From Teen to Teen: How To Attain Your Best Life


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16-year-old Vuong Pham Ho's book is not just for the teens, but also for the adults who are seeking inspiration and motivation.


Do you want to be a successful person in the future and be able to fulfill your dreams and live the way you like? A successful life begins with good actions. Good actions will lead to good habits. Good habits cultivate good qualities, and good qualities allow us to live a successful life. However, the sad truth is that most of us don’t understand the importance of starting to create our future successful life at a young age. If you only decided to start pursuing success in your early twenties, it probably would be a little late. So why not start now, as a teenager, and enjoy a head start over other people? Once you’re able to cultivate good actions and habits during your teenage years, they will be a firm cornerstone for you to reach the successful life you’ve always desired.
This book is going to talk about how teenagers can eliminate the obstacles that are preventing us from achieving our goals, how to maximize our abilities, and how to “work hard, play hard” through various intriguing stories and examples.

This book left me flabbergasted. I was amazed at the fact that a sixteen-year-old boy was able to write a practical and comprehensive self-help guide. He is Vietnamese by nationality, but he writes with the finesse of a native English speaker. One quick glance at my Goodreads page would show you that I've read over 12 self-help books during the last 30 days. But I can tell this with absolute conviction that none of the 12 were able to impact me the way this book did. That's because he is someone I can relate to. I felt like we were on the same boat. As a teenager, who is a couple of years younger to me, he talks about the various problems and issues that young adults of today go through in life, most of which I'm well aware of. That's something that the 40 or 50-year-old business moguls/motivational speakers can't relate with.

Vuong Pham Ho is someone of this generation, who understands the functioning of society, inside-out. He talks about a myriad of topics including but not limited to - procrastination, productivity, career, habits, etc. Never does he give off the vibes of a child prodigy. When he shares anecdotes about his personal life, we come to the realization that Vuong Pham is just another teenager like us who was able to transform his life by taking the 'right' decisions and not someone who was born with ingrained super abilities. His suggestions are practical and logical. The intermittent moral stories were thought-provoking. The amount of effort and research that he has put into the book deems a big round of applause and I wouldn't be surprised if I find his books on the bestseller list someday in the future.

I would totally recommend this book to all the teenagers out there who are caught up in their own mess. Not only would the book give them clarity, but it would also "change' their mindset for the better. If there was one thing that I didn't like in the book, it was the lack of chapter breaks and structure. For example, the 5th chapter alone was 89 pages long, which I feel, could have been broken down into a bunch of chapters or sub-chapters. But then again, it would be very harsh of me to call that a problem or something of that sort. It was content-rich and I'm very positive that students and teenagers of today would be benefited by it.

Reviewed by

On a break from reading.

Going through depression/existential crisis.
Trying hard just to stay alive.

Won't be active for another 10 months.


Do you want to be a successful person in the future and be able to fulfill your dreams and live the way you like? A successful life begins with good actions. Good actions will lead to good habits. Good habits cultivate good qualities, and good qualities allow us to live a successful life. However, the sad truth is that most of us don’t understand the importance of starting to create our future successful life at a young age. If you only decided to start pursuing success in your early twenties, it probably would be a little late. So why not start now, as a teenager, and enjoy a head start over other people? Once you’re able to cultivate good actions and habits during your teenage years, they will be a firm cornerstone for you to reach the successful life you’ve always desired.
This book is going to talk about how teenagers can eliminate the obstacles that are preventing us from achieving our goals, how to maximize our abilities, and how to “work hard, play hard” through various intriguing stories and examples.

Fear, Self-Satisfaction, and How To Combat Them

A wise and experienced village chief was holding one of his last lessons with three of his talented students, who had been following him since they could barely speak, before they set off on their own journeys. Realizing that all three of them were capable of doing great things but their will and their cognition of life purpose was still very vague, the teacher took them on a field trip as his last lesson with them.

They caught a cab and travelled nonstop for three days to a miserable-looking village. Surrounding them were hundreds of frailly built wooden houses and huts and looks of complacency on the residents’ faces. At first there were delightful stares toward the strangers, yearning that these strangers might bring something helpful or interesting, but soon afterwards, everyone got swirled back into their daily work and life.

