If there’s one subject that dominates my thinking, it’s the question of what separates those who win in life from those that never even get in the game? What is it that leads one person to make the most of their potential while someone else never comes close to reaching theirs?
This question has become an obsession of mine and I truly believe that the answer is ambition. I know this has been true in my life. I’m the first to admit that I’m not that smart, handsome or talented. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions, but luckily, being wildly ambitious has always helped me overcome my many shortcomings.
Over the weekend, I had this discussion with a friend of mine because I see so many people with so much more talent than I have who are struggling. People who are better educated and more intelligent but trapped in dead-end jobs and unhappy about it. All of them, I know could be so much more if they could just convince themselves to step up and try. They’re people not showing up in their own lives. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I know what they need.
People who need more ambition, need to, just one time accomplish something they didn’t know they could do. They need to get a job that they’re not qualified for, or get a date with the knockout, or land the client they thought would never do business with them. They need one big win to sell themselves on themselves.
I’m convinced that pulling off that first upset win if you’ll excuse the sports analogy, is the gateway drug of human achievement. It creates an ambition addiction that will continue to push them to show up, and try to win again and again. It’s that first big win that will make them winners for life.
That’s how it happened for me. I’ve shared the story of how the skinny kid with the big mouth was elected against impossible odds to a statewide office in FFA. I never dreamed much of a future before that event, but that big win created an addiction within me that has made me reach for things beyond my grasp my entire life. It’s been the difference between winning and not showing up.
This is why I bang the drum so hard about just starting. It’s why I push the people I love so hard to just go for it and figure out the rest later. I’ve seen first hand the difference that its made in my life. The taste of that first win is so addictive that I know it can do the same for them. They just have to take that first step, as scary as it may be.
I spend a great deal of my waking hours thinking about what separates those that win from those that never show up for the game. That difference is ambition. The good news is that that addiction is just one big win away. I truly hope you find yours.