don’t take yourself too seriously, but seriously, but like, not that seriously

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about success, and what is means to have ambition but balance that “don’t take yourself too seriously” thing while also doing exactly the opposite and believing in yourself HARD, so you can accomplish your goals. I looked up the definition of ambition…

am·bi·tion

noun
1. an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment: Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by his colleagues.
2. the object, state, or result desired or sought after: The crown was his ambition.
3. desire for work or activity; energy: I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
verb (used with object)
4. to seek after earnestly; aspire to.

So all those definitions make sense, thank you dictionary.com but notice the example sentence about some dude who was “disliked” by his colleagues because he had too much ambition. Ahh jeez, so what you’re telling me is, I have to be like the Goldilocks of ambition; don’t have too much, or too little but juuuuust enough. While pondering over my porridge, I decided that I balance or soften my ambition with my self deprecation…or at least I like to think I do. And that this may be the female way.

See, I’ve always been a very ambitious person. I grew up in LA, surrounded by lots of ambitious, and as a result, successful people, including my dad. I observed my dad nurture his career to great success by working hard, having luck and I think, being ambitious. He went to work every day and often worked late because he had so much to do. He would come home after my mom, my sister and I had eaten dinner and I’d sit with him while he ate his plate of food – that always looked way better than my dinner, even though it was the exact same thing I’d eaten hours earlier. Between his bites, and me stealing bites, he’d tell me about his day and I’d tell him about mine. The ever-present knowledge was that he was out in this world called “business” that I only knew about via his one-sided phone conversations, many of which took place in the car. My dad drove me to school for a couple years while I was in first and second grade. He had one of the first car phones that had the big fat cord and nestled in a giant cradle between the seats. On the 30 minute ride to school, we’d sing songs and then he’d get on the phone and yell at people. I was young, so I rarely caught on to the content of the phone calls, but the tone was evident and sticks with me today; it was important, he was important, and the people he talked to listened when he spoke.

I wanted that, I want that, I want to work and build a career for myself that has some importance. I don’t think my business chops were nurtured much by my upbringing. I don’t remember being told that I could be a business woman, etc. “You’re so creative” is what I was told a lot, which obviously, I live to this day, having created a career for myself where my creativity is tantamount. But the world of “business” seemed out of reach as I think it does for a lot of females. We’re not really taught to be dog eat dog and aggressive. If we raise our voice too much we’re labeled a “shrew” (“bitch” in olde English). So like most things in life, we figure out how to manipulate ourselves, maneuver and observe, compliment and giggle, all the while being keen on what we want: success. Most of us don’t choose that straight and narrow path like boys who can just charge up the ladder like they did with their toy fire truck back in the day. Us gals have swagger and I’d say, the key to disguising your cut-throat ambition is the above mentioned ability to make fun of yourself…at least that’s what I do.

My business is based a lot on humor, it is called Mr. Kate, after all. I try to infuse humor in most of the posts we do as well as our weekly YouTube videos, which hopefully make you all laugh. That humor is my guise, my bumper that shadows my ambition. I always remind myself that the people I like and respect most, have the ability to laugh at themselves. Be the first one to laugh at yourself before others can – take ownership of your flaws through your humor, I think it will boost your ambition. Humor makes the blunderings and falls along the way, not hurt as bad, it helps you bounce back and continue onward and upward.

I realize I just wrote a really serious post about humor – shit, I should have interjected some fart jokes. I guess it’s my little secret that I’m sharing with you guys that I’m actually a really serious person. The yin to my yang, the beauty mark to my mustache, is that I’m intensely serious. Most people wouldn’t deduce that upon first meeting me. They see my weird, quirky, loud, and funny side, but I have ambition and goals in business. I want to grow my company and brand and be important. I want to inspire people to live their most creative, expressive and successful lives! I want to have fun doing it, but I also want to get on my car phone and yell at some people and have them take me seriously…like, for reals.

I’m intrigued to hear about you and your ambitions! I pose this question to you: What are your ambitions and how are you working towards achieving them? Let’s all learn from each other and reach our goals! Comment below and share with me and the other readers, fart jokes and all! Thanks!




  • sandra lauzon

    Hello inter web,
    I grew up in a family with excellent worth ethic and two parents who clawed their way to the success they enjoy today. We’re talking not graduating highschool, starting a family in your teens, working multiple jobs, the whole bit. My mother is now a store manager and my dad owns his own renovations company. I’ve always felt like I had big shoes to fill so it was a no brainer to go get ‘em! Long story short and bumps in the road aside, I have always been a leader. I went to college, started my photography biz, then started a maid service when I moved to Toronto two years ago, and now I’m back in school for another 8 years to become a chiropractor! I’ll be the first doctor in my family and possibly the first to graduate from university. All in all I just think we are a result of our environment. Hard work garners real results and for those of us that won’t settle for less than awesome – its just our way. We get restless and depressed otherwise. I know I do. Its always onward and awkward! A lot of people get intimidated by people like us and shy away in confusion – call us names or label us – but bits idiocy. They’ve never felt the wind in their hair after having the courage to get off you butt and jump! I would take the thrill of accomplishment over the despair of “what if…” anytime. There’s no such thing as risk, just a fear of having to pick yourself up again and keep trying. OK verbal diarrhea much? Haha there’s your bathroom joke!

    Cheers,
    Sandi
    Toronto, Canada

    • mrkate

      Haha love this! Yes totally, there is a definite level of fearless-ness that one needs to pursue their goals because slips and falls are inevitable. I loved reading your comment! You sound smart and tenacious. Thanks for commenting! Cheers to you! xx – kate

  • Yazmin Joy Vigus

    Hey Kate,

    Thanks so much for writing this. I have always been very ambitious ever since I was a kid, I am super impatient and struggle with failure, but damn I love what I do! I’m a budding writer and sometimes the uncertainty of the job freaks me out. I think being ambitious is a blessing and a burden. Taking your career into your own hands is freakin’ scary man – I’m in the process of doing it now! Sometimes I just want to run away to Nepal or marry a hippy and hug trees in a wifi free forrest, but then I realise that my ambition to be successful in my field and do something meaningful with my life can never be supressed in the long term. The only way I can get though the ups and downs is have a laugh about it and find the ‘treasure in the trial’.

    When I was at uni my mum gave me a copy of the poem ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling. There is a line: ‘If you can dream and not make dreams your master… you’ll be a man my son’ (Okay forget the man/son bit – unless someone reading is a man/son – in that case leave it right there.) It’s about not losing sight of what’s important. I like to think our dreams are the destination, ambition is the engine, we are the drivers, and as for laughter and joy – these are the precious moments that make the whole trip worthwhile.

    Loved this post. You rock! x

  • Danica

    I am working towards becoming an interior designer/entrepreneur! I currently work in a Nursery with babies, who I absolutely adore but, my back cannot take the heavy lifting anymore (sciatica) and I miss being creative!! I am 22, and will be going back to college to do a 1 year full time Diploma course in Art, Design and Photography. This will help me get the qualifications I need to do a degree in Interior Design and Architecture at Uni if I choose to go to Uni. I have always loved looking at furniture and making useful or just fun things, but by coming across your blog, it gave me so much inspiration and ideas, and I’m not going to lie, I am a bit obsessed with it. I love everything about it and just want to say that you are my inspiration and you have given me the courage to take this big step and make such an important decision to go back in to education, and helped me realise what I have actually always wanted to do. So, thankyou very much, Kate! :) You’re a hero!