I have never been officially diagnosed but I seriously believe I have some form of ADD. If nothing else, exercise/fitness/dance/movement ADD. I get bored QUICKLY and it affects how I work out, when I work out, why I work out and with whom I work out. Real talk, I wonder how I EVER stuck to an exercise regimen (especially in the beginning when I was doing the SAME thing OVER and OVER again) or a vegan diet (again, especially at the beginning. Veggie burgers, again? Seriously?) I can only describe it with one word. And it’s the word that has been waking me up out of my sleep lately, following me around all day and finding its way into all of my tweets, conversations and hashtags.
When I googled ambition, it returned this definition: “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” This is the ONLY time I am EVER going to refer to myself as typical because I “typically” find myself working my butt off based on a strong desire. My issue right now is how to channel the desire. Ambition, or eagerness, hunger, drive, determination going in the wrong direction can be just as detrimental.
What’s the REAL drive behind what you do? And where is your ambition taking you, not just physically but mentally?
I’ll be the first one to admit that my “ambition” hasn’t always been to make me better for life. It’s been to make me better for a man, to be accepted among my peers, to have bragging rights. And sometimes on that quest, ambition (or what I called ambition) drove me to states of psychosis and obsession and I just used the word “ambition” to cover up the fact that I’d do ANYTHING for what I wanted whether it was serving me well or not in the long run. Because, seriously, when I was starving myself I REALLY thought being slim would solve all of my problems. That strong desire was making me lose weight AND lose my mind.
These days, ambition is taking me in another direction. I’m going to go ahead and venture out and say in a place I’ve never been.
Here’s a confession: I have several lazy bones in my body. And if they all get together and decide to take over and my mind decides to jump in, it is VERY hard for me to get going in the right direction. It is more than a fight. It’s a war. But my natural instinct is ambition. I honestly believe I was born with it. I believe I lost some of it along or, well, let me tell the truth. (Because if I can’t be authentic then I won’t be anything.)
My ambition dwindled because I was more concerned about people liking me than I was at succeeding. I was hated for being in the spotlight, for doing well, for aiming high. Just last week some high school friends and I were talking about being chased and threatened because we went to a magnet school. But I suffered greatly, emotionally, personally, over my lifetime at the hands of people I loved for succeeding. I found it is easier to just do nothing and aim to be nothing. I was liked that way. I kept drama down that way. I lived that way for years, miserably.
But, lately, something has happened to me.
I’ve found myself pushing a little more, aiming a little higher, setting goals and dreaming dreams that seem so far out of my reach and believing in them. There is fire that is literally burning out of control up in here. Ambition. Ambition. Ambition. Ambition. Ambition. I can’t stop thinking about it. And it’s about me getting better to live a better life. I am beyond the point of trying to impress, be understood or please. I’m working with my clients on a new level. I’m teaching my classes differently. I’ve got somewhere to go. And it feels good. Actually, it feels great. And I don’t have to explain it to anyone.
I’ll be forty in July. I do wonder what my life will look like then. There is a part of me wondering if I will ever tighten up some of this loose skin around my belly but my ambition is not there. There is a part of me that wonders if I’ll be stronger, fully recovered from my surgery, able to lift more, teach new things, open new doors in the fitness world and walk through a few new ones, stop craving cake no matter how vegan it is and drinking Starbucks. But I do NOT worry about it being better. Because I’m not afraid to seek what gets me there. And I’m no longer afraid to find it either. And I’m not afraid to do the hard work.
How’s your ambition level? What has you really turned up? Where is your strong desire? And are you willing to do the work?
Let’s get dirty.