Do you want something? Go get it.

Did your wife just tell you she wants another vacation? Instead of feeling bad, earn the money and stop spending frivolously. Want to work for yourself? Stop dreaming about it and work for it. Want a better physique? Good. Get to the gym.

What’s the point? Nothing comes for free. You have to earn these things. No matter how easy it seems other peoples' lives are, you aren’t them. Go do the work it takes. There is no substitute for hard work.

Working hard once isn’t enough, either. You need build a process and be disciplined and followed it. Every day. Every. Freaking. Day.

Will it work out immediately? Nope. It is going to take a lot longer than you think. Be patient. Life is an accumulation of the little things you’ve done extra. Life is also asymmetrical. Know the saying, “the straw that broke the camel’s back?” All of a sudden, you’ll tip the balance and things will happen. The dam can only hold back so much water… then watch out!

The fact is that it will take a long time. And then it won’t work out. And then something else. It’s hard. People will doubt you. You’ll doubt you. You have to take it. You have to take it again and again. Oh. And you need to be calm about all of it.

As I write these lines, I realize (again) that Rudyard Kipling’s poem If has already said this [better]:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

The last thing I will say: even when you do all of this, you still need to be lucky. Life is literally a crap shoot. That’s not to say you can use this as a cop out… you can keep putting yourself into the path of luck and soon it will feel more like you’re reading the tea leaves.

Work hard. Be disciplined. Be patient. Get lucky. Wait for the good times to roll (and then start all over).