5 Ways To Keep Your Driven, Ambitious Self On The Road To Success

by Abigail Houck
Paramount PIctures

If you’re anything like me, you have a journal filled with all your random projects that will one day beautifully come together to create your life's empire.

I truly believe no matter how random or unconventional a goal is, we all hold the power to transform these ideas into realities.

Yet, striving to start your baked goods line and learning to code the latest version of Unity 3D, all while doing your current real-world job successfully, can leave you feeling scattered rather than accomplished.

Building your dream empire is tough, but if you’re willing to put in the hard work and overcome the inevitable setbacks you’ll face along the way, you’re already ahead of the game.

Read over these five tips on how to keep your driven, ambitious self on the road to success:

1. Master one thing at a time.

An empire is called an empire for a reason. It’s not a bunch of haphazard things put together to create a subpar product.

No, it’s a bunch of precise parts, developed over time to create a much larger, grand picture.

Doing it all is possible, and can allow you to become the person you ultimately want to be.

You simply need to prioritize what comes first, second, third and so on. If you're trying to master too many things at once, you’ll end up with a pile of half-assed “randomness” that will barely resemble a cohesive vision, let alone a successful empire.

Plus, you cannot develop all of your goals into a great success if you’re too busy putting the cart before the horse.

Huge aspirations are a great thing, but deciding you’re going to create a store without any tangible merchandise probably won't get you very far.

2. Rid yourself of distractions.

Seems like an obvious one, right? Facebook, Instagram and texting are easy distractions, but what about food or simply gazing out the window?

If distractions plague you, you could end up eating half the contents in your fridge while staring at the street taco guy for an entire half hour without writing a single paragraph on your soon-to-be New York Times best-selling novel.

When you come home from a long day in the office, it can be hard to set aside these distractions and focus on more “work.”

Yet, if you’re truly passionate about your new novel, cookbook or game app, the idea of missing one GOT episode shouldn’t look so bad.

If George R. R. Martin chose Netflix’s latest rom-com over the writing of Chapter 69 in GOT, I can guarantee you we’d all be watching a much different show.

3. Harbor no self-doubt. ("Yes, you can!")

We all waste an enormous amount of time with doubtful thoughts like, “This isn’t turning out the way I wanted it to” or “What if someone comes up with this idea, too, and it’s even better than mine?”

If you spend valuable time pondering questions like these, you will fall victim to doubtful thinking.

Though it may be difficult, try not to give those negative notions the time to survive and metastasize in your headspace.

Being proactive about how you’ll overcome those obstacles is a much better way of dealing with the situation than sitting around worrying.

You might end up wasting so much precious time that the person who had a similar idea to yours (but didn’t let his or her own self-doubt get in the way) is now making millions off a product that is half as good as yours.

We are all capable of achieving greatness and making these crazy dreams in our heads become realities.

The key is to continue pushing forward during times of doubt. If we believe in ourselves, others will follow suit.

4. Be accountable for your own time.

When trying to build your empire, one of the most difficult tasks can be holding yourself accountable.

There will always be something more fun and/or interesting you could be doing at 7 pm on a weeknight, yet that doesn’t mean you should be doing it.

You hear people say things like, “I’m so young, this is when I should be having the most fun of my life.”

I more than understand those thoughts, but your age is also the reason you’re so hungry for more of life.

If you wait too long to write that book or develop that app, your passion and drive for doing it in the first place might be gone.

Plus, you can have fun and create your dream life. One does not supersede the other. Plan out your week accordingly, and stick to your deadlines. If you say you're going to write 30 pages of your novel by Friday, do it.

The ability to perform and obtain these set goals all on your own merit is guaranteed to lead you down a path of insurmountable success.

5. What's your end goal?

Money, power, glory? (Great Lana Del Rey song, BTW.) At the end of the day, when your drive is starting to waver from potential self-doubt and possible stagnation, what’s the end goal that will keep you running to the finish line?

Are you looking to have your name remembered for the profound impact you made on the world? Or do you just want to make millions and quietly settle into a nice retirement by the age of 50?

If you know what you’re looking to have accomplished when you cross that line, it’ll be much easier to get through those uncertain moments of doubt.

We all fail, but those of us who know what we’re looking to achieve are much better at getting up, brushing off the past and making strategic moves toward our dreams of success.

We control how far and at what speed we make these regal visions of an empire into a tangible reality.

Don’t let life’s speed bumps and distractions be anymore than just that.

Now, listen to point two and go make your grandiose ideas into an empire worth skipping any Netflix documentary.