"But ambition is what has gotten me where I am today so what do you mean by 'let go of ambition'”?
This question was asked of me when I was interviewed to facilitate a two-day retreat for CEOs. Even though I had been highly recommended, I sensed that the person asking the question was skeptical about my being a good fit. I acknowledged his concern but asked him to reflect on a time when he was fully present, distracted from his ambitious goals and yet perceived an opportunity beyond his usual sight line.
He was easily able to provide a few examples that he had previously defined as luck or happen-stance. He agreed that some of his best ideas or greatest achievements were born out of moments of rest, play, love or nature – times when his thinking, striving, driving brain was temporarily free of the work that comes with ambitious expectations.
Taking a break from ambition doesn't mean leaving everything to chance or to stop taking steps to better your situation. It actually means inviting and valuing the times when you are fully present giving a rest to your thinking mind. The day-dreaming or freely wandering mind allows whatever is percolating in your subconscious to present itself for your consideration. It is these nuggets of inspiration that bring you the "aha!" moments that you've been trying to achieve by working harder, over-thinking and driving yourself to exhaustion.
Begin by giving your ambitious self an hour or two off. Do something you love just for fun. Wander the side streets of your neighborhood, sketch or free write. Run, not to achieve a distance or time, but just to feel the wind and the sun on your face.
Oh and yes, I got the job. But I hardly consider it work. I love providing space for leaders to experience the powerful ease available when they take a break from ambition. P.S. Here's a gift from me to you...your very own 10 minute break from ambition! Click here to enjoy.
P.S.S. It's not only CEO's who can benefit from a break from ambition. Give me a call to set up a half or full day workshop for your team, staff or group. Click here for more info, call 978-614-5405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.