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Humility Or Ambition: Which One To Follow In Your Life’s Journey

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Balance

When it comes to making the choice of whether to pursue humility or ambition, there really is no right answer. But there is an answer that is better suited to your life goals. You may find that unfettered ambition is the quality that will land you that executive job. Or you may find that humility better suits your charitable goals.

You may even find that you fluctuate between qualities as needed, that they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. But without one right choice, it’s up to you to read each individual situation and choose an appropriate strategy.

You’ve got more doors open than you realize

A lot of opportunities get missed when you think they aren’t viable options. The key to unlocking them? Ambition. Sometimes it needn’t take more than a simple ambitious ask, like for a promotion or a raise, or asking someone out on a date.

Of course, asks should be tactful and adjusted for the existing status of relationship between two parties. For example, asking a friend out on a date might be different than asking a stranger. You could take the humbler approach of waiting for these opportunities to be offered to you, but there’s no guarantee and you’ll probably be waiting a while. So take action and ask for it. The worst that could happen is that you hear ‘no.’

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

One quality can lend itself to myriad qualities

On the ambition side, you open yourself up to acquiring and fostering a range of other qualities that will help you fulfill your life’s journey to the fullest. Perseverance is perhaps the most useful quality to pair with ambition, as ambition does not guarantee success. It takes perseverance, that potent combination of grit and resilience.

Perseverance is what will compel your ambition to carry on in the face of adversity, bringing it to a victory or illuminating another path to success. Humility can be a helpful trait as well, lending itself to the development of altruism and effective relationship building.

A means to an end may surprise you

Reaching your goals is a more complex matter than using ambitious tactics for monumental outcomes, or humble tactics for greater good outcomes. Ambitious people can benefit from the qualities in congruence with humility, as relationships are an important component of realising success.

Without knowing how to navigate relationships with compassion, understanding, and selflessness, you are bound to burn bridges. Likewise, humble people can benefit from adopting characteristics of ambition to their life journey, like applying ambition to altruistic goals. Using ambitious measures, a typically humble person can accomplish things like charitable fundraising and expanding the scope of a project.

The stuff of good and great leaders

Arguably, good leaders possess some degree of humility and/or ambition. But great leaders have both in spades. Ambition lends itself to vision and drive, while humility builds compassion and reflection in a leader. Both qualities are capable of garnering respect and admiration from peers, friends, and colleagues alike.

Great leaders also know when to channel one quality over the other depending on circumstances, but never forgetting where to draw the line. Blind ambition doesn’t always bode well for leadership, as it may end up causing more harm than good. But blind humility doesn’t fare well either, as it may give the perception that a leader is weak or not discerning enough.

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” – Alexander the Great

By now you may have realized which one of these two admirable qualities you should follow in order to achieve the goals you set along the journey of life, broadly-speaking. Perhaps it is one or the other, or perhaps you’ve chosen to adopt an ambiguous usage of the two. It’s no coincidence that both qualities are also, in their own ways, qualities of mentally tough people. And there’s a lot to be said for mental toughness on life’s journey.

But no matter which quality you choose to focus on, rest assured that if it isn’t facilitating your journey, you can change it. You aren’t locked into any one way. So long as you take the time to occasionally reflect on your methods, you will be able to navigate the waters of your life’s journey and to roll with the inevitable setbacks.

Which one are you currently following? Humility or Ambition? Leave your thoughts below!

Elizabeth Lee is a business blogger, currently writing for PACK & SEND - experts in the field of transportation. Elizabeth is genuinely interested in personal growth, constantly reading self-improvement books and listening to motivational videos.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ewen Munro

    Nov 23, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Very good article. It comes to a balance much like everything in life. If there’s humility without ambition then most likely nothing gets done and if there’s ambition without humility then most likely everyone around you will be put off. My advice: find your balance. 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

  2. James Liebke

    Nov 22, 2016 at 12:19 am

    what a great article. i am trying to be both ambitous and humble finding some success trying to balance the two out. its a long road to freedom.

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Life

3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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how to build better relationships
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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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how to avoid failure
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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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