Success in our society is measured in achievement. Reaching lofty goals seems easy for some; until we peer behind the scenes. Consider doctors, lawyers, and professional athletes. We sometimes forget how hard they worked in the classroom or on the playing field. Some paid an awesome toll early, and later reaped tremendous rewards.

You too have the opportunity to achieve beyond your wildest expectations. And you can enjoy the process. But first you must prepare. Step one is to pay attention. What do you enjoy? Close your eyes and take a few moments to determine your desires. Don't hesitate to explore seemingly unattainable ideals. Make a detailed wish list. Nothing is far-fetched. Fantasize for hours, days, months. It takes as long as it takes. Make mental notes or write them down. How would it feel to be doing what you love? Attain mastery with your heart and mind. Feel victorious from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.

Next, set achieveable short term goals that will equip you to tackle your mission. This may require research. A fledgling movie star locates an acting studio. A budding professional athlete sets aside hours for physical training. Early achievements serve as motivation. Daily short term targets inspire you. Small successes provide endurance for the long haul.

No worthwhile goal is simple. Prepare for distractions and obstacles. Motivation will wax and wane and there will be pitfalls. Stay focused. Be careful of those who may sabotage your efforts. Part of your duties may be unrelated to your chosen dream. You may embrace competition but detest hours of tarrying. Sometimes you are required to bide your time when you prefer action. While focusing on a target you may perceive yourself as one-dimensional. Keep your options open. Strive to be well-rounded. Have it all but guard your priorities. Make daily choices based on your priorities, then your mission. Choose television programs that motivate you rather than vegetating through a mindless sitcom. Fall asleep at a reasonable hour and awaken early to prepare your day. Each hour brings you closer to your goal. And don't forsake friends.Cherish God and your family. In the end they matter most.Winning or losing does not affect your progress. If you are disappointed with an outcome search to discover how you may improve. Competition provides you with the information to be better next time.

Constructive criticism provides insight. Improvement doesn't come fast or easy. Sometimes a breakthrough takes years of disciplined training. But let go and relax. If you try too hard you undermine your efforts. Ask yourself, "Why am I training?" Think about the reasons you began.

Opportunities to rise to the next level are scarce. Be on the lookout for a break. Read magazines in your field of endeavor. Write letters to establish rapport with possible colleagues. Keep an eye out for programs that relate to your dream. You may receive a phone call for a once in a lifetime interview. Or a mentor may mysteriously find you. Although you are busy in your wearisome grind, pay attention to these magic moments. Success is not just achievement or being better than someone else. It's what you do outside of your striving that counts. There are thousands who reach the summit, and would gladly trade it for inner peace. Taking giant steps over your competition is addicting and sometimes abusive. Many millionaires and famous actors are divorced several times and some are suicidal. Self-gratification and high achievement alone is not the answer.

Rather than treading on folks, carry them. Give yourself permission to be your best and help your comrades along the way. Emptiness is at the top unless you support your friends. It is not about winning and losing and reaching your potential. Anybody can struggle to reach a goal, but how many toil to help others reach theirs?