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  • Writer's pictureJohn J Lowe

Ambition should be in small doses!

Updated: Jun 1, 2023


I don’t want to know. Do I don’t need to know that. Surprisingly these statements often reflect the mentality of the non-ambitious.


I define ambition as the desire to improve. It can be using an online self-help course to improve your typing speed. It does not have to be a big statement which focuses on being the next CEO of your organisation. In fact it is better to aim for small reachable achievements rather than grandiose goals. Successful athletes can achieve amazing performances using small but consistent incremental improvements throughout their training schedule.


I link learning integratively with change, improvement, motivation and ambition as these are its main drivers. In our fast-forward, ever changing environment it is good to engage with new developments rather than adopting a cynical view which will only put you in that ‘to be avoided’ category.


I am currently taking golf lessons and not sure yet if I will progress to playing 18 holes on the course. I lack the ambition which subsequently drives the motivation and by consequence the learning. You might play golf because you enjoy it, because of the exercise, the walk in the countryside or because you are good at it and relish demonstrating your talents publically - something which fits your competitive nature.


As I develop this dialogue I realise that change permeates the conversation. Perhaps my decision to play or not to play golf is because it is such a lifestyle change that it takes me out of my comfort zone.


Change can be a dominant influencer in learning. I acknowledge that there will of course be many other logistical or extraneous factors which will influence your learning such as money, time, facilities, travel and indeed personality type.


Early in my career I began studying philosophy with the Open University but gave up when my tutor told me I lacked the motivation to complete the course. I interpreted the feedback as a criticism and I disagreed with his comments which, or course, were accurate as I subsequently lost interest. More recently I completed an MA in Philosophy at London University specialising in Business Ethics. The course perfectly matched my interest, my desire to learn and to improve my skills as an executive Career Coach.


Perhaps this commentary on learning with all its inclusive factors will help you reflect and take stock of your current situation whereby you discard these big ‘pie in the sky wants’ and now grasp the opportunity to engage with those exciting but realistic goals you have been thinking about but putting off for so long.

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