Many people are driven by ambition ... this desire and determination to achieve success. It's neither a good or bad thing ... ambition just is.
In fact, achieving sh*t just for the sake of achieving it is one of the 5 keys to a thriving life.
Problem is ... when achieving sh*t is the only thing you've got going on ... and you're absent of the other 4 ... then you wont thrive.
I talk about all 5 Keys to a Thriving Life here.
Now ... I think I've been pretty ambitious in life ... this was especially true in my research years. You don't end up being in the top 2% of educated people in Australia with 5 degrees if you don't have some ambition.
But ... ambition has a dark side.
Wrapped up in our ambition can be a sense of delayed gratification, which can become delayed gratitude. In other words, we delay our happiness until we achieve success and fulfil our ambition.
Ambition takes us out of the moment because it's all about what we imagine in the future.
Think about it in your business.
When we get the website finished.
When we get that funnel built.
When we get our AOV over $100.
When we start making sales off that webinar.
When we get messenger campaign done.
Our business provides a constant stream of stuff to get done in the future ... with our success tied to that future. We're always in anticipation and this takes its toll on us in the here and now.
I came up with a simple mind-hack that disrupted this pattern of continual, stressful anticipation.
First, we never seem to get satisfied. As entrepreneurs we're always chasing that new goal.
And so, I proved to myself that ambition was never satisfying.
In addition, the achievement of our goals happens in an instance. You can't 'stay' in the moment of 'achievement'.
When I did my first 6 figure launch ... it happened the split second the account tipped over the 100K mark and then it was over. When I got my PhD ... it took 6 years ... and then I got a letter in the mail informing me I'd satisfied the requirements and there ... it was 'done'.
That's why so many people are dissatisfied by their achievements. People advise us to take time to celebrate our achievements, but so often it's just a pat on the back ... and then it's back to work.
I wanted to feel content. And I didn't want to lose my ambition to succeed. And so I swapped ideas.
I changed 'ambition' to 'creation'.
The only way you can achieve anything in the future is by creating it in the now ... and you are always in the now.
In the now, you can either do 'nothing' or you can do 'something'. I enjoy doing both. And when I'm doing something ... it's creative ... and because of that, I'm content.
I am content and creative at the same time.
I know I will probably achieve something in the future if I keep up with this creative activity ... but my happiness isn't tied to that future outcome.
This re-frame has made me a happier person. Far more content. Not always yearning and striving and waiting to be happy 'one day'.
I'm happy now. I am doing what I love to do now. I will keep doing what I love to do in the future, after I have achieved the next thing.
My happiness isn't riding on my success or failure of some future imagined event that has elements that are out of my control.
The one and only thing we can control is what we do right now, and as entrepreneurs, we can achieve remarkable things and be happy and content on the journey.