Steven Pressfield says that ambition is one of the most fundamental of human emotions or psychological needs. When we don’t listen to it, something dies in us.
I think it’s important to listen to the right ambitions. There are multiple voices inside us. There are those voices from our higher nature. And there are those voices from our lower nature. Then there are all those voices from other people who want to sell us things.
The trick is to find the right voice and listen to it.
The Need to Grow
I think we grow most when we sincerely give freely of our greatest gifts to others. I think this might be a sort of litmus test as to where the voice comes from. If we want our wealth to grow so we can drive around in an expensive car and be seen as being successful, perhaps we are listening to a lower voice. But if the voice we hear tells us to write our stories or build our company so that our gifts can help other people, perhaps then we’re on the right track.
In those quiet moments of least distraction, when we’re either too tired or too worn out to be dishonest with ourselves, we know what those gifts are. Some gifts are tough to quanitfy. But there are those breakthrough moments of clarity when the words come to us, and we can say in one sentence what we were born to give to the world. From that point on, it’s no use hiding from that mission. Having learned the truth about our gifts, Life’s next step is to commit to that mission. Until we do that, we pay a price.
Fear: The Wall
Who knows what the Fear actually comes from. Fear of abandonment by our Tribe? Fear of success? Fear of Failure? Fear of being out of excuses and having to own that maybe the work we’ve produced isn’t of a professional quality yet? Who knows. All those fears work. But for now, I call it Resistance. And somehow, unique to each of us, it’s based in our deepest fears. That’s all we really need to know.
That makes Resistance and Fear different names for the same wall. You have to get past the wall each day. It doesn’t matter what name is painted on the wall. The point is, you have to get past it. Day. After. Day.
What really motivates me is the picture of the mission from my Higher Self. Helping people with my unique gifts. If it’s the fancy car or big house or hot wife, then the motivation doesn’t flow. But if I can picture my creation helping someone else, that motivates me.
For example, if I were to create a way for separated people to connect over video conferencing, I could imagine a soldier in Afghanistan talking with his 1 year old boy in Florida. Or a house-bound grand mother seeing her grand child for the first time. And on and on. That is motivating to me.
With thoughts like that, that I’ve custom made for my needs, the chances improve dramatically that I can kick Resistance’s ass day after day.