The four of them made their way to a seemingly wealthy family of the area, with a big, rectangular garden and a nice house made of honeycomb bricks located in the center of the land. The owner welcomed them with all of his hospitality thanks to the reputation of the village chief, and they decided to stay at the house for a month.

The owner said there were only five members in his family including him, his wife, their two kids, and his mother, so there were two spare rooms for the chief and his students. The owner also started telling the story of his family, and that their main source of income was all present on the one-thousand-meter-square land. Twenty chickens for eggs, five pigs, and the rest of the land was used to plant seasonal crops like wheat and potato, and it had been maintained for more than 20 years.

His family was undoubtedly one of the most self-sufficient households in the area, and the students started to wonder why their teacher took them to a place like this and stayed there for one month. The teacher refused to clarify, and told them to keep a close eye on the family. They reluctantly agreed to their venerable teacher’s wishes.

During their first night with the family, the teacher snuck outside while everyone was sleeping and sprayed harmful chemicals on the newly planted wheat and potato seeds, set free the chickens and pigs, and quickly went back to sleep.

The next morning, the entire family woke up in terror realizing that not just all of their crops were harmed, but also all of their chickens and pigs were missing.

All eyes were on the four strangers, as they must have been the ones who did all those inhuman things. Although the chief rejected the accusation in a surprisingly calm and firm way, the students knew he was the one who had destroyed all the crops and released all the chickens and pigs, as they had noticed his strange behavior the night before. The chief refused to reply to any of his students despite their overwhelming and somewhat disrespectful interrogation.

The poor family, having lost everything they depended on for a living, cried and moaned for three consecutive days. Then, after getting their hearts and minds together, they realized no one would hear their prayers and they must move on before the entire family starved to death.

The owner and his son went and bought a big load of crops, ranging from pumpkin and soya bean, to watermelon and zucchini. The owner also met with the owner of a store that sold organic food at a high price, and he seized the chance to make a deal with her to purchase most of the product on the landlord’s farm, and in return the owner would assure that the entire farming process was safe and organic, with no use of pesticide.

He also replaced the chickens and pigs with milk cows, as milk was a scarce item in the market. He let one of his neighbors rent half of the cows for five years, and kept the remaining cows in a newly built corral on his land. Then he refurnished the two spare rooms in his lovely house, including the one the chief and his students were staying in, and made it available for guests with a well-decorated wooden sign that said: CocoPalm House with Cozy Rooms.

The area the four of them were staying in changed dramatically during the next few weeks after the incident. The street became more crowded and vibrant, trading rocketed between different villages, and the owner was praised as the man who brought life and joy to the village. The owner’s house itself has also changed so much that some of his relatives even thought his family had moved to a new village.

Before long, rows of ripe soy and mounds of zucchini were waiting to be harvested. A cage full of milk cows with monitoring machines attached to them were producing milk. And last but not least, a gorgeous house with sparkling-clean rooms that attracted guests to stay during their journey were booked up, with a waiting list of guests.

The last day of the trip had arrived, and the chief chuckled at his students, who looked more flabbergasted than ever.

“As you can see, a very ordinary family owned a one-thousand-meter-square lot, a simple house, some chickens, pigs, and crops at first; then suddenly one day they thought they had lost everything, but it was actually the beginning of everything. They did things they’d never done before, took risks no one had ever taken, and achieved what no one thought they could achieve, and that is happiness, a feeling of triumph, respect from the villagers, and most importantly, self-satisfaction. Had it not been for my inhumane actions that night, they would still remain an ordinary family, doing ordinary things and living an ordinary life.

“This is the last and the most crucial lesson I want to deliver to the three of you. Each of us are given our own theoretical one-thousand-meter-square lot, and that is our knowledge, our health, our experience, our values, and our time. Once we’ve filled in that piece of land with things we are satisfied with, although they are not really what we used to dream of, we tend to stick to them. We don’t realize there are still many ways for us to make changes, to improve our lives, fulfill our dreams. Don’t let what you’ve already possessed blur your vision of something better.

