When King Arthur sat his knights at the round table he had changed forever the idea of how power and leadership could be shared. To gain a seat at this table of inclusivity one would have to be considered a person of excellence, someone who actively seeks to achieve personal greatness through ambition.
It’s pretty safe to assume that most of us would prefer to have that seat at the proverbial table in life. Pulling up that chair and firmly taking your seat at the table where your personal and professional opportunities forge the path towards becoming the greatest version of yourself.
Picture a classic solid chair, the kind that lasts forever. Crafted by skilled workmanship to withstand time itself. Though simple-looking, there is great effort that goes into the cutting and fitting of all the connecting parts. One slight inexact measurement, the chair could be tilted forever. It will lack stability and wobble with uncertainty. Focus your thoughts to the legs of that chair. Each leg represents the strongest, sturdiest, and balanced support.
These legs are metaphors for the ideas foundational to getting your best seat at the table. Each leg works in concert to optimize the best possible outcomes from your behaviors, attitudes, and actions. Not being optimal, your seat chances to wobble. In Moving Through Walls I introduce four foundational ideas to achieve the greatest version of yourself. Openness, faith, future, and forgiveness are the legs of the chair that will fuel your ambition for the best seat at the table.
I have been debated on the idea concerning natural ambition. I have been told that ambition is a natural occurrence that cannot be nurtured. I disagree and find this a somewhat defeatist stance rationalizing a lack of achievement even before getting out of the starting gate. Heaven forbid we place that kind of pressure on someone.
I believe that each person can find thier ambition. My grade 5, older than god, homeroom teacher – would point her shaky finger at me, “where there is a will there’s a way young man”. She was onto something. If one is hungry enough ambition will follow. It is not that ambition is a natural given state but rather one that is discovered from within through timing and circumstance. (MTW Page 166)
When I have the occasion to get into the conversation with someone who seems engaged in the desire for self-betterment I ask a single simple question; “What do you want?” This will cause pause and there is going to be a divide between those who can answer without delay and those who must ponder the answer with some difficulty, sometimes the conversation abruptly ends.
It’s not my place to lead you there. Clearly being able to articulate what you want is something only you can come to know. I do not buy into the excuse of lacking ambition. Let’s call it what it is – it’s not ambition that is lacking but rather, apathy is dealing the winning hand.
“Knowing” is being able to articulate something with complete clarity that leaves you feeling a sense of relief and confidence at having been able to verbalize this about yourself. It is an intuitive sense of “Yes”, “That’s it!”. It is your aha moment.
There is a process of discovery and a journey to be traveled. The answer to the question of what you want becomes a real need. Once that idea comes into your total consciousness and you accept it, and here is the keyword, and you are willing to act on what you have come to know; this is the moment of truth when you have entered onto that freeway open to the possibilities of getting to where you need to be. It is now that you are ambitious!
“Ambition happens when you define your purpose.”
When you can determine what you “want” this becomes a “need” in your life. And once a need is articulated you are putting your entire self on notice. This is the purpose stage, this is when passion kicks in and fuels your ambition.
Ambition is a state of determination that exists for everyone. Once you get this and incorporate openness, faith, future, and forgiveness into your life you will always be able to take your best seat at the table.