Today’s Topic: Ambitious Intent
Have you ever been accused of setting your targets too high? Have you stated an immoderate private goal only to have others look at you as if you’re speaking a foreign language? Have you discounted your dreams because you were afraid that the objects of your desire were too unattainable to warrant serious consideration? I could easily answer “yes” to those questions – and I could answer “yes” to the feared or actual reactions to wild declarations of both a personal and professional nature. Those are the possible by-products of dreaming big.
If you’re like most people, it’s for these reasons we often suppress our most far-reaching desires; we set our benchmarks far below where we should. Self-consciousness and fear of ridicule can bind our imaginations and instill the too comfortable practice in us of limiting our ambitious intentions through self-censorship. As time goes by, we can dream less and less; we can temper our optimism; we can lose our zest to conquer the world.
Recently, I have been allowing about a six years-long, insanely grandiose goal to emerge from its private, percolative state deep within my mind and out into the real world where it – and I – might be subjected to ridicule by legions of naysayers. For years, I had decided that this logistically challenging endeavor, this overreaching ambitious intention, this physically and emotionally demanding venture, should stay an internal dream. But, the recent seepage was not met with cynicism and doubt; it was received with true wonder and a surprising acceptance of its possible legitimacy. Years of limiting thoughts and self-doubt had kept a tight lid on the idea.
I immediately thought of several times in my life in which I allowed my fears and doubts to rule my decision-making process. How many times have I limited myself? How many times have I set my sights too low? Have I prevented myself from achieving meaningful things in my life because of misguided apprehension?
As uncomfortable as overreaching can seem to us upon the first open declaration of an ambitious intention, if we’re going to achieve meaningful accomplishments in life, those goals must be somewhat audacious.
It can be easy to forsake our craziest ambitions, but I do wonder if our craziest ambitions should be the most important things we intend to accomplish.
With those thoughts, here’s a few movie quotes on the topic…
“Nobody knows anything, Joe. We’ll take this leap and we’ll see. We’ll jump and we’ll see. That’s life, right?” –Meg Ryan in Joe Versus the Volcano
“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” –Tom Hardy in Inception
“I have vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.” –Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
“Listen to what’s calling from inside.” –Jeff Bridges in The Giver