“A wise man once said ‘Good is the enemy of great’ , I know that all three of you have the ability to do great things using your understanding and values, but what I’m concerned about is that your vision is yet to be expanded, and your knowledge, your understanding of this world, can be a double-edged sword. It can either be a tool for you to do great things, or a sweet voice that will always tell you that you’ve achieved what you wanted and set you in a state in which you will keep everything in your life unchanged, since it’s already enough for you, for your ego. Always remember that losing is gaining, and there’s no limit to where you can fly as long as you keep your wings up. Always have a tremendous thirst for knowledge, as it is the best tool for you to know what you really want and how to achieve those desires.

“And last, but not least, be unconditionally loyal to your core values and beliefs. Never go against them as they are the compass to guide you in life.”


That is a story written by a sixteen-year-old young man who has a strong desire to write his first book about a few life lessons he’s learned from other people or drawn from his own experience. He wanted to pack them into somewhere safe and meaningful so that ten, twenty, or thirty years from now, when he looks back, he may hopefully realize how much he himself has grown.  


Most of us cannot achieve what we truly want for our life because we are too easily satisfied with ourselves, with things that give us the feeling of safety and assurance. To begin with, let’s take a look at an ordinary high school student who’s excelling and participating in various extracurricular activities with supportive parents and a good family background as an example. He dreamt to be admitted to a top university abroad, such as Harvard or Yale, in countries that are best-known for education, and he planned that in 10 years’ time from then he would make his first million dollars doing his dream job as an entrepreneur.

Such dreams are extremely common among teenagers nowadays, with the same structure that they will go either to the top 10 or top 30 universities in the world, or in Japan, or in Switzerland, as long as it is their “Dream Land.” Then they dream of being able to do their dream jobs and gain remarkable success in what they’re doing, such as “I want to be the richest man in my country,” or, “I want to be the doctor who finds out a way to deal with cancer.” And like many other teenagers who are trying to live up to their own expectations, he’ll work hard to achieve it.

He’ll maintain a top GPA in his classes, join the school soccer, basketball, and chess teams, and hold the vice president position in a non-profit organization that organizes events that connect the ASEAN community in the city in which he lives. Having been working so diligently toward his nearest goal, which is to get into a top university abroad, he feels proud of himself after submitting his applications to various top- and middle-ranking universities abroad. Waiting in patience and excitement, he receives emails from some schools notifying him that he’s been selected for the interview round, the last round of admission, from some of the schools he’s submitted his application to, including a few schools he’d really love to be admitted to. However, he never receives an email from other schools he applied to, three of which are on his “Top School List.”

He feels disappointed, frustrated, and sometimes despondent, which is exactly how a majority of applicants to university feel when they get rejected, despite knowing that the admission rate of their dream school is extremely low.

But then, like everyone else, he moves on. Realizing that studying abroad in a school that he is not really aiming for would not only dampen his passion to perform well, but also make tuition and accommodation fees become a burden for his parents, he chooses to study in the top university in his city. He did some research and believes he doesn’t have to be in the best school to be the greatest person he can be, and his school has been producing thousands and thousands of alumni who are experts, millionaires, and international award winners who have achieved great things in their domain.

The dream of being a millionaire with his own start-up becomes his source of inspiration, and he continues to work hard during his last four years in an institute before flying on his own wings. Graduating with flying colors, he starts to apply for jobs with multinational companies to gain experience and financial support for his future start-up, and with his impressive CV, he gets a manager trainee position in one of the Fortune 500 companies.

After ten years of working with excellence and diligence, he is promoted to sales director with a seven-digit annual income for leading the team in exceeding the company’s expected sales for several years. Never before has he felt so proud and satisfied with himself as he when he received the title, and in an inexplicable and unusual way, his dream of starting his own business makes him hesitate every time he recalls it in his mind. He thinks of it as a swamp full of crocodiles that he will have to venture through in order to get a fruit that is not so much sweeter than the fruit he already has.

After that, he naturally forgets about his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and he works hard as a director of a company until his retirement.

And although there’s a voice inside him that keeps telling him he could have done much greater things, he buries it inside his heart, knowing that accomplishing those ambitions could be very risky, tiring, and frustrating.

The case of the man above is an extremely common case, as most of us are similar to him, having the ability to do greater things but we end up being ordinary mainly because of two factors: FEAR and SATISFACTION.

