As I was watched the movie, The Ultimate Life, which tells the story of a multi-billionaire in the oil business, Redd Stevens, he had what seemed like a bigger than life ambition to be a multi-billionaire. His ambition was fueled by the fact that he didn’t want to be poor like his father.
What is fueling your ambition? We all have something that drives us.
So, he sets out on a journey as a teenager to achieve what seemed like an impossible goal. The start of his journey is hard. Of course, it would be because he’s only a teenager. Though he’s face difficulties, it is through this difficult journey that he learns the value of hard work and determination. He is tenacious. He doesn’t let the nay-sayers discourage him. Even at a young age he’s wise enough to ask people who are successful how they achieved success in order that he may incorporate those principles in his life. He meets the love of his life, gets married and has children.
Years go by and he finally accomplishes his goal of being a multi-billionaire. He finds out during the Christmas holiday while in an airport as he’s on the way home from just closing the biggest deal he would ever close. It is the deal of all deals. It’s the deal that puts him in multi-billionaire status! At the very moment he realizes that he’s a multi-billionaire, he felt an emptiness. Alone in the airport there is no one there to celebrate with him the milestone that he’d worked all of his life to achieve. Being a multi-billionaire didn’t have the feeling that he thought it would have. Isn’t it funny how success doesn’t always feel good? It turned out to be just another day only it came with hard realizations. Now that he’s accomplished the goal, now what? He’d accomplished what his ambition was driving him to all of his life. So, what’s next?
Once you’ve accomplished your goal, what’s next? How will you feel? Will there be an emptiness?
Once he’s accomplished this goal, he realizes that he’s allowed his ambition to negate his obligations as a husband and a father. He’s alienated his wife to the point that her opinion of him is that he’s lost. His children are self-serving, self-center, self-entitled, selfish people (notice the emphasis on SELF). It realizes that his success has come with irreversible damage. With his children now at college ages, he tries to instill some type of values in them. But it’s too late. They have now grown up to be selfish, entitled and self-seeking, rude individuals. He has sacrificed his legacy in an effort to be wealthy!
What will you sacrifice as a result of your ambition? At the end of the day is the sacrifice worth it?
Are you able to honestly answer the above questions?
- What is it that fuels your ambition? Are the reasons behind what you do selfish and self-centered? If no one else will benefit from you accomplishing the goal, then it’s probably selfish. Selfish ambition can be self-destructive not only to you but also to those around you. The ambition that drives you to accomplish the goal should be bigger than you.
- That leads into the next set of questions. Once you’ve accomplished your goal, what’s next? Will you feel empty? If once your goal is accomplished and your life no longer has purpose, you’ll fill empty because your ambition has driven you to a dead end. Quite honestly, it wasn’t rooted in Christ. It is only when you move out beyond yourself to help others in need that you will have fulfillment. It’s a principle of Christianity. Fulfillment comes from serving not from taking and hoarding everything for yourself. Only what we do for Christ will last.
- What will you sacrifice as a result of your ambition? Will you sacrifice committed relationships or properly raising your children? Or, maybe you just let your household go to pot because your ambition to accomplish a goal has overtaken you. Your personal business hasn’t been taken care of and important things haven’t been done.
We must tame our ambition
I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with having ambition. It’s a good thing to have. All of those who are ambitious can relate because we know without it, we wouldn’t have moved forward to accomplish anything. It’s that inner force within us that drives us to success.
However, as adults we can’t afford to put all of our attention, all of our mind and all of our emotions into accomplishing one goal. If we do, we’re in danger of other important things or tasks falling by the wayside. Basically, what I’m saying is that we can’t sacrifice everything else in our life to accomplish one goal. We must have balance. We must put our ambitions in perspective by asking ourselves the questions listed above.
We can still have ambition and accomplish our goal without allowing everything else in our lives to suffer. We must gently tap the brakes on that strong drive, NOT stop it, but just slow it down so that we can tame it. We must control it and not allow it to control us! Most importantly our ambitions should be driven by the plans Christ has for us.
Tame Your Ambitions and Be Blessed