03 Jan Go beyond ambition, commit only for things you have conviction
One of life’s empowering lessons I learned some years back was the ability to differentiate between ambition and conviction in myself and others. Everybody has ambition to do certain great things, especially this time of the year as we recieve a new year. But, the things for which we only have ambition never materialize; only those things for which we’ve conviction.
Unlike in the past, now, I scrutinize every goal. I ask myself, is this something for which I’ve conviction or is it just something good to have or nice to do? I came up with some simple parameters to succeed in scrutinizing my goals. I ask questions like Am I willing to invest my scarce resources to pursue this goal? Can I make it one of my top priorities? Am I willing to come out of my comfort zone and do it whether I like do it or not? Will I pay whatever price it takes and remain committed till I cross the finish line?
If the answers to these and similar other questions is not a resounding YES or if I hesitate to go all in, I know that I only have ambition and these things are just nice to have. I isolate what ‘I must do’ from ‘nice to have’ as earlier as possible. As much as I’m serious on myself and commit only for those things I’ve conviction, I don’t engage with projects or initiatives for which others don’t have conviction.
In the past, I didn’t have the wisdom. I involved, committed, and went all in for projects others only had ambition. I said lots of YES. Now, I ask those who seek my partnership, help, and involvement certain ‘conviction testing’ questions. I make sure that they’re committed not just in words alone (it’s easy to promise) but also in their deeds.
For instance, I ask How much are you willing to invest (pay)? Is it one of your top priorities? How many hours are you planning to spend on this? Depending on their answers, I may have other follow up questions. Of course, sometimes, I don’t need to ask. I just listen, observe, and gauge to see if they’re coming from the space of conviction or not. If I sense any hesitation, I know that this thing may be a nice to have for them and they just have ambition. These days, I don’t have the time, energy, and passion to commit for such less priority projects people come up with. I don’t allow these kinds of ambitious initiatives share my scarce resources and unfairly compete with my top priorities (the must haves and dos).
What is your experience in this regard? What worked and what didn’t? I challenge you to revist your New Year resolutions. For which of those on the list do you’ve conviction? Cull those that are nice to have or at least put them at the bottom. Don’t get distracted pursuing those nice to haves first. You may consider these once you take care of the must haves and dos or at least, invest what is left from those things for which you’ve conviction.
Going forward, don’t just jump & accept all seemingly great opportunities. Test whether you & others involved have the necessary conviction. When you excel in discerning for which goals you go all in and which ones you decline (what so ever luring some may appear on the surface), you start to say a lots of No than Yes. The more you become focused & pursue goals for which you have conviction.
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