Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. —Bill Bradley
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Erg. Monday. Time to find the ambition for getting up, again, and doing more of the same things we did last week in an effort to achieve a goal that may or may not make us happy. I’m not a particular fan of hip-hop, but in the back of my mind I can hear Rick Ross in a continual loop, “Every day I’m hustlin’, hustlin’, hustlin’.” Motivation often needs to be kickstarted on a Monday morning and some weeks it’s everything we can do just to put on pants. That’s when we have to stop and ask ourselves, “Why? Why must we put on pants? Why can’t our ambition, and our bodies, be naked?”
Well, okay, there is that whole legal thing about indecent exposure. Starting the week off in jail might do more to kill one’s ambition than fuel it, but at least it would make the Monday interesting. Naked ambition, though, is a different matter. Strip away the pretense and excuses that make our ambition socially acceptable and admit that what we really want first and foremost is to make enough money so that we don’t have to be so damn ambitious. Yeah, sure, save the world, feed the children, house the homeless, etc. That all sounds good, but that all requires funding so isn’t it better to tackle the money issue first by making as much of it as possible?
Yes, I know, there’s more to life than money. That’s a lesson learned long ago. However, to pretend that our pursuits are not, at least in part, financially motivated is to gut any altruism attached to our ambition. By all means, do good things! Yes! Be generous and kind and loving to all! But let’s be honest: doing good from a position of penury has its limits. By bettering our own condition, we put ourselves in a place where we can make a difference on a much larger scale. There’s nothing wrong with naked ambition, and sometimes being naked is just the thing to get us where we want to go.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Let us take, for example, supermodel Karlie Kloss. Ambition? Not only does she maintain one of the busiest runway schedules on the planet, she poses for multiple designer campaigns a month, appears most months in no fewer than three magazine editorials, operates her own charity, bakes her own vegan chocolate chip cookies, and still somehow finds time to hang out with BFF Taylor Swift.
Arguably, one of the most defining moments in Kloss’ career was a 2011 editorial in Vogue Italia shot by Steven Meisel. While this wasn’t the first time Karlie appeared naked in an editorial, it was certainly the one that garnered the greatest amount of attention. Unflinching, at least publicly, the model said:
“I think they’re beautiful photos and I’m very proud of all of them. I’m happy with the results … I think that they’re photos that are hopefully going to become iconic.”
Karlie’s not the only one to take such ambitious steps. Amber Rice, the model in today’s picture, is one of many I’ve watched pull up roots from the Midwest and move to Los Angeles on her own driven by a desire to succeed in ways that simply are not possible in Indianapolis. Some make it, some don’t, but at least they had the ambition to shed themselves of the excuses that hold the rest of us back. Blame it on youth if you want, but they set a strong example.
So, let’s kick this Monday in the backside and get something done, shall we? There’s really no excuse and pants (and tops) are totally optional.[/one_half_last]