The answer you usually hear in speeches is “follow your passion”.
Bulls**t! The person saying that is almost always already successful and rolling in money thanks to a stroke of good luck.
The real answer is much harder:
Find something you’re good at and spend a few decades working your ass off!
And while you’re doing that you’re going to fail multiple times.
You’re going to work for people you hate. In jobs that suck the life from you.
You’re probably going to get depression.
And a mid-life crisis. Not to mention being hit by a few other crisis’s along the way.
You’re going to want to give up (many times). Then find enthusiasm aging. And give up.
You’ll be told you’re an idiot. And lose friends. Question yourself daily. And maybe have the odd good moment, only to be followed by more crap.
It is going to be a hard, often lonely, slog.
I know this:
I’m living it.
I’m not successful. Not the success I’m have in mind. But I want to me. I will me. I’m working hard for it. And if I don’t get it I’ll die trying.
Until then I work every day for it. Not 80 hour weeks – not anymore. That is, not wasted 80 hour grinds.
I’m still “working” every minute I’m awake, but I’ve learnt to re-focus some of that energy to other things: Learning. Thinking. Walking. Rest. Re-evaluation.
True success isn’t the founders of Facebook, Google or Tesla. They got lucky. Yes, the did some work, but not what the work everyone else has to do.
For the average person success is a lot a vision and a lot of guts, the ability to adapt, and the fortune to positions themselves to strike when opportunity is right.
And a hell of a lot of hard work and failure leading up to it.
I’ll be an overnight success some day…. 20-something years in the making.