Growing up, what did you want to be as an adult? A veterinarian? A ballerina? A rock star? We all had ambitions as children, whether we remember them or not. But, let’s face it… A lot of us gave up on those dreams. I think I was about ten years old when I realized that I wouldn’t be a professional dancer. What a sad day. But we move on. Now that we’re just about to finish college, most of us have somewhat of an idea as to what out ultimate goal is outside of college. Mine, for instance, is to be a successful wedding photographer. You could say that’s my dream job. So how do we go about reaching these goals we have set for ourselves? It’s not skill that will get you to where you want to go, but ambition.
Humans of New York is one of my favorite online journalism sources, and it’s accessible through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s also a book, compiled of hundreds of stories the owner Brandon Stanton has collected throughout the years. Sometimes, a story comes along featuring a child or adult talking about what they really want to do in the future. One recent quote featured a child dressed in his Halloween costume saying, “I want to design Lego sets. I already have two ideas: ‘Attack On The Bat Cave’ and ‘Attack Of The Supervillians.’” What I love about this quote is the kid’s ideas. He’s currently untainted by the hardships of adulthood, and has such a fire and passion for his Lego set ideas. He might not currently have the skills to design and create his own Lego sets, but he certainly has a fire to do so.
One book that I recently picked up (and can’t put down) is “It’s Not How Good You Are, But How Good You Want To Be” by Paul Arden. It’s all about how you’re not going to reach your goals by simply being talented in that area; you need to be ambitious to get there. He states, “Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have.” As dreamers, we have am idea of where we want to go and that’s what drives us to continually move forward. Without an ultimate goal or a “dream job” in mind, then we can’t see the final destination, and wouldn’t even know where to start.
While a certain skill level is required to get started in whatever field you wish to pursue, it’s not what will take you to your ultimate dream job. Skill alone will not get you hired; you have to be ambitious. After your goal has been set, and you know what it is, ambition is the quality that continues to drive you towards it. Arden writes, “Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition.” He also states:
“Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming or good-looking.”
This shows that a person doesn’t have to be the most talented or skilled in their field to be successful and powerful. Again, it comes down to ambition; how much are you willing to give to this dream to reach your ultimate goal?
“Aim beyond what you are capable of.”
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t skillfully the best in your field. What matters is that you strive for and work towards what you want. Who cares if you’re not as talented a photographer as Ansel Adams, or as good a designer as Paul Rand? What you really need is the desire to reach their level. If you don’t feel that you have the skills to work in your dream job, then fake it ‘til you make it. Use your craving for that specific job to work your way up the ladder, because that’s what will ultimately get you that job you’ve wanted for so long. So, ask yourself one question: How far are you willing to go?