Blaze Your Trail with Big Ambitions


While every episode of Ignition Point is meant to spark your momentum, you need to discover your personal Ignition Points and use them to realize your big ambitions. Ambitions are the dreams you can bring to life by applying high voltage energy and action to your vision, mission and goals – but what are big ambitions? You need ambitions big enough that they push you out into the unknown where you have to carve your own path. Tune in to learn how you can fortify your mindset and start blazing a trail with your big ambitions.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it may help. We designed this weekly podcast for ambitious Young Professionals and aspiring Leaders who want to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Throughout Season 1, we will be connecting fresh perspectives with practical strategies to help listeners feel empowered all week long. You can help us improve by joining our LinkedIn and Twitter Community by using #IgnitionPoint, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or emailing feedback to steven@decisiveleap.com.

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.

Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks for joining me for another Ignition Point – the show where we cover an influential speech or feature a Guest Keynote that’ll get you fired up and ready to take on another winning week.

You probably know by now that we hold out until the end of each show to share who inspired each week’s Ignition Point for two reasons. To keep you curious and remind you to focus on the motivation.

However, on today’s show I want to share my personal perspective with you and ask you to answer one question. It’s not rhetorical and there’s no sales pitch. So, please listen to the whole episode, really think about your answer, and share with me what you come up with. Here’s what I want to know:

What are your big ambitions?

Ambitions are the dreams you can bring to life. They can be short term or long term and are motivated by what you want most out of life. Your ambitions can be motivated by money, philanthropy, community service, merit, or receiving recognition. An ambition can even be linked to completing a task or reaching a milestone, but it’s something out there in your future that you aspire to.

Over time, you’ve probably achieved a few of your ambitions, but what are your BIG ambitions?

Big Ambitions are not everyday run-of-the-mill ambitions. Big Ambitions are something you’ve got to really reach for. We’re talking about unicorn-level ambitions here, like the Holy Grail, Excalibur, or a Babe Ruth Rookie Card. Look, maybe that Babe Ruth Rookie Card isn’t the most reasonable example, but you need these types of big ambitions in your life, and you need to go after them even though the journey to conquer them may require you to take risks and overcome obstacles.

Keep an open mind and get ready to dream big. Let’s get after it!

THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE

You might think every now and then, “I’d like to donate more of my time and money to make the world a better place,” or “I want to stop renting property and buy a house.”

Everyone has ambitions, but when they’re loosely defined and not top of mind, they’re nothing more than fleeting thoughts. All it takes to transform those broad ambitions into defined ambitions is adding details and context by asking these types of questions:

When do you want to stop renting and buy your home? Where do you want your house to be? How big of a house do you want to buy? How many days each month do you want to dedicate to community service? How much money do you want to donate to your cause?

When you take the time to define your ambitions, you get an edge that sets you apart from everyone else. You gain clarity and unlock the key to success – the ability to make a plan, which some say is 60% of the road to fulfilling your ambitions in the first place.

Your ambitions – however big or small – are tied to vision, mission and goals. They’re the future-focused perceptions of who you want to be, what you want to do, when you want to do it, and how you want to live. When your ambitions are defined, they become why you do what you do.

If you’re just working for a paycheck, that’s because your present ambition is cash flow. There’s no shame in that type of thinking, but there’s a chance your ambitious inner voice will eventually make itself known by telling you that you need to reach higher because you need more. The truth is, you need ambitions that push you to get up every morning and get after it. You need ambitions big enough that they push you out into the unknown where you have to carve your own path. When you live your life with big ambitions, you see everything you do as another step up the ladder to getting to where you want to go.

Think about what Ignition Point is all about. My ambition for this show is to help you to wake up each day of the week energized and lit up about what you do so you can win the week. It’s something that I get fired up about and have a ton of energy for. While every episode of Ignition Point is meant to spark your momentum, you need to discover your personal Ignition Points and use them to realize your big ambitions.

You have ambitions, but what is holding you back from living your dream? You can’t let yourself be paralyzed by fear. You can’t just think about or talk about that big ambition. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.

You control seven things in your life: Your Attitude, Your Network, Your Physique, Your Gratitude, Your Habits, Your Work Ethic, and Your Ambitions. Each of these elements of control influence one another, and if you are mentally aware that you can control them, they’ll never overwhelm you or throw you out of balance. So, stop looking for the right time. You can start right now because you are the one in the driver’s seat. You are in control, and taking action is what gets you from “having a big dream” to “living the dream.”

