I don’t find this advice useful today (at age 70) and I didn’t find it useful 30 years ago when I was chronically ill, living near poverty level, and stressed out. I am fine now, but not because I spent even 30 seconds thinking about people who “made it big” after a difficult start/rotten parents/bad break etc. The reality is that under this economic system, a very few people will make it big, most won’t NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY WORK. That is one of the things we cannot control, and which will be difficult to shift, even with a lot of work, even long term. So. I am not wealthy (in dollars) but I am fine, I am secure, I love and am loved in return. I am as successful as I need to be and I got that way by not comparing myself to other, more successful people, not telling myself that if I was just smart enough and just worked hard enough I could make it. I did exactly the opposite. I was mindful of my (very real) limitations. I worked within my strength and available energy. I did not take the kind of risks that would have landed me in trouble. Could I have been Oprah Winfrey if I had just worked harder and been more determined to let nothing (not ill health, not the needs of 2 children, not a system rigged against me) stop me. There is a chance. About 1 in a thousand. More likely I would have crashed and burned and ended up with an unhappy life and a couple of messed up kids. So — if anybody out there cares — this is risky advice. Think about what you are going to lose if you DON’T succeed and whether or not you want to spend a lifetime narrowly focused on this kind of success.