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Ambition and aspiration are great drivers. Having a vision of where one wants to be in life can provide motivation and help with setting personal goals.

But whatever ambitions we have, we can only start to move towards them from where we are now. It an be difficult to be clear-eyed about this when we are daily bombarded with lifestyle-aspiration messages from all directions.

Impatience can be a powerful driver but there is a risk that we’ll measure ourselves and set our course based on where we want to end up or what we want to own or have.

Some people make the mistake of starting with what they want, rather than what they have. This magnifies distance between where they actually are and where they’d like to be. Rather than spurring them on towards their goals, the distance between the current situation and the desired outcome seems to big to bridge, and they are discouraged.

While its great to have ambition, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of only seeing what we are lacking, on the basis that it will inspire us to try harder. It doesn’t.

A safer route, once you know your goal(s), is to start with what you have, focus on the present and build on your strengths a little at a time. That way you’ll notice progress, rather than obsessing about where you haven’t got to yet.

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