lose X lbs and to go about it following a specific diet program, probably with some help, with a realistic target date. Now you have a solid ambition, your motivation can be held for longer and directed to produce results in keeping with your ambition and ultimately realization of your goals .

This doesn’t mean the road to accomplishment will be any easier, it just means that the road has a far higher chance of getting you to your destination and that is where the success is at.

Lock in the 4 wheel drive and hit the road to success with a clear ambition and aligned motivation!

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