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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Risk in Dreaming and The Success in Effort

Ambition. Ambition, I believe, is the single most important possession one can grasp. Defined, it is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. Ambition is what seperates success from complacency. Now, in the interest of clarification, success in my opinion is not necessarily the obtaining of all of one's dreams. It is not wealth or even happiness. I am a person who sees the success in effort. Effort is a beautiful thing, one that seems to be lost in today's society and without it we lose our ability to acheive our aspirations. It may sound painfully obvious but think about it. How much effort does it take to continue doing the same things day in and out, over and over again? It may be tedious, granted. It may be boring, but being bored doesn't expend a very impeding degree of effort. As was said by Ortega y Gasset, "Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt."

We have been placed in a room full of questions without answers. And though we possess an interest in knowing the answers to those questions we do not possess the ambition to seek them. They say that youth is wasted on the young but, in turn, couldn't it be said that wisdom is wasted on the old? It seems that a lot of times once we are blindingly aware of our own potential, of all of the things we "could have" done, we assume that the opportunity is gone and that we must now settle for a sub standard existence in the company of all of those regrets. I passionately disagree. To seek what you dream of all you need is passion, ambition, and.....effort. Your age is irrelevant. I can't promise that it will all work out but I can promise that it will feel great to rekindle the fire of hope. Everytime you fail you are learning one more way how not to do something which is useful information to and of itself. Which is why I believe there to be so much success in effort. I believe we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves the chance to see. Not to say that we should all be presidents or cure cancer or aspire to some sort of unrealistic perfection. Even the smallest dreams are worth pursuing. Our dreams can sit in us either as a badge of fond pride or as a dagger of futility and regret. The most amazing part of a human being is his ability and desire to seek. Sometimes it seems that the part of us that dreams is smothered by our habits and the desire we possess to assimilate. What begins in us as an undeniable, bellowing, eardrum shattering scream is eventually drown out by our equally loud and powerful fear of failure.

And that's really what it all comes to...fear. If we can predict our lives based on repetition, then we can protect ourselves from hurt. In other words if we do what we have always done, then most likely we will continue to get the same result. By removing the risk of the unknown we, quite successfully, keep ourselves safe. The reality is though that when you remove the risk of the unknown what you are keeping yourself from is not always pain and hurt and failure. The good stuff goes, too. So never stop believing in the power you possess to accomplish your goals and desires. Dream with reckless abandon. You can pursue carefully and thoughtfully but do not ever completely remove the risk. Risk is the birthplace of the unexpected and the soil where we plant our dreams. Without it they have nowhere to sprout roots and grow.

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