You’re on your own journey and it will look different for you than it does for someone else. So, fill your world with people who inspire you and limit your interactions with those who don’t. Share your ambitions with those people who build you up and will help you to become the best version of yourself. They’ll hold you to your ambitions and celebrate you when you hit your stride. If you believe in yourself and learn to blaze your trail with big ambitions, you’ll be amazed at how fulfilling and complete your life will become.

When I was 22, I decided to pursue my first big ambition. I wanted to follow a long-standing dream of building a software company from the ground up with my dad. So every single day, I went in to our little rented office space and I made it my job to learn more and do whatever it took to move the business forward. Over time, my big ambition was what drove me to understand startup fundraising, create prototypes for future versions of our software, and brand our business inside and out. By the end of my fourth year, I had worn just about every hat a startup founder could wear. I learned what it takes to start a business and I had grown that company with one of my best friends – my coach – my dad.

I had brought that ambition to life, but I soon realized it was time to pursue another. When you find yourself in my shoes, it’s always up to you to show the strength to acknowledge that the ambition is fulfilled and that it is time to pursue another. It’s not an end, it’s another jumping off point. A new beginning.

Either by completion or by the effect of timing, you’ll experience the evolution of your own ambitions. Those you define now will be different from those you set in stone ten years from now, and those will be different from the ambitions you dream up when you reach retirement.

I’d be willing to bet that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t initially set out to become a billionaire, but once he successfully reached his initial ambitions with Facebook, that probably became one of his next ambitions. On the other hand, Bill Clinton set his sights on the oval office from the age of 16. He worked for that ambition for 17 years.

Having an ambitious mindset can serve as the greatest motivator in your life. No matter how long it takes you to pursue your ambition and live your dream, you need to commit to it and never let anyone stand in your way.

STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

There’s no limit to the ways you can define your big ambitions. It should be defined by your greatest wants and passions, but there are three things I always advise others to do when they’re defining their ambitions.

Big ambitions are born from introspection, so the first thing you can do is visualize your ambitions. Successful people have elaborate mental plans of what actions they intend on taking, so ask yourself, “what does my ideal life look like?” Write down what comes to mind and how you think it will feel to obtain that life. You need to map out your plan and include the top tasks you’ll need to complete to move your dream forward. Incorporate a blend of attainable ambitions and big ambitions. You’re going to find when you accomplish one of your more attainable ambitions it will propel you toward your bigger ambitions.

Seriously, don’t just think it! You’ve got to put it on paper. When you see it in writing every day, your ambition sticks in your mind.

In the pursuit of your ambition, you’ll find plenty of obstacles – but you can’t ever let them discourage you. You need to have strategies for reacting to all types of setbacks. Make as many contingencies as you can. People might tell you to grow up or get your head out of the clouds. Silence those voices and keep your dreams big. Fortify your mindset by upgrading your attitude, discipline and skills to keep blazing your trail.

Ambitions are never realized just because you want it. It’s brought to life by applying high voltage energy and action to your vision, mission and goals. If you have an ambition to be a better dad, start a business or build a boat, you need to flip the switch to keep your energy flowing and start taking on the tasks you need to accomplish to move forward. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small step, it just has to be a step – so start making moves.

Having an ambitious mindset will restrict your ability to procrastinate. When you’re making it happen, you become laser-focused on your “in-it-to-win-it”-ness. Some people may think that’s a little aggressive or that everyone procrastinates, but they’ve probably got a novel’s worth of excuses for why they haven’t felt the adrenaline rush of success.

That’s why the final thing you can do this week is limit the distractions and keep your big ambitions in the front of your mind. Thinking about your big ambitions brings out a primal sense in you. It’s like you’re a shark and you’ve just caught the scent of blood in the water. You’re not going to take a left turn to go check out a sunken ship. You’re going to make a beeline for your lunch because it’s all you can think about. Every shark in those waters wants to eat. Where we differ from the sharks is that in our world, everybody wants to eat, but few will hunt. To live with and conquer your ambitions, you need to be a hunter.

There’s no time better than right now to take control and start blazing a trail with your big ambitions. This week, schedule the time to map out your big ambitions in writing, make the first move by completing the first task in your action plan, and make thinking about your ambitions part of your daily routine.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it would help. Your feedback helps Ignition Point to keep moving forward, so if you enjoyed this episode or you’d like to share your big ambition with me, please reach out to me directly by sending an email to steven@decisiveleap.com or by writing a review for the show on Apple Podcasts.

Albert Einstein said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

So, stay motivated and keep moving forward. If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.

I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.

Now get on out there and win the week!