When people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, President Barack Obama, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, business tycoon Mark Cuban, or others like them, put it in their minds to attempt to be different, unique, or to change the world in big ways, they all had to have a plan of action. However, their plans didn't come without sacrifice.
If you want to achieve greatness and major success it means not only will you have to put in the time, energy, discipline, and dedication required, but you may have to invest your savings, get less sleep, lose some family and friends along the way, and work long hours beyond your regular 9 to 5 job. The problem with most people who say they want to achieve success is that they aren't willing to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality. As long as your actions are legal and morally just, everything else is fair game. You must be willing to pay the price for greatness.
So, back to your journal. Don't go blindly into a world you don't understand or you will fail. You need to write down what sacrifices will be required and if you are willing to make them. For example, if your wish is to serve your country and you want to achieve the rank of a general in the military, not only will you need a college degree and get in great physical shape before you enlist, but you need to think about what sacrifices will you make if you have a spouse and/or children. The sacrifice in this case would mean lengthy time away from the family, possible injury or even death.
Study and do research about people who had similar dreams to yours. See what they had to go through and what sacrifices they made to achieve their goals. This will help you make an informed decision as to what you really want to do with your life. Remember, the decision to press onward despite the sacrifices means that basically nothing else is more important to you, which is actually a good thing. Once you've made this decision it will help you hold firm to your convictions when people tell you that you can't do something or that you're crazy, or you have no talent, or you're not smart enough or good looking enough. It will help you persevere when times get tough, when you have setbacks, challenges, disappointments, illnesses or injuries, or emotional pain from life and all it has to offer – the good and the bad.
Now, you're on the right track. You have your plan, you've written your lists in your journal, you've surrounded yourself with wonderful connections and cheerleaders, and you are getting the training or education necessary to excel. However, even when your plan is executed and everything seems like it's going accordingly, you will eventually be hit with disappointments, setbacks, obstacles, failure, and hardships along the way, which will force you to do one of two things – be triumph or to quit.
I have a saying – "When life deals you hardships and challenges, which threatens your happiness and success, you have a choice: Either lie down and quit or stand up and fight."
Just remember that there are life lessons to be learned when dealing with adversity; there is no greater teacher. Adversity helps you see what you're made of, because it will test your character and your courage. But as you develop a fighting spirit, you'll discover things about yourself; you'll see what you're made of when you have to make difficult decisions that will either push you toward fulfilling your dreams or have you making excuses for why you can't succeed.
Having a fighting spirit means that when you are smacked in the face or gut punched with an obstacle or challenge, you will find a way to get over it, around it or through it. You will plan an attack that will work toward moving you one step closer to success and greatness.
As you work diligently at fulfilling everything on your list, don't forget to take time out each morning and each evening to be grateful for the day you just had. Keep a journal and write down the many blessings you had today. If you opened your eyes this morning and got up out of bed, that's blessing number one. Many people didn't open their eyes today. Be grateful for the small and the big blessings and give thanks twice a day to whomever is your Higher power.
At the end of the week read through your journal and see all that you have achieved during the week. Give thanks for what you have accomplished and seek guidance and strength for the next week.
Here's to achieving greatness, success and happiness in 2013.