What stands between you and your golden ticket to success isn’t lack of opportunity, but the lack of action when opportunity presents itself.

To live well, you must be willing to make the hard choice. And often, the hard choice is deciding to get out of your own head, getting off the couch, or getting out of the job you hate. It requires you to put in the effort, the hard work, and endure the stress to build a better life for yourself and a better future for your family.

There are billions of people in this world who pass up (or squander) opportunities to improve their station in life, so, why do you have to be one of them?

As Jerzy Gregorek says, “Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”

You don’t have to wait on someone else to give you your opportunity to be great. You don’t have to hope for the right candy bar to give you the golden ticket.  What’s missing is your belief that you can print your own golden ticket.

But, like a printer, you’ll need the paper and the ink to make it happen:

Paper: Decide what you want, and have the courage to commit.

For a golden ticket, you’ll need that special golden paper. You’ll need to decide which path serves your grand vision for your life. Prioritize those decisions that will move the needle every day towards your purpose. Build accountability into your life that will make your actions match your words.

And once you have built that foundation for yourself, have the courage to go for it.

Ink: Show up. Every single time.

You have to be willing to show up to do the work. Even when you don’t feel like going to that Zoom call, or attending that meeting, or writing that essay. If you really are committed to your success, if you really are committed to printing your own golden ticket, you must show up.

“No one is coming to save you,” is a line I repeat to myself often. If you don’t put in the work, no one is going to come and pick you up. But when you are hard at work towards a specific vision for yourself, the world naturally comes to help you.

Show up. Every. Single. Time.

Find your pain point. And push.

Follow what I call Cooks’ Law. Brandin Cooks is an NFL wide receiver. But, coming out of high school, he wasn’t expected to be. He was tiny for college football standards, let alone NFL standards. But his determination, his grit, and his willingness to step outside his comfort zone time and time again, allowed him to reach the height of his profession.

Here’s an excerpt from an article that was written in 2014 about Cooks’ journey. I read it the day it came out, and this particular part has been etched in my psyche ever since. It might have been THE catalyst for my own journey:

“A coach’s days during fall camp are long. By the time Brennan (the coach) got to the one-on-one segments of practice, it was well past midnight. The mind plays tricks that late. Somehow, Brennan thought he saw Cooks pitted against the team’s two best cornerbacks, whenever his turn came. It didn’t make sense. The next day, he saw why. “He was letting people cut in front of him, so that he can go against the best guy on our team,” Brennan says. “Normally, true freshmen don’t choose the toughest matchup on the field. He chose it every time. When I realized it, I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’”

In order to grow, you must be willing to fail. You must be able to look at your disadvantages, identify your weaknesses, and address them head on.

Brandin Cooks never took anything for granted. If you read the full article, you’ll see that he took every opportunity to prove himself, and stretch himself beyond his comfort zone. His story is the personification of an Unparalleled life. His story is the epitome of what it means to print your own golden ticket.

The truth is…

You won’t find a golden ticket growing on a tree. Get out there and print your own.

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