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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

D.R.E.A.M.S. series: A is for Ambition

Welcome to week 4 of my D.R.E.A.M.S. series.  These past few weeks are flying by quickly!  We’ve spent the last three weeks discussing determination, resourcefulness and energy and how they are essential to making dreams come true.  I hope that you’re starting to see how tapping into these qualities can really change your life.

This week we’re talking about ambition.  If someone asked you to describe ambition, what would you say?  According to the powers that be, it’s a strong desire or intention to achieve something.  You can think of this something that you desire as your dreams. 

We’ve already established that achieving dreams requires determination and hard work.  So let’s see how having ambition also helps you realize your dreams.

I remember the day when I told my parents that I was pregnant and going to be a mom at 17.  I can still see the pain and disappointment in my father’s face as the tears slowly rolled down his cheeks.  He couldn’t believe that I was pregnant and couldn’t imagine how I would finish high school. 

I was sad that I disappointed my dad, but I wasn’t worried about finishing high school.  I looked my dad directly in his eyes and confidently assured him that I would graduate high school on time and still go to college.  He never argued with me; instead he excused himself from the table and left me sitting there by myself.

While sitting alone at the table, I made a decision that I would not give up on my dream just because I was having a child.  I had always been an ambitious over-achiever, but this time it was different.  I had no doubts whatsoever.

On the Road to Follow My Dream

Let me be clear - the road I traveled was bumpy and full of unexpected turns. I had to make plenty of sacrifices.  When my friends were out partying and living a carefree life, I was working, taking care of my son, and studying.  Although the road was rough, my ambition kept me going.

My 7-month old son was in the audience with my parents at my high school graduation.  Even though my grades slipped a little bit, I maintained my membership in the National and Spanish Honor Societies and finished in the top 20th percentile of my class.  

I never lost sight of my dream of going to college.  Once I got married and had more children, going to school was much harder.  But I still had the same strong desire that I had as a high school student. 

After fourteen years of taking classes, taking time off, and taking more classes, I earned my Bachelors degree with a 4.0 GPA.  I took a short break from school so I could spend more time with my family. My high ambition led me to graduate school about 1-1/2 years later.  I finished my Masters degree in exactly 18 month with a 3.9 GPA.

My purpose in sharing my accomplishments is not to brag, but to demonstrate how powerful ambition is in helping you overcome challenging situations to reach your end goal.  I could have used many reasons to give up on my education, but my ambition and determination kept me in the race.

Take a moment to reflect on your life.  When has your ambition kept you going when others, in your situation, would have quit?  What dreams do you have now, and how badly do you want them? What are you willing to do in order to make your dreams come true?

Once you know what you want, create a system that makes it easier for you to achieve it.  Not sure of how to do this? You can start by surrounding yourself with like-minded people who support your dreams and hold you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do.  This is a future topic that we’ll explore in greater detail very soon.

For now, I want you to know that you deserve to live the life of your dreams. AND you already have everything you need to make your dreams come true.

Thank you for taking time to read my thoughts.  I look forward to “seeing” you here next week.  Our topic will be motivation.

See you then!