Fear is a primitive feeling of every living creature: antelopes are afraid of lions, birds are afraid of humans, chickens are afraid of foxes. But every single fear undeniably shares one same trait: It involves losing. Antelopes are afraid of lions because they are afraid of losing their lives; birds are afraid of humans because they are afraid of losing their habitats; chickens are afraid of foxes because they are afraid of losing their babies. Something that we know can cause loss to us will create fear, as we are unable to imagine how our life will change after that, and we are afraid that we will not be able to find something else to replace it for the rest of our life.

Most of us, once we have achieved something that is considered valuable and precious to us and the common sense of society, such as a nice house, a nice car, and a happy family, will stop working toward great goals we used to set that require us to take more risks, as it might mean LOSING what we’ve been working for. We know we could be something more, but we also know that among those who take the risk, not everyone will eventually get there. A number of the risk-takers not only will fail to fulfill their dreams, but also will lose what they already have, and we are afraid we will be among those who LOSE because we ventured to reach for our ambitions.

When you hear about someone who chose to take risks and didn’t make it, a voice of safety will assure you, “Hey, you were right when you didn’t take that risk. Look at how people are ruining their life chasing after those fairy-tale dreams!” Day by day, an invisible fear accumulates inside you, blocking you from taking the risks that are worth taking, no matter what consequences they may bring, preventing you from getting your foot on a much higher pinnacle of triumph than you had the ability to, and one day you will realize you’ve been an innocent but timid cow led by the rope of fear all the time, and usually the moment you realize you have to take charge of yourself, it’s already too late to redo everything.

Self-satisfaction is much more deceptive than fear. It slowly dwells inside you like a tumor, and remains undetected for a long time. It doesn’t do any harm to you except by preventing you from reaching higher pinnacles in your life. It gives you the bubble of illusion that you’ve already got what you want and deserve. Imagine a three-year-old kid who desires a big teddy bear for his upcoming birthday. And then for his birthday, his parents manage to fulfill his wishes, and buy him a medium-sized teddy bear in a toy shop. It’s about 30 cm tall and fits perfectly in his hands. The kid is overwhelmed with surprise and elation. He feels he’s just received what he has been doing everything for, from being a good kid at the kindergarten to helping his parents with some house chores he was able to do. He is satisfied.

Then, after a few weeks with his new, lovely bestie, a thought flashes in his mind. “Is Tony the teddy bear what I really wanted, or was my dream teddy bear a bit different from him?”

He starts to recall and tries to picturize his “Dream Tony,” but he simply can’t. All he wanted was a big teddy bear, but he didn’t know exactly how big. Maybe it was just the same as the one he received as a gift for his birthday, fitting nicely into his arms, having all the features a cute teddy bear could have—and a cloak, too! Or maybe he was imagining that it would be much taller than him, or even his dad, and he could roll into its arms during his sleep. He just can’t remember. But what he does remember is that on his third birthday, Tony was given to him as a gift from his parents, and in that seemingly brief and simple moment, he felt truly happy.

He’d never had a teddy bear before, so the moment he had it, it was a bizarre but enjoyable experience that gave him infinite gratification as a three-year-old kid. It was much better than what he expected; he no longer cared if it was as big or as tall as the teddy bear he’d been dreaming of in his wildest dreams, because even if he got a different Tony that was closer to the one in his dreams, he would still have that same unforgettable feeling of delight and gratification.

Most of us are pretty much similar to the three-year-old kid above. We all have dreams, ambitions, and desires that we work assiduously for that give us the courage and drive to make sacrifices, no matter how painful and difficult it can be, in order to achieve them.

These wishes range from physical ones, like to have a high-paying job, a nice house, and a luxurious car, to more abstract ones, such as a happy life or a healthy work-life balance. But whatever it is, we are unable to imagine how our life will change once we’ve fulfilled our goal, because we’ve never had it before. When we’ve successfully attained something even similar to it, we will be filled with a peculiar but pleasant stream of gratification, fulfillment, and even dominance.

Afterwards, in an untold moment, it will abruptly dawn on us that we would still go through the same feelings of self-satisfaction at a merely unchanged level, even if we had acquired something better, something closer to our dreams and ambitions. And then as a result, we feel happy with what we already have and extinguish our flame of will to fight for something greater, knowing that the feeling of triumph will be of little difference to what we’ve already experienced.

