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“Ambition” is such a wonderfully complex concept. It begins with something like desire. You imagine or see something you’d like to be, at the same time developing a desire to be that way, then add in a commitment to take action. Ambitious people have the ability to take that final step consistently and to good effect.
Renowned motivational speaker Jim Rohn identified self-enterprising people with ambition. Writing for Success magazine, he says “Building your ambition is building your enterprising skills: To consistently create new opportunity, to consistently take advantage of the opportunity you’ve created, to be aware, to face life with your eyes and ears open to the possibilities that might be just around the corner. Self-enterprising people always see the future in the present. Self-enterprising people will always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it.”
A key characteristic of enterprising people, moreover, is the ability to take action in order to turn their dreams into reality. “Success isn’t in the having,” Rohn writes. “Success is in the doing. It’s the process of doing that brings value. It’s the activity that transforms our dreams into reality that converts ideas into actuality. Self-enterprise is found in the activity. For without activity, we’ll miss the opportunity.”
In the real world, though, there are so many obstacles to taking positive action. A tendency to procrastinate. A limited amount of time. Family commitments. A lack of clarity about goals. The list goes on. But there are ways to jump start your ambition. Rohn offers six excellent tips to get going and take action.
If you’re faced with a mental roadblock, put it down on paper. Writing is an often under-appreciated form of action in itself. Writing down a problem, for example, requires you organize your thoughts, look at them objectively once they are on paper and begin to evaluate solutions.
Develop the ability to brainstorm. Ideally, you brainstorm in a group. The key, though, is that you must be comfortable within the group, because creative ideas cannot flourish if you or anyone is inhibited. You might throw out an idea which you think is silly, but it might trigger someone else to take it a step further, and in the right direction. And vice versa — you need people to toss out ideas without worrying about getting their egos crushed.
Imagine outlandish solutions. This naturally flows from uninhibited brainstorming and is the doorway to creative ideas.
Doodle. This is almost the mirror image extension of writing itself. Doodling opens up a part of the brain that is linked to creativity.
Access the information highway. The key here is that the internet is not only links you to information — it’s your link to other people. It’s another chance to network.
Commit yourself to learning. Rohn emphasizes that “Learning is the beginning of self-enterprise.” Start learning, keep learning and all good things will follow.
Read a deeper discussion of Rohn’s advice on ambition here, including links to related articles.