There are many people who have achieved enormous success in their lives and have come from nothing, and many times much less than nothing. Many times, successful tell their story of an abusive past, extreme poverty, drug problems, no parents, and the list goes on. They go on to tell how that extreme adversity propelled them to achieve greatness. Stories such Les Brown not knowing if there would be a next meal, Grant Cardone overcoming drug use in his early 20s, Lewis Howes telling his story of being sexually abused as a child, Dean Graziosi having dyslexia and struggling in school, and the list goes on.

One would begin to wonder if achieving a higher level of success is attainable without major obstacles to overcome.

I’m addressing this article to those that don’t have a major story or set back in their life, but still desire greatness and success moving forward. I had an upbringing that I’m proud of. I was raised on a beautiful farm with animals and was able to go outside and play with my siblings anytime I wanted (as long as the chores were done). My parents were very supportive of their children and would do anything to see their kids succeed. School wasn’t difficult for and getting good grades in each of my classes was fairly easy for me. My parents weren’t rich by any means, but we never missed a meal and always had a delicious home-cooked meal for supper.

I am extremely grateful for my upbringing and honestly can’t believe how blessed I truly am. The more I learn of others adversities and how awful some of their upbringings were, I am filled with gratitude.

But what if you had a decent upbringing, however you still have a desire for more, for greatness. Now keep in mind that greatness is now a place, not a destination, and not a tangible target that can be reached on this earth. I believe that each and everyone of us has a longing for greatness or the desire to do something more. I want to share a few steps that I think will help you along your way to greatness in your life.

#1. Make the CHOICE. It’s quite simple. You have to make the choice that you will go for greatness. Trust me, the world will tell you to settle, to fit in, to relax. If you truly make the commitment to go for it and choose to do whatever it takes, you won’t let yourself or your family down. You will continually try over and over and have breakthroughs and set backs, but eventually you will make it.

#2. Don’t listen to the NOISE. Once you get an idea of what you want and what it looks like, you have to take action, but how. Search out a few individuals that you look up to and that have proven successful in an area that you are striving for. Whether financial success, relationship success, spiritual success, or other types, it’s critical to surround yourself with positive role models in that area. Everything else is NOISE. What I mean by that is everyone has an opinion, right. Before you take their opinions seriously, you must assess whether or not they are successful in that area.

If they are not successful to the level that you are shooting for, then I urge you to respectfully block out that information and not let it sway you or influence you. For example, how often do we get financial advice from people who do not have a good financial track record? Or do we hear advice on weight loss or nutrition from people who are not in the shape we want to be in or have health issues. How about getting parenting advice from people that aren’t parents or have proven to raise irresponsible children?  Be careful where you take your advice from.

#3. Watch out for CRABS. The funny thing about crabs is this. If you put two or more crabs in a bucket, you don’t have to put a lid on it or worry about them getting out. If one of the crabs attempts to get out of the bucket, the others will grab them and pull them back down. Just like in life, when you make the decision to get out of your situation or better yourself, there will undoubtedly be others that will tell you not to. Tell you to “be careful” and warn you of the all the possibilities of failing and reasons that it’s not a good idea. We call them crabs. They are disguised as friends and family at times and they are acting out of the goodness of their hearts at times because they don’t want to see you get hurt, but at the end of the day, they are crabs and are holding you back.

You can respectfully listen to them and acknowledge their concerns, and then move forward and go for it! And most importantly, make sure that you are not the crab in your life! Encourage your friends and family and don’t let your fears hold someone else back.

#4. Take ACTION. You will make mistakes, you will be scared, and you will be unclear at times and wonder what the heck you are doing. That’s ok. If you are never scared or uncertain, you aren’t pushing yourself. You are most likely living a mediocre life and therefore you will get mediocre results. I’m ok with idea of failing because I know exactly what will happen if I don’t go for it and take chances… And that scares me more than the thought of failing.

In summary, you don’t have to have a rough upbringing to become successful. Success comes after you decide that you want it, after you surround yourself with people that can make you better, and after you take a chance and go for it. I hope this finds you well and gives you the nudge to better yourself today.

Stay Great!