1. Time is the most valuable currency in life, but unfortunately there’s no way to check your account balance. Make immediate moves towards the things you want right now instead of planning for a later date that you’re not guaranteed. If there’s a class that’ll make you better in your field, sign up for it TODAY. If there’s a valuable skill that you can learn, begin mastering your craft TODAY. I know that’s hard with the existence naps and Netflix, but be strong.
2. Adopt a “Why not me?” mindset. This means don’t place goals on an unfeasible, mysterious pedestal. If you put in the work, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t pay off for you, just as it would someone else. No matter how absurd it sounds or how slim your chances may appear, someone’s got to achieve these things, so why not you?
3. If you approach every day trying to accomplish all of your dreams in their final state, you will be overwhelmed and drive yourself crazy. Think of it this way – if your objective was to write the best novel you could possibly concoct in a notebook, you wouldn’t want to cover every last page with words so that you had a full book by the end of the night. You’d want to write the finest sentence, paragraph, chapter, or whatever amount of greatness was doable on that individual day, and soon you’d have the entire novel.
4. No backup plans. Having options you’re willing to settle for will kill the desperate, unyielding motivation that a this-will-work-out-or-I’ll-crash-and-burn-trying mindset possesses. There are no Plan B parachutes in passions, only plunges with the confidence that, regardless of what you may hit on the way down, the plummet ends with you landing exactly where you wanted, on two feet.
5. Always keep in mind that chances are someone, somewhere wants the exact same thing as you. You won’t find comfort in the thought of them currently scheming, plotting and working towards that thing while you’re off the clock.
6. Don’t bank on Disney movie magic or divine intervention to make things happen if you’re sitting around idle. You’ve got to at least put yourself in the vicinity of what you want and take care of all of the things that are in your control.
7. Prepare yourself to draw criticism from and possibly even lose some of your friends. Ambition isn’t something all of your buddies may carry, so when you pass on invites or rarely have time to join their social festivities, a lot of people won’t understand and will give you a hard time. Sadly, sometimes you’ve got to distance yourself from people who are okay going to the same house parties, doing the same activities and living the same lifestyle you did 5-10 years ago. It’s okay to grow up and more importantly, it’s okay to want better.
8. As often as possible, prepare yourself for scenarios you know that you might run into in advance. It’s better to be ready when a big break presents itself than to have to scramble and try taking advantage of it in a spur-of-the-moment haste.
9. Be relentless, but be relentless in your own way. For some folks that means rapid physical activity and lots of body movements. For others it can be sitting around calmly thinking or reading and being serenely focused. It depends on the person and their objective, but relentless comes in various forms.
10. Be certain to put forth your best effort during the moments you least feel like working. Nobody has a shortage of instances where they feel like being lazy or doing other things, but resistance and willpower are crucial. If you insist on persevering through the most challenging days, suddenly there’ll be fewer of them.
11. Remember that there is no set blueprint or correct way to go about achieving anything, really. You can think of that as terrifying or you can embrace it and find excitement in the fact that your way may be less flashy, it may be unheard of, it may be traditional, or risky, or calculated, or popular or frowned upon — it may have a small budget, or it may have no budget at all, but it could still pan out a complete success.