MAY 4, 2020

Letting your emotions take control of your ambition is mere foolishness. Your emotions change often and so will the destination of the pointless odyssey your emotions are taking your ambition onto. Be aware of your ambition and consciously understand it, not letting your emotive feelings drag it away from your goals and reality.

-Prabhsimrat Gill

I am sure we all have heard stories of brave heroic people either in real-life or as film characters who achieve what they wanted to, no matter how hard the whole world was pressing against them. We all either take these as week-end cinema entertainment or as a short-term motivation after learning about a person who achieved his goals against all odds. But, is it truly possible for us to achieve what we want to even when the world or situations are quite adverse and unfavourable? 

The answer is- YES! The stories of people who achieve this feat in their lives will have had many tough times where they felt all broke, defeated and surrendered to circumstances, but they still achieved it. How? Let’s find out!   

What one needs is basic logiccommitment and a neutral but ambitious mind. We will use all three of these powerful forces you have in order to adapt to what you can’t change but still stand out and shine gracefully even in the place where you have had to change and mend according to the situations. Remember, you cannot control what happens to you or how your situations drastically change because there are many external factors that can lead to abrupt, unfavourable and unexpected changes. But you can control the effect that these changes and situations have on you. 

So first we will talk about basic logic. By this I mean – seeing your situation from a third person’s neutral perspective which will help you take a logical decision. Now, to do this, you have to visualise that you are watching someone else, maybe a stranger, in the same position that you are in. You have understood the situation of that person very well, but you don’t have much familiarity or emotional bond with that person. This means that his problem has nothing to do with you personally, so now you have to tell him what you think would be the best logical solution at that time. This is how you can use basic logic and neutrality even in an emotionally cacophonical state of mind. Think of this example – Imagine that you are in school and when you come to your classroom you are horrified at having learnt that there is a Maths test that you were not aware of or prepared for and this test is directly going to affect your final report card results. You will have two choices – you can either spend all the time worrying and frantically blocking your mind with all the ifs and excuses, or you can calm down and try to attempt as much as you can. That’s what a teacher would tell you as well. How can you come to this emotionally balanced state to attempt the paper? Well, you can visualise some other student in the same frantic situation like yours and you can tell him what you think would be best for him, that is calming down and attempting as much of the paper the student can. Now get back to yourself with that advice, calm down and start attempting the paper. Who knows? Maybe most of the questions are from the concepts you know well and that you score well on that test. This is just one example of how basic logic helps us in doing good at whatever we can without cursing or blaming the situation.   

The next part of this is commitment. You need to be committed towards your goals and understand that you can work and achieve them no matter what. And before that you need to be clear about your goals and your plan on how to achieve them. So when you are committed and you are taking actions towards your goal every single day, then even if situations are not in alignment with your goals, or the people around you have turned speculative and cold on your action or even if your close ones consider your plan and goal as a complex, hazy or perplexing goal, you will not be affected by this because you know that you have the commitment and power in you and then no matter how hard the world tries to pull you down, you will still climb up the ladder of success and fulfilment. Imagine that you have decided in the beginning of a new academic session that you are going to do weekly revision on weekends for maths and English because you are weak in those subjects and you have decided that you will score above 85% in both subjects which seems astonishingly high when compared to your current grades. You tell your family but they say you can’t do it. You friends mock you and say you can never do this. Your normal weekend schedule doesn’t support this move of yours. But you know what you are doing and why you want to do it, so maybe you will start finishing your homework on the same day and watch one less episode of your weekend web-series and wake up an hour early or sleep an hour late. No matter how many changes you personally need to make, you will make it not letting any of the sceptical people or hectic weekend schedule affect you and make you eventually give up. This doesn’t only apply to academics; there can be other things as well.

The final step is having a neutral but ambitious mind. Now, many might be confounded and perplexed by the word ‘ambitious mind’. This is because people take ambition in connotation with the heart and passion, but not with the mind. Here, I have specifically implied ambition with the mind because being fully aware of your ambition and consciously understanding and using it in order to achieve your goals is ambitiously using your mind. Now, having a neutral but ambitious mind propounds that with ambition in mind, one should not get too emotional and drift far away from reality into the tranquillity and bliss of pointless imagination. Here, I am not saying that imagination and visualisation is bad. It is in fact a major part of goal setting. What I am mentioning here is the imagination based on a certain emotion where one event happens after another, all in your mind, dragging you away into the pointless odyssey away from your reality. One needs to be fully aware of their current state and when working towards the goal emotions should not dominate the mind. The mind will be looking for excuses, but you have the control to let it wander or not. This is very well linked to the first point of basic logic as when one is neutral, only then can one think logically and take wise and thoughtful decisions, adding onto the path of achieving the goal. Another question that arises is – how can we get into a neutral state when emotions are heavy on us? Well, we have the control over our mind – we choose happiness, we choose ecstasy, we choose sorrow, we choose sadness. Now, we associate a certain feeling with a certain set of events. That is why we are happy on a raise but sad on a cut in salary. 

Remember, ambition when driven by emotions is like driving on the road without a destination. Let me explain this. Imagine that you live in Mumbai and when you are sad, you just drive up and down the Marine Drive but when you are happy, you like to go to a fancy restaurant in Bandra. Now, you get the news of big company losses which poses a threat to your current position of a CEO. You are ambitious for driving but you and your ambition are driven by sorrow and anger so you just keep driving up and down the Marine Drive but after about an hour or so, you get a call from you CA who tells you that there was a miscalculation and the rectified Balance Sheet now shows some good, reasonable profit. You are now relieved and happy and you go to that restaurant and enjoy a hearty meal. There was ambition, but there was no neutrality and the driving force was emotions. That is why the destination changed with the change in emotions, marking no real meaning to the actions…

When you use basic logic, commitment and a neutral yet ambitious mind, you will learn that you have the power not to control situations, but to control their effect on you and making the best of all the things no matter how unfavourable the circumstances are…