stolen from another forum: [Play this while reading] The real reason men fail and fall into mediocrity can truly be attributed to a lack of goals. Most men want to be successful, but do they REALLY want it? Are they putting down the necessary reparations of hard work to get what they want out of life? ?Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.? -Fitzhugh Dodson Without goals, we are nothing. You can drive around in your Porsche for months on end hoping to one day magically bump into a city with bright lights and endless opportunities, but a man that knows he?s heading to New York City, will get there quicker, and more efficient, than that doesn?t know where he?s headed. ?People with goals succeed because they know where they?re going.? -Earl Nightingale But it doesn?t end there. If you aspire to be this, and that, and something else in five years, why should life reward you with that image if you?re not crafting yourself that image? How can you be so delusional as to think that you will be this, or that tomorrow, if you don?t put in the hours today? In order for your ideal to come to fruition, you have to put in the down payments, and above all you have to start understanding and appreciating the value of time. Ask someone what is the single most important thing in their lives, and most would undoubtedly say money. Of course, money gives us the means, and expands the parameters of what one can experience in a lifetime. However, such is not possible without time. Men can, and have, gone through several bankruptcies and still had the luxury to make it all back. Money comes and goes. But time is something you will never get back?no matter how hard you try. As much as that should scare you, it should equally as much motivate you to make the most of your time. Ask yourself, what have you done in the last 5 hours of your free time ? if any outlet of entertainment (Facebook, television, video games) has occupied the majority of it, you probably don?t have a legitimate grasp of the concept of productivity. If life is a RPG, you?re using all your gold on crude armor. Use your hours to level up in different aspects of life, whether that be social experiences, education, athletic prowess, political knowledge, or personal skill crafts. Otherwise you will eventually die without having truly lived. The truth is, most of us will live to 70-80 (and that is being a little optimistic); which gives us roughly 20,000 days (assuming you?re around 18-24) give or take. And only about 5000 days before we turn 35 (the peak of our youth/career). If you?ve spent the last 30 days doing absolutely nothing to increase your stock as a person, then why the **** are you even alive? That is 30/5000 days you will never see again. Our lives are made up of a collection of these single days before we ultimately die. Reflect on how you?re spending these days, and ask yourself if anything beneficial is coming out of it. We were all raised to believe that we can accomplish anything if we put our minds to it. But much less we believe it, the people preaching this don?t even believe it. Here?s the interesting secret: this REALLY is possible. Barring some extreme genetic deficiencies, we truly can achieve anything we put our minds to. But it is not enough to just say you want to be successful, you have to be specific and above all, YOU have to believe it. The only thing that separates the mediocre people from the ones that do end up where they want in life is the subscription to this idea, and the discipline to get up and do it. Hard work trumps talent 9 times out of 10. If Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan didn?t have that ridiculous, obsessive work ethic, we might?ve never witnessed the best basketball had to offer. They were the ones willing to efficiently put their hours into good use. As Malcolm Gladwell proposed, the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for roughly 10,000 hours. It?s easy to say why you can?t do this or that. It?s easy to verbally express your shortcomings. It?s easy to make excuses. All of these cushion your ego. What is not easy is telling yourself that this is what you have to do to become successful, and actually attacking it. ?Aim for the top. There is plenty of room there. There are so few at the top it is almost lonely there.? -Samuel Insull There are two types of people in this world, those that sit around waiting for opportunities to come to them, and those that go out and look for it. There really is no such thing as good luck. It is a matter of putting yourself in these opportunities, and working hard to open more doors. As the saying goes, ?the harder I work, the luckier I get.? Life allots you with 24 hours in a day. What you decide to do with it is up to you. Don?t let fear of failure stop you from pursuing great things. Fear is the most empowering tool one is bestowed with. It is the ultimate reference point of life. It is life?s way of telling you that this is the direction you need to go. What if you knew you couldn?t fail at anything? What would you do today? Would you still sit around waiting for a guarantee? You want to be an actor? You want that 10/10? You want to live in luxurious homes? You want to travel the world? Stop wishing and start doing. You better start believing you can and start taking the necessary steps into achieving your dream. No matter how "unrealistic" the goal, the person that obsessively believes he can achieve it, will have a 100 percent greater chance of achieving it than the person that doesn't. ?Whether you think you can or whether you think you can?t, you?re right. -Henry Ford? As a wise man once said, ?The only thing you are guaranteed at birth is death. You have a right to that. The rest is earned. You are entitled to nothing.? Life gives everyone a certain amount of hours. In due course, what you wish to do with your allotted time will reap you dividends or nothing. Time is truly the currency of life. Nothing is insurmountable as long as you?re willing to put in the hard work. And all hard work is, is not mindlessly letting your days escape. Make sure you?re progressing towards your goals daily and are acting productively. That is key. All the time you spend just wasting life is what hard work is not. Have you ever been overwhelmed by a stream of euphoric motivation, where you?ve accomplished so much or learned so much that you just feel powerful? and even enlightened? Now most people do that once every two weeks. Imagine being productive EVERY SINGLE DAY? Do that and I dare you to tell me you can?t accomplish anything you desire. I'm 21. I'm not going to sit here and act like I know it all, or have achieved success by any means. What I do know is, I've recently made a commitment to obsessively work for my goals. It is really sad how I've let the past 20 years of my life just go by. At the same time, it is really comforting that the average person does not realize this, perhaps they never will. But I will never again live mindlessly. Start accepting responsibility and take control of your life.