There’s ambition, and there’s service. Men need both. Ambition is given a bad name because it seems to be all about the individual, but what comes from that ambition is almost always of benefit to others, namely in what the man creates and the life he gives his family.
You need ambition. It’s the calling of your soul. It’s why you’re here, to become something, to give something, to use whatever talent you have to the best of your ability and to waste no time in doing so.
You, we all, also need to serve.
Service something that, when you do it, it feels great, it’s meaningful, it fills your heart with a sense of purpose and joy that can’t be replicated by a purchase or a glance at an increasing bank account or a stock that’s made big moves.
You need both.
A man is never first. It sounds completely contrary to everything possibly that I’ve ever said, because yes, you need to win like a motherfucker. But you should always have someone, some group, some entity that you’re putting before you.
If you’ve never read a book about Robert E. Lee, do so.
I don’t know your background or what you’ve been taught in school about the Confederate Army or those in it or why they fought or what they fought for, but I was taught that, basically, they were all bad. That’s clearly horribly wrong, in fact, Robert E. Lee is one of the greatest men to ever grace God’s green earth.
God, country, family.
That was where his priorities lay. Country may sound odd since he fought against the Union, and did so brilliantly, both Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill called him western civilization’s greatest military leader. Country, to him, however, was his state, Virginia.
You have to understand that the state was older than the Union of States, and Lee couldn’t bring himself to fight against his fellow statesmen, even though he was offered command of the Union Army by Lincoln.
It hurt him deeply to fight against his nation, but he saw them as the aggressor. He had to defend his state.
Notice his list of allegiances. He isn’t on it. His allegiances actually were to the detriment of both him and his career. He wasn’t legally considered a citizen of the United States until the 1970s when Ronald Reagan deemed him one (TK).
That has to be you. You cannot be first on your list. You have to be second or third or fifteenth.
Your family has to take precedence over you. Your God, your country, your company, whatever. You know who or what should be higher on the list.
My God. My country. My family. My lady. My friends. My species. My dog. If I thought a little harder I could add a few more. Now, I’m a selfish fuck at times, way too often actually, but that’s a list that has to keep me honest about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and who I’m truly doing it for.
Be second, at best.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.