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

Is it possible to achieve greatness without obstacles to overcome?

This article is for those who don’t have a major story or set back in their life but still desire greatness and success moving forward. I had an upbringing I’m proud of. I was raised on a beautiful farm. We had animals and could go outside and play with my siblings anytime I wanted (as long as we had completed our chores). My parents were very supportive of their children and would do anything to see their kids succeed. School wasn’t difficult, 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 childhoods were, I am filled with gratitude.

But what if you had a decent upbringing? You still have a desire for more, for greatness. Keep in mind that greatness is not a place, not a destination, and not a tangible target on this earth. Every one of us has a longing for greatness or the desire to do something more. I want to share a few steps I think will help you along your way to greatness in your life.

#1. Make a 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 commit to go for it and choose to do whatever it takes, you won’t let yourself or your family down. You will continually try repeatedly and have breakthroughs and setbacks, 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 have proven successful in an area you are striving for. Whether financial success, relationship success, spiritual success, or other types, it’s critical to surround yourself with positive role models. 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 you are shooting for, I urge you to respectfully block out that information and not let it 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 decide 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 possibilities of failing and why it’s not a good idea. We call them crabs. They are disguised as friends and family, and they are acting out of the goodness of their hearts 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, acknowledge their concerns, and then move forward and go for it! And most importantly, make sure 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, be scared, and 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 the 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!