WEEK 37 - Can You Be “Chill” and “Ambitious” at the Same Time?
Week 37 and I am super excited to write about this so let’s just get into it!
Week 37, 15 weeks left to go. And may I just say that I am super excited to write about this? It’s partially due to what I’ve read about this question, and partially due to myself learning a great deal in personal development, with various useful practices I can incorporate. So let’s just get into it!
As many of you would know, the LITO podcast (and the LITO Academy) is one of my greatest sources of lessons in terms of mindset work and mental hygiene. And last weekend, we had a reminder that we, as individuals, are 100% responsible and in control of our own thoughts, the bottomline being that it is no one’s responsibility to make us happy. At the same time, one of my friends (Check him out @sacred_saturn) also shared his vocation and life journey - about how his purpose was NOT his role as a psychological astrologer, but how his role as a psychological astrologer was PART of his purpose.
In short, the idea of “being” vs. “doing”.
And with both identity and action being important as we go about our lives, we can sometimes find ourselves in a cycle of “do-do-do-do-do” without really knowing the reason why. That’s when we all turn to self-reflection, or asking close friends for opinions etc… But it was during one of these exercises and conversations with industry peers that landed me to today’s question -
Can you be “chill” and “ambitious” at the same time?
I took to my Instagram Stories with a resounding “Yes” from the majority. However, let’s look at this as objectively as possible.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “chill” is an informal adjective that means “relaxed”.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “ambitious” is an adjective that means “a strong wish / desire for success (power, wealth, etc…)”.
In a world where ambition often calls for drive, hunger, massive action, is it possible to be both “chill and ambitious”?
If you’re here for the short answer, I will say this - YES, yes you can. “You can chill your way to success.” - that’s something my life coach said to me.
So yes, okay, thanks, bye! See you next week. LOL. I KID.
If you’re here for the “why”, I dug a little deeper and this is what I have to share:
Why do we have Goals?
I feel it’s important to address the topic of “goals” when you’re talking about ambition. Why do we have goals?
“To get money in the easiest way possible.” “Because the system needs changing.”
And generally, where does that lead to?
Often, we set certain goals for ourselves because the outcome of those goals will bring joy. At the same time, often we set certain goals for ourselves, only to feel crappy until we “attain” that goal we set for ourselves. Why?
Does ambition mean we have to “suffer” for our goals?
Does being “hungry for success” mean you have to “suffer” as much as possible?
Do you only define “worthy” ambitions as something that brings you a lot of “suffering”?
And why am I using the term “suffering”?
Because while pain is inevitable in life, suffering can be optional.
And no, it does not mean you “lower your expectations” to feel better. It just means that you become aware and acknowledge the true reasons behind your goals, and thus, come up with processes that are more aligned with or will improve who you are as a person so that you can attain your goals with minimal suffering.
And yes, you’ve heard that right - YOU DON’T NEED TO SUFFER TO DESERVE YOUR GOALS.
You will need to put in the work, but you don’t need to suffer. And here’s how I am learning to do so:
Whenever I’m asked to explain the difference between “being” and “doing”, I often raise this question - do you create because you’re a creator or do you create for the title? The line is often grey but do let me know in the comments about what you feel about being vs. doing!
Shoot for Systems, not just Destinations
I did another post on process vs. outcome earlier. And I’m reiterating it here.
Do you want to feel good everyday or only in cycles where outcomes are uncertain? What’s going to happen when you work so hard, feeling so crappy, only to achieve the outcome goal you want and it turns out less than what you expected? What do you fall back on again?
The one thing you can control - how you show up. How you show up for yourself, for your goals, for your projects, your business etc…
And the thing about systems and processes is this - because you have been slowly contributing to your goals on a day-to-day basis, you will reach your “outcome” goal eventually. The only difference is that now, you don’t have to pin all your happiness on the end goal, especially when you’re already enjoying every day of creating.
Does this mean that I shouldn’t be hungry for my goals? For success?!
Of course not! But concentrating on the process will make the journey feel a lot easier and boost your motivation, especially when most external outcomes are not dependent on us. Concentrating on a process often increases our drive and productivity, because why?
It becomes a habit, it becomes part of who we are.
P/S - And yes, you can absolutely change your goals, because YOU DO YOU.
So can I be “chill” and “ambitious” at the same time?
Like I mentioned earlier, yes, yes you can.
What matters is how YOU are able to stand behind your actions, decisions, and motivations. Your ambitions are your own, not your report card to society.
And that’s it from me! See you all next week!
Do you think it’s possible to be “chill” and “ambitious” at the same time? Why or why not? Share them in the comments!