Financial ambition needn’t make you selfish.

Financial ambition needn’t make you selfish.

ambition with altruism
There’s a frequent misconception that in order to fulfil our financial ambition we have to put our sympathies aside and have no concern for anyone but ourselves. Yet this could not be further from the truth.

All your life you’ve probably been affected by people who go after money with an ‘If you lose, then I win’ attitude, right? Well I’m not going to lie to you, it’s an approach that works to a large extent. There’s plenty of evidence for this in our modern world. However it’s also an approach that comes with a poisonous price. You don’t get to ‘take off’ your character like a winter coat when you come home. Lack of integrity will eventually affect everything you do.

Does this mean then, that we shouldn’t go after what we want with real determination? Absolutely not!  On the surface it might seem that ambition and selfishness go hand in hand. The truth is though, that you can always get what you want whilst being of tremendous benefit to others.

So how do we stop ourselves from becoming corrupt whilst vigorously pursuing our ambition?

How to align ambition with altruism.

Essentially it’s about valuing relationships and putting conscience before conquest. It’s also about keeping in mind that there are lots of legitimate ways to help people and be rewarded for it.  Here are three motivational strategies that will help you to stay in touch with your conscience whilst still making massive progress.

1. Have a healthy ambition.

Make sure that what you’re trying to achieve is ultimately about helping people in some way. Even if your ambition involves rising to the apex of business or sport you can still be motivated by an intention to help others. Whether that’s through opening a door of opportunity for others, inspiring people to improve themselves or providing practical assistance. Get what you need by making your goal ‘to give to others’.

2. Don’t use failure as an excuse.

Success rarely comes before quite a few detours and setbacks. That’s just part of the process of learning and adjusting. When you begin to feel you can’t tolerate this any more it’s easier to think that it’s justifiable to use dubious means to pursue your ambition. All that’s really required is that you remain resilient. Stay in touch with your original intention and choose only to use the means that will do justice to your ends.

3. Express your gratitude.

When you do eventually fulfil your ambition it won’t only be through your own efforts. Along the way there will be people who have supported you both practically and personally. It’s important to openly thank these people, despite the fact that they probably aren’t actually looking for this recognition. In the end it’s not just about recognising them – it’s also about remaining humble and avoiding becoming arrogant about your achievement – another easy route to losing touch with your conscience.

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