Do what you say, not the opposite
The biggest piece of my recent success comes from one golden rule: "Do what you say you will."
It is easy to get comfortable with premature celebration. The classic "I just enrolled in college," therefore I am about to get my degree. The generic "I'm an entrepreneur," therefore I don't have to work today. The typical "I ate a salad for lunch," therefore I'm really focusing on my health lately.
That's the thing with success, it doesn't happen overnight - until it does. You will be given opportunities, which really fire you up, and you'll tell your family "I'll be a millionaire before the end of the year," and you'll promise your friends executive level positions. Suddenly, you have a CFO, CEO, CIO, COO, CSO, and 8 VP's without any employees. You'll have an "army" of "elite's" and get nothing done. You'll have a "board of advisors," and never hold a meeting.
You'll face obstacles, and conquer them. You'll face egotistical discussions at the bar with your old high school classmates, who simply want to know "what you are doing." You'll have haters, fakers, chastisers, and "experts" tirelessly work against your current. You'll have nightmares, tough conversations, and a vapid fan-base.
You'll find love, you'll lose love. You'll find friends, you'll lose friends. You'll find hope, and despair.
You'll find questions. You'll find answers.
Yet, when you find that hard work, really does beat smart work, you'll find progress. When you can go to sleep knowing that you gave your best efforts, and found your best rewards given your circumstances, you'll find prowess. When you can look yourself in the eye, and not make excuses, you'll find tranquility.
There are many people with great ideas, and even more with powerful networks. You'll find startups with $1,000,000 in funding, that get out-paced by bootstrapped hustlers. The key is hustle, not clout or capital. Clout and capital come from the fruits of your labor, which takes time. Every obstacle you surpass, will lift you towards a better understanding of your purpose, which is far more important than an understanding of your goals. You must understand, that everyone has goals. Some realize them earlier than others.
You must have an action plan, whether it is for today, for this week, or for the next decade. You must plan, and you must adapt. You must be brave, you must be bold, and you must be strong. Above all, you must be honest with yourself. If your goals are gigantic, that is OK. Don't let anyone else measure your goals based on their own understanding of themselves. Don't judge others based on the size of your goals.
Just take action, consistently. Go to the meeting you scheduled. Have the tough conversations. Take the risk. Face your demons. Run that mile. Eat that tofu. Whatever it is, just do what must be done, and do so with grace.