Remain Relevant and Ambitious

Most people would assume that passion is a more potent determining force than hatred. No one idealises being motivated by hate—instead, most dream about living a life filled with drive, fulfilment and personal happiness.

Although they are not necessarily hate-filled, many people are more motivated by hate than passion. A prime example of this is within one’s career; holding onto a job you hate is much easier than pursuing a career you’d love.

You hear about it all the time. People moan about their ‘dead-end’ jobs which they’ve been slaving away at for five, ten or twenty years. They find their work boring, unchallenging, menial and meaningless. They don’t like their boss or many of their co-workers, they hate the commute in the morning, and overall, they feel their life slipping away from them.

Yet, despite all their complaints, tears and sleepless nights, they continue to go in, day-in, day-out. They don’t apply for other jobs or even look for a new job. They’re committed to their misery out of fear.

The Fear of Failure

People settle for an unfulfilling life out of fear. They fear they aren’t worthy of anything more significant, or they fear that this is as good as is possible. They may face unemployment, rejection and stress, but these adverse outcomes are only temporary. Unfortunately, this fear of short-term failure is enough to reduce qualified, capable and potential rising-stars to a lowly, sad existence.

Those dominated by a fear of failure avoid setting goals for themselves in case they fall short or miss them entirely, but this is the wrong way to look at goals. Personal and professional short, mid and long-term goals aren’t commandments which people must adhere to on pain of death. They’re merely pickets guiding you in a progressive direction.

Goals are essential to have, but you should never laud them as the ultimate purpose. You may meet some of your goals, but others you may miss, and you’ll likely establish new goals now and then. Being flexible with your goals allows for the space to embrace failures, changes or new ambitions and circumstances. This, however, doesn’t excuse having a slack attititude towards your goals, nor does it mean that having goals is useless. Short, mid and long-term goals necessary to steer you in the right direction – they’re the compass leading you down a path of growth.

Growth is the Key to Success

No matter how much you try to avoid failure, every accomplishment, defeat and hindrance is crucial to growth as they prepare you for future hurdles and hardships. Staying in the safe bubble of your misery may be secure, but there’s more to your life and potential. Selling yourself short for the sake of security is a sure-fire way to live a miserable and passive experience.

Becoming relevant and attaining ambition requires that you hold yourself liable for living a higher standard beyond what is expected of you by others. Justifying your lack of improvement and growth with pity stories about your “unique” circumstances may let you off the hook with others, but it won’t let you off the hook with your future self. Regret is an ugly thing to face in old life – don’t allow yourself the chance to run into it.

Kain Ramsay
[email protected]

As an established teacher of personal and professional growth principles, and a champion of mental well-being, Kain Ramsay is regarded as one of the world’s foremost thought leaders of modern applied psychology.