Crimes of Ambition

I’m pretty awesome at saying I’ll do something. Seriously, if you want someone to tell you something and convince you rather wholeheartedly the first time that the job’ll get done, leave it to me. I am awesome at that. And why am I so good, you may ask? Because I genuinely believe that I can get the job done.

Then complications happen, or maybe just time happens. I hang out with friends, I pick up other projects, I help people with things…maybe I just sit around and play video games or read a book. Sure enough, as time flows I find myself doing other things…hell, I started this post around 12:00. It’s now 12:13, and I’ve successfully configured my computer and XBox to stream music. Did that involve finishing the blog I’d already started on? Nope. I feel like I’m really great at not getting things finished.

Reading my past writing is like delving through an archive of misguided ambition. I start large projects, and I always have a genuine intent to follow through on them. When the stimulus package was announced, I downloaded the entire bill to a Palm Pilot with the intention of reading it over and highlighting its errors and whatnot, then sending my findings to the White House. Sure enough, that project fell to other priorities…classwork, social times with friends, nights spent at Stix and Marty’s and other places around C-town. Great ambition, terrible follow-through.

So now I’ve been back in Rockford since mid-April, all with the intention of finally doing something big with my life, starting my own businesses…and I’ve not done much. Hell, this is the first update this blog has gotten in weeks. And I’ve done plenty of things worth blogging about: visited Virginia, applied for jobs, done interviews, seen friends, met small business owners. And yet I’ve not done much with that information, not written about those experiences. I’d say that if I have any focus, it’s certainly a broad one…much too broad.

In high school I wrote a paper about…something English related, I don’t know what. My teacher’s TA made various comments on the paper, but what I remember most is the drawing she put on the back. She drew a small forest at the bottom of the paper, some clouds way above the trees, and then me WAAYYY above the clouds. She told me that a lot of people make their gaze too narrow, can’t see the forest because of the trees. I, on the other hand, had no idea there were individual trees. She told me to tighten my gaze, narrow my focus. I needed to do it then, and I still need to do it now.

So, my goal is to stop committing so many crimes of ambition, to focus on fewer things and get those things right. Tomorrow’s project is to finally, finally start my other blog, Weekly Resolution, and use that blog as a motivation to tighten my gaze each week, hold myself accountable for my crimes. I imagine many criminals dream of reform, but perhaps I’ll just end up a repeat offender.

-Josh

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