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The Danger of Being Over Ambitious

There’s a lot to be said about putting the rubber where it meets the road and  taking serious action; Certainly this is how things  get done.

But are there points at which we need to let off on the throttle,  or would that run the risk of losing vital momentum? Ambition is an essential element of progress & productivity as it is the driving force to our endeavors, but can we be over ambitious?

Indeed momentum is very vital, but think about what it takes to guide that momentum.


What good is it to gain momentum if we’re just going to crash? If we don’t have balance, how productive can our momentum be? If we constantly keep it in full throttle, then we lose our ability to assess important details as we are stuck in a singular mode and lose balance.

The result of lost balance can be disastrous, which is why momentum must usually submit to balance.  Maintaining balance requires some healthy habits such as:

  • Maintaining focus on God & disciplines of the faith
  • Alternating your tasks to break the monotony
  • Maintaining proper perspective and attitude
  • Taking small breaks throughout the day
  • Taking time off to have fun and enjoy life
  • Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet
  • Keeping a clean and pleasant working environment


Alongside of balance should be the navigating act of focus. This is so important, yet not always so  easy as many of us are ADD.  Equally important is discerning the two modes of focus:

There is a step-by-step type of focus  -and-  there is an over-all focus.  In other words, there is the kind of focus which attends to the ‘means’ to the end;  then there is the kind of focus that attends to ‘end ‘ of the means-  which is the ultimate objective.

Usually, the ‘means to the end ‘ are a series of goals which get us to our ultimate goal.  So there is the focus of the chief goal – balanced with the focus of the goals that get us there.

Having said that, there are times when some of us may choose to be laser-focused on a singular goal in order to produce extraordinary results. Just like a student in med-school, or an Olympic athlete in training, or an elite-special-forces soldier preparing for a special-ops mission, there are sacrifices made which do not allow a balanced lifestyle. Sometimes, being laser-focused is what it takes to get our business off the ground, or to bring it to the next level. Really though, the Christian lifestyle is that which is laser-focused on God at all times.

As an advocate for a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle with purpose,  I would not recommend staying laser-focused on anything but God for more than a season. The length of the season may vary according to a multitude of variables;  Some may choose to do this for a month or two while others may go for six months to a year. Still others may go for 2-5 years or so to achieve what they mean to accomplish


There is absolutely no way we can manage a well-balanced perspective if we constantly have the peddle-to-the-metal. Perspective is essential to any type of focusing we do, as well as a vital component of balance. Often we find ourselves lost in the middle of our grinding away.

Again, this is where we need to ease-up on the throttle so we can see where we are at, where we have been and where we are going. And, of course, the occasional pit-stop is something that must be done. Then we can take the next step and gain  perspective on the context of the the world around us and what our purpose is.

Perspective is what clarifies our purpose, which is the whole reason behind our pursuits and the ‘why’ that drives our endeavors.

Checks and Balances

There are several different ways to keep our over ambitious tendencies in check, but the basic way of tempering our drive with balance, focus and perspective- is by staying tuned-in with the well-being of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state:

  • Daily prayer and other disciplines of the faith
  • Be in the habit of constantly monitoring your inner senses
  • If your soul seems anguished, then figure out what adjustments need to be made to find that sweet spot
  • Determine what are reasonable sacrifices and what are not;  and count the costs
  • Prioritize– think through what things are the most important in both personal and business and arrange in proper order
  • Have a daily plan, weekly plan, monthly, yearly and long-term plan for both business and personal life
  • And make sure that you actually have a life beyond business – a Christian should always be ministry minded even with their business, and taking time to rest and enjoy life is also an essential part of such a lifestyle

Everything has a balance and needs to be guided in a way that is productive and meaningful. Our ambitious drive is a fundamental element for a progressive life, but should be aligned with balance, focus and perspective – if we wish to have a productive drive that doesn’t consume everything in life that really matters.

This message is certainly not rocket-science, but is still challenging for anyone like myself who is highly driven and sometimes over-ambitious, and needs a reminder from time to time. Life is a delicate thing, so lets remember to treat it right.

What shall it profit a man if he gains the entire world, yet loses his soul?      

-Thanks for reading and remember to keep life meaningful!

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Written by Scott Yonker