I was dining with a friend the other night and she brought up the subject of the Vision Board.  I had never heard of such a thing so she explained it as a trend that has sprung from the 2006 self help book called “The Secret”, whereby one sets up a board and affixes images culled from magazines of the things one wants in life.  This may take the form of a representation of professional or personal achievement or simply physical objects of one’s desire.  I can only assume the look on my face was registering about a 7.1 on the richter scale of disbelief and repugnance as she was explaining this phenomenon to me.

I am not what one might call a “power of positive thinking” kind of gal.  There have been moments in my history where my personal debate did not involve asking if the glass was half empty or half full but rather if there was a crack in the glass and had I ingested a shard that was making it’s lethal way through my digestive tract.  This is an attitude that I have been trying to change but I still doubt you will see me skipping down the street to my local craft store seeking bristol board, snub nosed scissors and a large Laurentian coloured pencil set.

The conversation made me wonder what was wrong with actual goal setting and, dare I say it, ambition?

Ambition is described as “as earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame or wealth and the willingness to strive for its achievement”.  That doesn’t sound so bad to me but being ambitious as a concept seems to carry a slight taint to it.  It is easy to tack “overly” on as a prefix and ambition at middle age, like sex and sleeveless t-shirts, seems vaguely unappealing.

I started a company in the middle of a de-re-whatever you want to call it-cession in a floundering industry in my 40s. I know many of my peers are finding themselves in similarly situations as we create new income sources and engage in seemingly risky behavior (which used to mean fun sexy drunky druggy bits and now means bank loans).  We set goals, we struggle, we are filled with self doubt and the occasional bout of tears.  We are ambitious and possibly insane.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit to no end of finger crossing and hypocritical atheist prayer to an amorphous god-type that I profoundly do not believe in.  And PLENTY of lottery tickets. In the end diligence, dedication and coping with the occasional failure are all parts of a realistic recipe that I can understand.

Maybe some find ambition a little unattractive but I like the looks of it better than a Cosmopolitan magazine collage stuck on my wall.

One Response to “Ambition”

  1. rea kelly says:

    “De-re-whatever you want to call it-cession!” Ever considered writing as a career? You do it exceedingly well.

    I don’t have a vision board because my brain IS one; I need to look at/consider LESS, and get MORE done.
    I know precisely what I want, and it’s a tad overdue… but I think I hear it heading my way. Yup. It’s a-coming!
    Guess whose glass is half full. 🙂

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