The hidden traps of ambition

“A goal without a plan is just a wish” is one of my favorite quotes.”

Although this quote has merit, I let this seemingly innocent quote get out of hand. I’m one of the most ambitious people you will ever meet. My mom told me, ever since I was a child, teachers would view me as intense. I had a desire to learn and conquer whatever concepts and challenges were placed before me.

As I grew older, I immediately realized that you have to keep your quest for perfection in check. You have to have a balance in life. I don’t know about you, it’s a constant struggle for me to stop being competitive and not compare myself with other people. This downfall is even more troublesome since we’re in the age of social media. We’re bombarded with ads about people making millions online, pictures of beautiful families traveling the world on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.

If you don’t watch yourself, you’ll start to feel like God made a mistake. It seems like everyone is moving forward in life, while you’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for God to tell you it’s your turn to enter the game. While waiting on my turn, I learn that God does not immediately put us into the game until we have accomplished the specific purpose and goal that He wants us to achieve.

Instead of sitting on the sidelines looking at other people and wondering what happened to you, you need to turn your focus to the playbook (aka the Word of God). Learning the playbook will ensure that we know what to do when He calls on us to enter the game. Below are some points that I learned from the playbook of life:

Teach yourself to be content    

Yes, you heard that right. I’ve been teaching myself how to be content. There’s nothing wrong with having goals, but when you allow the goals to control you that’s a problem. If you have prayed for something, then let it go. Have faith that God will bring your desire to fruition. Instead of constantly praying for the same thing over and over again, give thanks that God has already granted your request and tell yourself that it is just a matter of time before my blessings materialize.

If you know you’re putting God first then you need to realize that the delay in you receiving your blessing could be Him teaching you a lesson in contentment. God wants us to be well-rounded individuals, not spoiled brats. If He gave in to our every whim, we would never appreciate how good He is to us.

Plus, He doesn’t want our lack of contentment to rub off on those around us. The perfect example of this is marriage. I spent most of my twenties thinking that I couldn’t be happy unless I found Mr. Right. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my life at that time, but I could have had even more fun if I had gotten rid of this faulty thinking. It didn’t help that folks inside the church tend to think something is wrong with singles who aren’t married by a certain age. Check out my podcast Defying Expectations because I go into much more detail about how I got out of this mindset.

Anyway, I used to think that my life wouldn’t truly begin until I got married.  I thought I needed someone else to complete me. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Through my focus on the word of God, I have learned that if you need someone or something to bring you happiness then you’re setting yourself up for failure.  

Contentment is not something that will automatically come to us. Even Apostle Paul had to learn this attribute. Surely, since he had to learn contentment, we must teach ourselves to embrace this concept as well.

Embrace and enhance your creative outlet

Many ambitious people tend to focus on being the best in their profession. However, many times our jobs may not necessarily align with the purpose and destiny God has in store for us.

This is why we must take time out to study His word. In doing so, I guarantee you’re going to uncover all of those hidden talents that God been waiting for you to discover.

Embrace being a unique Christian

When you’re a Christian, you must quickly grow accustomed to standing alone. Many times you cannot play the corporate game. All of which means that you will lose some friend, be hated by co-workers, etc.

I’ll never forget when I first started working in the corporate world. I had someone ask me to switch some figures because they expected the sales figure to be higher. I worked for a bank y’all so I knew right off the bat this was wrong.

Needless to say, I made some enemies. However, my integrity was more important to me than this person who wanted me to fudge some numbers. Although this door closed because I would not play by the unwritten corporate rules, I quickly learned that when God allows one door to close, this will bring you closer to the one that He intended for you to open all along.

I ended up getting a better job three 3 weeks later making more money. What’s the moral of this story? Focus on being a unique Christian. If you put Him first, He’s going to make sure that you are taken care of so your relationship can continue to grow.

These three things have helped me keep my ambition in check so I can focus on living the extraordinary life that He desires for me. What do you to keep your ambition in check? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to download the goal setting planner and grateful notes on the website. If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter of by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show. Be sure to connect with us on our Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who you may inspire. See you in the next episode!  In order to be notified when new content is available, please be sure to subscribe to my podcast on AnchoriTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotify and Google Play Music.

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