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Well-Being For Ambitious Souls – Unleashing Harmony, Not At The Expense Of Each Other

Written by: Akanksshaa (Akanksha Kulkarni), Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Akanksshaa (Akanksha Kulkarni)

In a world driven by ambition, where time often feels like an elusive commodity, there exists a transformative truth: the intersection of ambition and well-being holds the key to unlocking unparalleled success and fulfillment. From the visionary leadership of Richard Branson to the purpose driven creations of Oprah Winfrey and the remarkable resilience of Sara Blakely, ambitious souls have reshaped our world, defying the constraints of time and convention. We have seen ambitious entrepreneurs who have prioritized holistic well-being alongside their ambitious pursuits. Join us on a journey to explore the limitless potential of ambition fueled by purpose, passion, and mindfulness, as we uncover the secrets to balancing success and well-being in a high-pressure world.


Man climbing up the stairs to the city

Is your ambition coming from the place of ego or soul?


First and foremost, ask yourself: why do you want to achieve what you want to achieve; the strong “why” behind your desire. Being ambitious can have a negative connotation at times. But it can be negative only when you attach negative emotions to it such as greed, jealousy, fear etc. When ambition is fueled by ego, the relentless pursuit of success becomes a breeding ground for stress and burnout. Let’s take some examples. Meet Sarah, a high-flying executive in a competitive corporate environment. Driven by the need for recognition and fueled by a constant comparison to her peers, Sarah's ambition became intertwined with her ego. Long working hours, sleepless nights, and an incessant need to outperform her colleagues led to chronic stress. The constant pressure to excel took a toll on her relationships, health, and overall well-being. Consider the story of John, an ambitious entrepreneur with dreams of building a successful startup. Driven by the need for validation and the fear of failure, John's ambition took a darker turn. Every setback felt like a personal blow to his self-worth, and the fear of not meeting societal expectations fueled a relentless pursuit of success. The outcome? Burnout. John found himself trapped in a cycle of long working hours, constant anxiety, and diminishing passion for his work. James, a competitive entrepreneur, was always racing against time with constant insecurity and fear plaguing him. Fueled by a fear of being left behind and a constant comparison to industry peers, James pushed himself to the limit. This landed him in health crisis. Do these examples sound familiar to you? If your ambition is coming from the place of soul rather than ego, you can take humanity to the next level. We have seen examples of inventors and innovative entrepreneurs who have created new business models with the help of technology, disrupted the market landscapes and transformed humanity with new ideas. If your ambition is driven by soul, you can achieve audacious goals while meaningfully contributing to society.


How can you deal with common challenges?


A. Long working hours: Ambitious professionals often find themselves working long hours to achieve their goals, leading to exhaustion and burnout. For example, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, and Tesla, is known for his relentless work ethic, often working over 80 hours a week across multiple ventures. While Musk's commitment to his work is evident, it's essential to acknowledge that his approach may not prioritize traditional forms of self-care.


B. High stress levels: The pressure to succeed can result in high levels of stress and anxiety. Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, experienced a wake-up call when she collapsed from exhaustion due to overwork, prompting her to prioritize well-being and advocate for work-life balance. Arianna Huffington transformed her approach to work and well-being after her wake-up call, founding Thrive Global to promote holistic well-being and resilience in the workplace.


C. Neglecting personal relationships: Ambitious individuals may struggle to maintain meaningful relationships outside of work. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder, and CEO of Facebook, faced criticism for prioritizing work over personal connections, leading him to make changes to ensure a better balance. Mark Zuckerberg implemented changes to his schedule, including taking paternity leave and setting aside dedicated time for family, to prioritize personal relationships alongside his professional commitments.


D. Societal expectations: Society often glorifies hustle culture and places pressure on individuals to constantly strive for success at any cost. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, addressed this pressure in her book "Lean In," discussing how societal expectations can impact women's careers and well-being. Sheryl Sandberg challenges societal norms by advocating for equal opportunities for women in the workplace and encouraging individuals to define success on their own terms.


