Why You Must Carve Out Your Own Path to Success


I attended one of those smart-kids high schools. Although I was smart, I never stood out. I wasn’t the brightest, the most charming, the most popular, the most athletic, nor the most ambitious. Besides my bro, I doubt anyone even remembers me.

Lots of my school mates, who were a bit more memorable, went on to live very accomplished lives. Some of them became doctors, software developers (or ingenious hackers), investment bankers, and so on. It’s easy for me to compare myself to them and get disappointed that I’m not more successful. Yes, I’ve done a lot, but it is never enough.

I bet that you feel that way too. You ask yourself … Why aren’t you as successful as James Altucher, Victor Pride, or Neville Medhora? What did they do that you couldn’t do?

Without self-confidence, you’ll feel hopeless — thinking that the ship already sailed and it’s too late. Therefore, you won’t do anything to become better. You won’t take efforts to be successful.

Well … I’m here to knock out that hopelessness outta your head. Success isn’t about how well you can copy someone else. It isn’t about how well you planned out your future since childhood. No way, Jose. Success is about how well you can keep going, even when you’re not sure if things are going to work out.

Success Does Not Depend on One Event

You may think that it is too late for you to be successful … whatever that may be.

You look back into your past and wish you made a better decision. You think … If you had invested in a certain stock, you would be a multi-millionaire by now. If you asked that cute girl from 9th grade out, you would be married now. If you didn’t go to college, you would be debt-free now.

Unless a particular action paralyzed you for life, one decision does not alter the course of your future. One choice does not determine your destiny.

Instead, success (or lack thereof) depends on what you do … over the course of your whole life. To walk on the path to success, you must take a series of footsteps. Not just one footstep, but a series of them.

Kobe Bryant is probably the best basketball player who has ever lived. He won countless championships. But after winning a championship, he does not sit back and kick up his legs. No … He goes back to the basketball court. He starts practice at the crack of dawn. He’s conditioning, practicing the fundamentals, and honing his skills. He is restless. He is a winner.

Kobe's secret for winning: never stop improving.

Kobe’s secret for winning: never stop improving.

Each time you decide to do something worthwhile, you take a step forward.

Each time you decide to do something useless, you take a step backward.

Each time you decide to do nothing, you take a step backward.

You either move forward or backward. You either grow or die. There is nothing in-between.

The more worthwhile things you do, the closer you will be to your goal.

Therefore, to become successful … to reach your goal, you must improve yourself every single day. You must make a decision every single day. Do you take another step forward or not?

Every man must make this decision. Every man must walk his own path. That is why I cannot give you a step-by-step instruction manual on how to be successful. There is no such thing.

(Later on though, I’ll write about some of the skills your should learn that will greatly improve your chances for succeeding.)

No Two Paths to Success Are Ever the Same

As you study the footsteps of the successful, you will see that no two successful people ever took the same exact path. Each person had to carve out his own path, and had to take his own footsteps.

A few people may have a straight path. Ever since they were young, they knew exactly what they wanted to do. And they did it. That is why many of my classmates are skilled doctors, hotshot lawyers, and big-bucks bankers. (Not many of them are entrepreneurs.)

But for most people, their paths zigzag. They may wander aimlessly. They sometimes take a step back, and then take a few steps forward. Yet, they too achieve success. Personally, I fall into this category. I’m taking a very non-conventional path towards success (but I have yet to reach my destination).

The most important thing is not how you started, but where you finished. Are you one of the few who reaches the finish line? Or are you like most of people out there who never reached their goal — those who wished they made one major decision earlier in their lives, but never do anything in the present moment?

Only time will tell. I hope to see you in the winners’ circle.

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  1. The road to success is never straight nor paved. If you want to be successful you just have to do it. It’s never a straight path but path full of turns and obstacles which a person will need to figure out on their to being successful.

    It is never too late to be successful! Colonel Sanders did not become successful it way later in his life. Since then we have benn eating his chicken for many years since then.and also success comes in many forms graduating from college is a form of success. So is raising a family working in a career you actually like and be good at it and so on and so on.

    So if you have dreams of being successful and think it’s too late for you? Then you need to realize that in life you have the opportunity to change your life no matter how old or young you are just make it happen!

    Great post

    • Alex Ding says:

      Hey Jose,

      Great point. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. I really like the Colonel Sanders example. I wrote about him previously.

  2. Great job…once again..I read a lot of success stories from successful people and I found the common denominator. They all don’t tell you exactly how they got there. My conclusion is to get started, keep pushing forward and never give up….

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