Do you need a goal for 2014? BE CONTRARIAN.
In any area of life, following the crowd means that you will not, by definition, beat the crowd. Leaving luck aside, there is a distinct reason why the top 1% have achieved their high status in life: They utterly refuse to behave and think like the 99%. Outperforming the masses should be your primary goal. The 99% live average lives. They have average houses and drive average cars to average jobs. They get by, but true security – financial and otherwise – eludes them. They see the ripe fruit above their heads but lack either the confidence or the will to build the ladder to reach it. They have effectively convinced themselves that the fruit is not worth it, that building the ladder would take too much time, or effort, or that they do not deserve the fruit in the first place. Even worse, they might tell themselves they do not need the fruit to be “happy”. These are excuses. Feeble excuses that broadcast a weakness of imagination, a lack of ability to dream about how much good could be done with the fruit, how many people it could feed and nourish, how many problems could be solved if only someone would build the ladder, rip the fruit forcefully from the tree, and share it selflessly with the poor, the sick, and the starving.
Does this characterization of the average person make you feel uncomfortable, maybe even angry? Good. It should. Rise and do something about it. Our lives are too short to watch others enjoy the finest things while we twiddle our thumbs idly, waiting for the reaper to end the singeing pain of life. To achieve victory will require immense struggle. This struggle is what makes that victory so glorious. Rejoice in it; embrace the challenge of the ascent.
You must attack this upward climb with ferocious intensity. Declare absolute and total war on the average life. Create for yourself a truly extraordinarily one. Resolve to work hard, harder than anyone you have ever met or ever will meet. When others call you crazy, double down. Triple down. There will be naysayers who try to hold you back, doubt your abilities, keep you at their level in order to ensure for themselves the comfort of consensus. Leave them behind. Take no prisoners. There is room at the top for only one. It is first place, or it is nothing. Second place does not exist and failure is not in your vocabulary. In your mind, it does not even deserve a place in the dictionary. Go and rip that page out right now. You do not need it or want it.
Remember, to have what others don’t, you must do what others won’t. You will meet only a handful of others like you in your entire lifetime. You will read, study, and become the undisputed expert in your field. You will forcibly strip your life of meaningless distractions and focus like a laser beam on your definite major purpose. Write that purpose down and recite it to yourself every single day upon waking, no exceptions. Your major purpose is your new religion. You will live and die by it. Age matters not; it is never too late to pursue your dreams.
Above all else, let no one deny you your rightful place in the seat of greatness. It is waiting for you.