- If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive. – Aliko Dangote
I have those days I wake up and think – really? The alarm clock irritates me, everything and everyone around irritates me and it seems the best thing for me to do would be – sleep. I begrudgingly pull myself out of bed because ‘duty calls’. I know I cannot call into work and say “Sorry I am not coming in today …I don’t feel like it”. I get up because deep inside, I know I have to. My day job is part of a larger hustle – a bigger goal – steps I am taking to live my dreams. However the dreams, the drive and essentially ambition are what keep me going. Alike Dangote is on the Forbes African Rich List and states “If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive”. I think the way the words are put together is a bit dramatic but essentially a truth is being told. As over exaggerated as it may seem – how can you live if you think and believe you have nothing to live for?
Let me expand on this. I understand having something to live for is relative – each person should have their own dreams and ambitions; not everyone has to aspire to world domination. In fact it is my personal belief that we should all have the ambition of having a great family, good relationships, having people we can rely on and be relied upon. You know that old school “my word is my bond” and “I am my Brother’s Keeper” values. Unfortunately such values seem to have slowly dissolved into thin air and we now sing along to the tune of ‘Me, Myself and I’. It really is sad. Fact is “No man is an island” (I know Cliché overload but there are truths in these), and we need to invest in our relationships to achieve the other goals we have.
Where does ambition fall into all of this? Ambition…. an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment:
1. aspiration, yearning, longing. 2. goal, aim. 3. drive, force.
I am sure the Einstein’s among you have already connected the dots. Ambition is so essential because it is the driving force to the goals we have. Ambition moves me from the gear of helplessness and hopelessness to fearlessness and focus. Ambition enables me to see that where I am can be better and introduces a longing for something more. To be more. Ambition moves me from being someone who simply desires distinction, honour, power, fame or money to being that go – getter who takes steps and sees all of the above become a reality.
So the next time you are waking up, day dreaming or doing whatever in between and you are struggling to figure out why you even bother anymore – go back to basics…A – for Ambition. Remember why you started and cling to that because it will give you a power and focus you never knew you had. Chose to be Alive!