For example, a young ambitious man sets his goal that in five years’ time, he will own a Lamborghini. He works industriously toward it. His savings increase significantly thanks to his determination and eventually, he is able to buy a Mercedes Benz sedan. After a few days driving the Mercedes, he realizes it brought the same feelings he’d been desiring when he first drove the Lamborghini in a test drive. They are both high-class sports cars, with a V8 engine and a distinctive driving experience when he takes the wheel. And most importantly, he feels proud of himself when passersby and other drivers give him and his car the look of admiration mixing with obvious envy. And thus, he stops thinking about his dream Lamborghini and moves forward to a new goal.

So why can’t we see through this hallucination of self-satisfaction and fear to improve ourselves for something greater? To a certain extent, it’s simply because we don’t want to. We don’t want to see ourselves being unhappy with what we already have by craving for something greater. We don’t want to see ourselves working day and night to obtain something that will not give us a significantly different feeling of triumph and success than we already have. And most of those unwanted feelings come from our LAZINESS, the answer to all of the questions of the impossible.

“Why can’t I become a billionaire?”

“Cause you can’t get yourself together and start your first company!”

“Why can’t I become the doctor who figures out a way to cure cancer?”

“’Cause you can’t even finish reading the book on an overview of cancer!”  

You may think that self-satisfaction and fear of taking risks and facing challenges are the first and most fundamental obstacles you need to bypass in order to become successful. But actually, what you really need to eliminate is your laziness that’s eaten deep into your blood, and your ego that prevents you from enduring the suffering during the process of achieving your goal.

Indolence is primitive, natural, and invincible. We cannot blame ourselves for this quality, as each of us was born with it and will die with it. However, what we can do is suppress it and maintain it at a minimum level, and to the extent we can, each of us controls our slothfulness and decides how successful we will be in life.

Containing our laziness has never been easy, and never will be. Most of us were taught that hard work brings about triumph, whether it was our parents, our teacher, or just an acquaintance that delivered the lesson to us. Most of us deeply understand and appreciate the philosophy. There are various mottos and sayings by great people regarding this area that have been proven throughout the history of mankind.

“Laziness produces bad luck and failure.”

“Lazy people are always the losers in life.”

“Lazy people get nowhere in life.”

But look at how people are struggling to follow these meaningful mottos. Millions of people are living an ordinary life of ordinary people thanks to their laziness. They are regular workers who work only to make ends meet and spend their free time doing things that make them happy. But it’s a kind of simple and ephemeral joy that kills off their precious time quickly, before they start a new day, repeating the infinite loop of work and pastime without any improvement or positive changes that they try to make for themselves. They bitterly know they could have utilized that wasted time to do something more useful that would have made their life better, but they simply couldn’t get on it because it would require them to have a strong will and be persistent in doing things they don’t enjoy.

And more importantly, it means sacrificing certain things that fascinate them: their time on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or their time watching their favorite nightly shows, all of which have gradually become an indispensable part of their daily life.

As a result, they acquiesced to what they believed was their fate and lived a normal life, and when they’re old and experienced enough they will be filled with deep remorse and blame themselves for not being able to pluck up courage and self-discipline and spend less time on meaningless entertainment and focus on things that were definitely within their ability. By the time they realize that naked and painful truth they no longer have the vitality, the health, and the youth to start over again. They will end up spending their last few moments on their deathbed thinking how life could have been much more meaningful if they had awakened themselves earlier. Sometimes they may pray that their subsequent generations will not repeat the same mistakes they did.

A disheartening truth is, most of us are in the category of “know but cannot”; knowing that we need to abolish our idleness in order to consummate our purposes, but we simply cannot. It is because we are not willing to sacrifice our own time to do something that will be grueling, and the sweet fruits cannot be seen within one or two days; it might even take a lifetime to acquire them. Those people are not patient and long-suffering enough to wait until their dreams eventually come true, and it’s due to their ego and pride. They couldn’t spare one of their nights watching their favorite TV shows to get themselves together and outline a blueprint for their future business because if they did, they wouldn’t be able to participate in the blather about all the drama, the rumors surrounding that episode that most of their colleagues are frantically sharing about. 

