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Is there such a thing as too much ambition? How do I decide what activities i should put effort into most?

I have a lot of ideas and interests, but not all of them fall in line with my career aspirations. This is a general question for experienced ambitious people. Im a student aspring to become a clinical psychologist, but I also want to be involved in politics, and i have numerous hobbies. What level of sacrifice is necessary to succeed in a particular field? #business #psychology #higher-education #arts #time-management #politics #project-management

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Kari’s Answer

I never think there is such a thing as too much ambition, I do think however, that a person can overload themselves. Set clear goals and allow yourself time to reach them. For example, I'm currently going to back to school to earn a new degree and there is a new certification that I would like to obtain as well. My goal is to complete both, but I know doing them both at them same time will only result in burn out. Take time to relax and celebrate your accomplishments before diving into your next adventure.

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Wayne’s Answer

You ask a very good question. Ambition is the drive behind most achievements and failures both. Ambition should never be discouraged and in my opinion you can't ever have too much. It raises the question about whether ambition is the true issue here. It sounds like the issue may be one of time management and deciding what to do first, second, etc. Which ideas are most important and which ones may be suggested to others to drive. Ideas drive innovation but no one person is ever capable of executing all of them which is why we share ideas and build excitement about them in others. Some of the ideas you have will contribute to your career goals and you should identify those, examine them, prioritize them and begin acting on those. A key thing to remember is that no one is locked into one career. As time passes, things change including wants and desires, interests and passions. Leverage your ambition to guide you as you progress in your career. Focus on what you love to do and what will help your career, but always work outside that group of activities and exercise your ambition in the other areas you have ideas in. Often those will end up being the most rewarding in your life. Use your ideas to lift yourself and share them with those around you because they may be the spark that ignites a flame in them. Good luck as you make these decisions and explore these new possibilities.

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Terri’s Answer

It is not necessarily a bad thing to have a lot of ambition. Its actually good. But remember your long term goals and what ones will play into achieving the future you want. It is also very good to know the impacts of what the ideas and opportunities will achieve. Sometimes a win win right now, is not necessarily a win later on, if you did not learn from it. However, it always does my heart and my soul good to see ambition and the want/need to continue to grow and succeed. Just truly know your audience and remember each day is a learning experience.

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Corina’s Answer

I agree with other commentators that ambition is always a positive characteristic. However, I think the question at hand is how to balance a workload and competing priorities.

For many years, I tried to do it all, all at the same time. I felt compelled to maximize my time, and felt that I was underachieving if I didn't have multiple things going on at the same time. This, however, was detrimental to my health and long-term development.

One of my favorite books that has helped me tremendously is called The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papason (https://www.the1thing.com). This book talks about how people achieve extraordinary results. The one thing they all have in common is immense focus and an ability to remove distractions to be able to focus on impactful change.

In my career, I've learned that being busy is a badge of honor that hasn't served me well. Beyond being busy, what's most important is being impactful. This has made all the difference in allowing me to move into positions that are better aligned with my long-term goals, and has allowed me to feel more accomplished at the end of each day.

I highly recommend reading this book to serve as one source of guidance.
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Juanita’s Answer

Hi Elliott,

Being ambitious is very good, but with a goal or focus in mind. If you have made a decision about a particular career choice, try and stand by your decision, even if there are times you could fail, but never give up, and continue to pursue your interests. There is no such thing as a "Perfect career". Every career or goal has a price to pay. Everyone faces ups and downs in their career choices, but you would need to learn how to navigate through your decisions.
If you feel you are unable to decide and are confused, you should consider taking some free career assessment tests. For example:
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/free-career-aptitude-tests-2059813

The following article from Forbes, "5 Steps To Finding The Right Career For You" may be helpful reading.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/09/27/5-steps-to-finding-the-right-career-for-you/?sh=2d791f815abb

Goodluck with your ambitions and aspirations.
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Ayca’s Answer

Based on what I'm reading, you are what is called a "generalist" (watch Emilia Wapnick TED talk, you won't regret it). If you force yourself into one area, you will likely get de-motivated and/or bored. Having an open mind about how you can contribute to the world, and choosing multiple options at once can help you build multiple transferable skills, and positively influence each of these areas.

One thing to be mindful of however is your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly energy limits. Have a long term plan where you alternate your focus areas. Put them on a timeline. Maybe you prioritise becoming a clinical psychologist, while building your network on make ground for your political career ahead. Maybe you start with a hobby that takes time to build up skills for, while opting for an easier one down the road. You get the idea.

Whatever you do, no matter how much people will try to get you to specialize in one area (as that's the norm), do not lose your overarching curiosity and spark.
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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



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