E. Fear of failure: The fear of failure can drive ambitious professionals to push themselves beyond their limits, fearing that any setback will derail their success. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, overcame her fear of failure by reframing it as a necessary step on the path to success, ultimately building a billion-dollar business. She embraced failure as a stepping-stone to success, reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth and innovation.


F. Self-imposed expectations: Ambitious individuals often set high expectations for themselves, striving for perfection in all areas of life. Jeff Bezos, founder, and former CEO of Amazon, acknowledged the pressure of self-imposed expectations, emphasizing the importance of resilience and learning from failure. He encourages individuals to embrace experimentation and take calculated risks in pursuit of their goals.


By learning how these entrepreneurs have navigated these challenges, we can gain valuable insights into finding balance amidst ambitious pursuits.


Using habit stacking for boosting productivity and enriching well-being


Habit stacking is a technique that involves linking new habits to existing ones, creating a chain of behaviors that streamline daily routines. By anchoring new habits to established ones, individuals can leverage the power of momentum to make positive changes more sustainable. Habit stacking is particularly effective for enhancing both well-being and productivity because it capitalizes on the brain's natural inclination towards routine and automation. By incorporating small, beneficial habits into existing routines, individuals can gradually cultivate a healthier and more productive lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed by drastic changes. Here are some examples where you can link two habits so as to be consistent, healthy, and productive.


A. When you drink lukewarm water during morning, you can sun gaze for 5 minutes.


B. Listen to audio books while walking/ jogging in the morning.


C. After finishing lunch, take a 10-minute walk outside to boost energy and creativity.


D. After brushing your teeth before going to bed, spend 15 minutes reading a book or practicing gratitude journaling.


Habit stacking offers a practical and effective approach to cultivating habits that enhance both well-being and productivity. By leveraging existing routines as anchor points for positive behavior changes, individuals can incrementally build a healthier and more efficient lifestyle. Whether it's integrating mindfulness practices into daily rituals or optimizing work routines for maximum focus and output, habit stacking empowers individuals to achieve their goals with consistency and ease.


Self-care and holistic well-being is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity


The importance of self-care cannot be overstated, especially in the aftermath of a global health crisis like COVID-19. Here's why self-care is not just an option but a necessity, particularly in times of heightened stress and uncertainty:


A. Physical well-being


Immune System Support: Engaging in self-care practices such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep strengthens the immune system, making the body more resilient to illnesses like COVID-19 and other infections.


Stress Reduction: Physical activity, relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, and adequate rest are all essential components of self-care that help reduce cortisol levels and alleviate physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension and fatigue.


B. Mental health


Stress Management: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated stress and anxiety levels for many individuals due to health concerns, economic uncertainties, and social isolation. Practicing self-care techniques like mindfulness, journaling, or seeking professional support can help manage stress and promote mental well-being.


Prevention of Burnout: High levels of stress over an extended period can lead to burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness. Prioritizing self-care allows individuals to recharge and prevent burnout, maintaining mental resilience and productivity.


C. Emotional well-being


Coping with Uncertainty: COVID-19 has brought about unprecedented levels of uncertainty, leading to feelings of fear, sadness, and grief. Engaging in self-care activities that nurture emotional well-being, such as connecting with loved ones, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in hobbies, can help individuals cope with uncertainty and build emotional resilience.


Building Emotional Resilience: Self-care practices like mindfulness and self-reflection cultivate emotional awareness and regulation, enabling individuals to navigate challenging emotions more effectively and bounce back from adversity.


D. Social connections


Nurturing Relationships: Social support is a critical component of self-care, especially during times of crisis. Maintaining connections with friends, family, and community members, whether virtually or in person, provides emotional validation, comfort, and a sense of belonging.


Promoting Collective Well-being: By prioritizing self-care, individuals contribute to the overall well-being of their communities. Healthy, resilient individuals are better equipped to support and uplift others, fostering a culture of care and solidarity in the face of adversity.


Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity, particularly in the wake of a global health crisis like COVID-19. Prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional well-being through self-care practices is essential for building resilience, managing stress, and fostering overall health and happiness in challenging times. By investing in self-care, individuals not only protect their own well-being but also contribute to the collective resilience and strength of society as a whole.


Using ambition as a driving force for growth


Ambition serves as a powerful catalyst for entrepreneurial growth by igniting a relentless drive to innovate, disrupt industries, and achieve extraordinary success. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk exemplify this, as his ambition to revolutionize transportation (Tesla) and space exploration (SpaceX) has propelled him to extraordinary heights of achievement.


Personal growth and ambition are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are intertwined. Ambition drives individuals to seek new experiences, acquire new skills, and embrace opportunities for self-discovery and fulfillment. This journey of personal growth fuels ambition even further, creating a positive feedback loop of achievement and self-improvement.


On a personal level, ambition motivates individuals to continuously strive for self-improvement and growth. For example, Oprah Winfrey's ambition to transcend her challenging upbringing and create a platform for empowerment and inspiration led to her iconic career as a media mogul and philanthropist.

Ambition fuels personal development by challenging individuals to set ambitious goals, step out of their comfort zones, and continuously push their limits. For instance, Warren Buffett's ambition to become one of the world's most successful investors compelled him to cultivate discipline, resilience, and a growth mindset, leading to his immense success.


Contrary to popular belief, ambition and spiritual growth can coexist harmoniously. Ambition provides individuals with the drive and determination to embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. Take, for example, Deepak Chopra, whose ambition to bridge science and spirituality has led to groundbreaking insights into holistic well-being and consciousness.


From a spiritual perspective, ambition can serve as a catalyst for inner transformation and enlightenment. Spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama demonstrate how ambition to spread compassion, wisdom, and peace can drive profound spiritual growth and contribute to the well-being of humanity.


Spirituality can serve as a guiding force that enriches and informs one's ambitions, infusing them with purpose, meaning, and a deeper connection to the world. Ambition becomes a means to express and fulfill one's spiritual calling, whether it's through acts of compassion, service to others, or the pursuit of higher ideals and values.


Ambition is a multifaceted force that drives growth in various dimensions of life—entrepreneurial, personal, and spiritual. It propels individuals to pursue their dreams, overcome challenges, and reach their fullest potential. By recognizing that ambition can coexist with personal and spiritual growth, individuals can harness its power to create a life of purpose, fulfillment, and transcendence.


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Akanksshaa (Akanksha Kulkarni) Brainz Magazine
 

Akanksshaa (Akanksha Kulkarni), Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Akanksshaa helps individuals & organizations align purpose, rewire mind, raise vibration, enrich well-being to live a life of abundance and freedom.


Akanksshaa has extensive diverse experience, in coaching/training/ mentoring/ leading/ strategic planning/ program management & innovation (includes 20+ of corporate experience in IT & Finance areas). She has received several awards in the corporate world. She has done MBA from one of the top B schools in India. She is currently pursuing PhD in Education Psychology. She combines neuroscience, positive psychology and spirituality based eclectic techniques in her programs. She believes in an intuitive, meaningful, playful yet structured approach. She has been a corporate facilitator for senior leaders. She has coached senior / exec corporate leaders in her exclusive coaching programs. She has thousands of students across all ages in her several online programs.


After her only son Arnav crossed over in 2020, her spiritual awakening helped her connect with and seek guidance from higher realms and dimensions. Her son has become her angel/spirit guide. She wrote and published a book “The Untold Legend: Rise of A Mother '' in thirty days with guidance from him and higher beings that she connects with. Her book has become a no. 1 bestseller in special education, biology, and ranked as a bestseller in well-being, education, and journals categories. She has founded a non-profit Arnav Memorial Foundation, in his memory, with a mission to enrich health and well-being and expand consciousness through holistic education and science research interventions. Mindset, Well-Being, Business Coach I Chopra Meditation & Health Teacher I Bestselling Author I LinkedIn Top Business Coaching Voice I Keynote Speaker I Founder Arnav Memorial Foundation I Founder MindNBeyond I PQ Coach

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