It’s a lonely, goddamn bleak road to success.

You may have heard this advice before, but it never truly hits you until you actually strike out on your own in search of your dreams. It may not have come yet (and it never comes at first), but it’s guaranteed to strike somewhere in the “messy middle” like the stark truth it is (and it always will).

And when it does — or maybe it already has — you need to prepare for its ugly reality and set up your counter-punch.

You’ve heard the popularized terms and concepts, but have you ever truly heard them? Things like Gladwell’s popularization of the 10,000 hour rule, the “you’re the average of the 6 people around you” theory, and the hugely popular idea that you need 1,000 true fans to get where you need to go (because they’ll give you the support you really need through your journey to dreamland).

While all that’s fine, is it really helpful?

No, not really.

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Keep in mind these are concepts we throw around all the time (mostly because they’ve been so successfully spread around) like they’re common knowledge. And sure, they are — but does it really mean anything when you regurgitate them to someone for the twentieth time?

Probably not.

We get it — they’re popular because they work (well, because they’re worked for so many damn people). But are they practical? And should they be spread like some kind of undying gospel, always remaining relevant no matter the changing tides of society around us, of technology and the market itself?

The short answer is no.

Are You Prepared For Your Own Success?

Let me explain: no matter what tactics or tricks you have up your sleeve, in the end success all comes down to you. And sure, if you follow some of these concepts, you may be successful in the end — but your success doesn’t depend on these things, these concepts, these ideas.

No, your success all depends on you.

On your drive.

On your tenacity.

On your perseverance and your unwillingness to fall down and call it quits.

And on whether you’re in it to win, if you’re in it to take a piece of the pie for yourself, if you’re in it for the long haul.

And especially, definitely, only if you’re in it for the whole thing. Because if you let setbacks push you down and let rejection get to you and keep you down, you’ll never succeed.

Learn To Hustle, And Always Hustle Harder

Even if you’re broken, though, you can change.

As Gary Vee says, “hustle” is something that can be learned because it can be taught, understood, and implemented. It’s scalable to anyone, really.

So if you’re broken, if you’re not hustling as damn well hard as you can towards your dreams, then quit, fine.

Just don’t bitch later when you don’t attain your dreams and don’t accomplish that thing you so desperately want to accomplish — because it won’t really be something you want to accomplish if you’re willing to give in to adversity so easily.

You’ve gotta want it more than your own being, more than anything — you’ve got to need it like you need it to breathe and live and die by it’s sword.

Because if you’re not willing to do all that, then you don’t really want it at all.

And that’s okay. But someone else will come grab theirs regardless; and if you don’t get yours, you lose all rights to complain.

Complaining is for losers, and losers are anyone that don’t treat the hustle like it should be treated — like it’s more important than oxygen.

Your dreams are life itself, and if you keep suffocating them then you’ll always be one step closer to nowhere and you’ll never make any progress at all.

Being Ready Is One Thing, But Being Prepared is Another Beast Itself

So many of us are so busy looking to others for what works and for constant advice we forget we’re thinking, feeling, breathing human beings with the capability to act on our own.

You have agency — it’s time to use it and stop playing around.

You get what you give, after it’s all said and done. And if you give nothing to the world, why the hell should it give you anything in return?

(hint: it shouldn’t).

[Blake helps writers step into their creative power and reclaim their dreams by putting aside their excuses and getting to work. If you liked this post, why not click here to read some more of the stuff he’s put out over the net?]