What was in The Secret movie and The Secret book is plain bullshit. Plain and simple.
What we call ordinary is ugly. Being stopped by fear. Being stopped by doubts. Being stopped by laziness. Being stopped by anything.
You get a great idea, or an invitation, and you see that pursuing would take you to a place you’d like to be… but.
That but, that pesky but, is what is between you and becoming a person. And you know it. So you struggle with the shame, and regret… but that is just more of the same.
The only thing that conquers that “but” is action.
But… but you have learned, wrongly, that one action is all it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Desire says: “If you can dream it, you can have it. You can have anything.” Visualizations. Law of attraction, and all the other bullshit has replaced logical reasoning.
Ambition says: Rome wasn’t built it a day, and the path to nearly anything starts with one step, and takes a thousand steps.
It is not an accident that I have been repeating: “There is no hurry on the creative plane.”
The only place where hurry lives is the Valley of the Shadow of Death… where fear also lives.
Humans are afraid. They live on the horizontal plane.
But human beings, the next level of evolution, don’t live on the same plane where fear lives.
Human beings lifted themselves out of the horizontal plane, the competitive plane, the horizontal plane, where you are more concerned with surviving without a wrinkle on your shirt, without a scratch on your skin, than living a life worth living. There is no achievement on the horizontal plane.
It’s not that you are a coward. It is more like you’ve never learned how a human being operates their body, their mind, their eyes… their “machine”.
You can have two energy sources, neither of them exist in animals. Animals are all purely selfish gene fueled.
Humans have, because of their brain’s ability to see a future, two new energy sources: desire and ambition.
Desire is to obtain something. Stuff. The Object of Your Desire… To get. To have. To possess. To take. To steal. To loot. To mooch. To manifest. To “create” with your thoughts.
Desire is campaign-like. Once you have what you aspire for, the fire goes out. Or if it is hard to get what you want, then the fire fizzles out. Or you settle for less.
Ambition is different. It is the permanent fire… It is like gravity. It is inextinguishable. It is not for something, and it is not satisfied with any achievement, it keeps on burning for the next level of achievement.
It slowly burns through obstacles.
This is why ambition is the most important thing you can have.
I just listened to Tai’s Step 40, on practical pessimism, endgame optimism and endgame goal.
It’s given me a different way to look at ambition and desire.
Desire is the energy that ignores reality. Ignores that everything is a process. Ignores physical laws, and replaces them with wishful thinking, mysticism, and pseudo scientific rational.
Desire says: I have to desire it, strongly, imagine it, and it will be mine. No action is needed on my part.
Ambition, or with the vocabulary of Step 40, endgame optimism says: It takes 10,000 steps to make anything happen. And it is my job. It is fraught with mistakes, failures, uncertainties, but my endgame optimism, which gives me the quality of my life, by the way, is unshakable. You can call it faith, you can call it certainty, but I am going to act, consistent with that endgame goal, until I reach it or die… whichever comes first.
Ambition is so rare, that having ambition almost automatically guarantees you a winning position in life. It, obviously, goes together a TLB higher than 1.
Because TLB will tell you how far you are willing to go without gratification, without the reward…
TLB 1? You won’t be willing to go far… maybe to the refrigerator… or the bed.
TLB 5? Two weeks, maybe…
You can grow your TLB. By renewing your commitment to the endgame goal… and by putting it a little bit further every once in a while.
Interestingly, you are not born with a level of ambition. You develop it. Just like you are not born with a level of TLB… you develop it.
Both can be destroyed by your parents.
And your intelligence will matter… innate intelligence.
If you look at people who “have it”, who are achievers, good students, etc. as lucky, you will show low intelligence, and you will have low TLB and low ambition… and probably high desire.
If you look at people who have it… with curiosity, or with a appreciation of what it took for them to get there… you have higher intelligence.
And if you look at people and say: I think I can do what they did, if I find out how they did it. And if I cannot, I’ll invent a way… then you have the highest intelligence.
The higher your level of desire the less your ambition will run your life… and the more impatient you are… being stuck on the horizontal plane.
I am working with people to mediate that… and it seems that the work I need to do is reduce the hurry, reduce the delusional ways of desire.
I hope, for your sake, that I can succeed.
PS: I found another major difference in people who are high desire vs. who are high ambition.
Charlie Munger says: “To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.”
Now, the problem with the Charlie Munger quote is that it can be interpreted two ways.
- The desire person’s interpretation is that the moment you become deserving, you’ll get what you want… by magic.
- The ambition person’s interpretation is that deserving is a verb. Deserving is doing the right thing at the right time with the right intensity for the right duration. Aka doing the work.
And, you can see, that doing the work belongs to the ambition person… the desire person doesn’t even think about work. They think about magic.