ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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I Used to Believe That Unless It Was Painful to Achieve, I Didn’t Deserve the Money.

In: Redefining Success

We go to all sorts of lengths to prove ourselves, don’t we?

I have jumped through countless hoops, over the years, trying to prove that I am a good friend, despite moving to a foreign country.

I also used to kill myself working, subconsciously believing that unless it was painful to achieve, I didn’t deserve the money.

Ditto with weight loss—unless I was parading up and down the highest of mountains, breaking my back for hours, I wasn't trying hard enough.

It’s stunning, the pressure we put on ourselves. I remember going through a period of non-stop deadlines and overwhelm, getting clobbered by my to-do list—something I used to wear like a badge of honor—until one particularly frustrating day when I stopped to reflect and realized:

All of the deadlines and the pressure and the overwhelm was entirely self-inflicted.

It was as if I needed to continue to drown myself in activity in order to feel validated. Purposeful. Useful. Productive.

And you know what I think about that now? Fuck. That. The most useful things I’ve ever done were never on my to-do list in the first place. You know what they were?

They were listening.
And looking other people in the eye.
And taking lots of photographs.
And giving extra long hugs.
And coming up with the perfect gift.
And reading bedtime stories to my friends' children.
And spending a luxurious hour just thinking.
And remembering to smile at strangers.
And making others feel seen—especially those who are down and out.
And being the kind of person who lights up a room with her laughter.
And moves through the world light, happy and free.

All of that is a gift to the world. An important gift.

And yet, it is easy to do things the hard way, the punishing way, and use that to feel better about our contributions. We just love to play the martyr. The sufferer. The victim.

It is much harder, however, to be okay with easy. To believe that money doesn’t always come from effort, and friendship doesn’t always come from force, and the things we’ve earned, in this world, does not always come from labor.

Maybe easy isn’t so easy at all.

Maybe there is more wisdom in ease than we realize.

Jul 25

2014

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I’m the first to promote the bootstrapper spirit, but I’m also first to promote intelligent decisions. And sometimes “crossing that bridge when we come to it,” isn’t as free-spirited as it is stupid. What happens when there’s no bridge? Sure, you can build one. But it may end up costing you significantly more money, energy, time, […]

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2016

There’s So Much Drama Around EVERYTHING.

There is so much drama. Around. Everything. I hear it everywhere. In emails. In tweets. In friend’s secrets. In whispers across the internet. Should I launch this? But what about that? What if I fail? What if nobody buys? What if I wasted my time? What if my heart breaks in the process? Should I […]

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Jul 1

2013

The Moments In Between – PAY ATTENTION.

Success is shit. (Hang on – the punchline is not what you think it is.) We’re always working toward it. (Are you rolling your eyes?) Listing out goals. (Inevitably on some overpriced moleskine.) Sweating. (A lot.) Hustling. (As much as we can before insanity sets in.) And pushing people out of our way to achieve it. […]

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Oct 30

2015

When New Opportunities Show Up, Waving Their Ta Ta’s

There’s a lot of…pressure these days. Post to Twitter! And Facebook! And Instagram! And Vine! And Pinterest! And AREN’T YOU PERISCOPING YET, YOU CURMUDGEON? Speaking of self-important broadcasts, have you started your podcast yet? Are you #1 on iTunes? DON’T YOU HAVE PLANS TO START A PODCAST?! I’m continually fascinated by the flock’s constant need […]

In: Redefining Success

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