Only a minor part of people around us are successful and determined to achieve their aims; for example, only one in every ten people around us is eagerly setting aside their time to slowly build up the foundation of their success, knowing that it will mean having less social cohesion with their friends, their colleagues, and their family.

We unconsciously start to make decisions similar to the remaining ninety percent of us who are reluctant to change our lives because we are slaving for a misleading perception in this modern era of Internet and technology, which is those who are laggard in staying updated with the freshest news and information are absurdly considered as dull and unattractive people, and we started to waste a lot of time catching up with the fast-pacing world. This phenomenon dates back to the time when the Internet and cell phones were invented and rocketed in their popularity. The world became small as everyone had access to just about everything on Earth, from the structure of the apple to the release date of the newest song of their favorite singer.

Everything has its own good and bad, and the Internet is no exception. It grants people almost unlimited access to whatever they are curious about, making people believe that being up to date is a powerful and trouble-free way to show off with their friends, colleagues, and family members, thus consolidating their position in other people’s eyes. They can read an online article about a brief summary of the life of Bill Gates one day and then find a bunch of baloney about tips on how to become a billionaire the next day.

Or an amateur who’s just taken up tennis for one week can read an article about how Roger Federer became such a great player online (that he bumped into while surfing on his Facebook page) and then presents himself as an aficionado and a professional player of the sport the very next time he meets up with his boss.

He could claim some credit and “glorious moments” for repeating the article he read the day before and add on some of his personal experience but strangely, every time his boss asks him out for a game, he comes up with really convincing reasons why he can’t, such as, “Sorry, but I have a semi-final match this weekend,” “Oh, unfortunately my family’s going on vacation. Maybe next time.” And behind those flawless lies his sweating hands hold his phone and he feels immense pressure, praying that the boss won’t see through his act and demote him.

After that, it is futile for him to actually master the sport, because he’s already lost faith in it and himself.

Nowadays, most of us are in the somewhat similar cases, obsessed with the idea of forfeiting our knowledge or exaggerating what we know in order to impress others. We are our own victims, with our core values threatened and our time wasted that we could have used more wisely. Not only does it control our mindset, it slowly changes the way we portray ourselves, turning us into someone we shouldn’t be, a person who always craves attention and recognition by squandering our time reading articles, watching TV shows, and doing things that will not improve our ordinary life. What we receive is something that we want: social attention, admiration, and recognition, but ironically we’ll eventually wish that we had got rid of that fool’s paradise earlier.

There’s a another group of people who are single-minded enough to make the changes, but not persistent enough to maintain them. These people are usually in their teenage years or early years of work. They are curious and ambitious, but in the meantime, have a very vague direction of where they should go and what they should do. They started to take advice from their elders, do research, read books, and via a myriad of methods, they learned some of the essential lessons to better their life, including eradicating the laziness within them. Being audacious and exuberant, just entering the voyage of life, they detail efficient plans for themselves comprising of daily plans, five-year plans, and lifetime ones.

They start off their first few days and weeks strictly following what they’ve outlined. Unfortunately, like playful ponies, they got distracted.

Imagine a university graduate who looks forward to modifying himself to become a better person. He draws up an intricate plan of what he will have to do in order to achieve it, such as read books for one hour a day, work out four days a week, get a part-time job for an accounting company.

The first few days he is really rigorous with what he’s doing, and splendidly accomplishes every task in his plan. Later weeks are also effective, and he has a glimmering hope that he will be able to retain this discipline for a long time.

Then comes a very desponding day for him, when he gets scolded for his shoddy work on a crucial project, and he was supposed to exercise and read a book that night according to his plan, but he decides not to as fatigue is overtaking him. So he picks up his phone and scrolls through his news feed on Facebook and Instagram. He giggles at a funny cartoon on a page on Facebook, and all of a sudden, he realizes how much joy he’s missed all this time painstakingly sticking to his daily plan to achieve a dream that he’s not seen even a tenth of being realized.

He manages to overcome the negative thoughts and keeps up with his schedule in the following days; but he takes off a few minutes of his reading and working out time to check out the latest posts on social media that give him the satisfaction he needs. And then, as every day passes by, his reading and exercising time diminishes gradually, while his online time booms.

Then, on the day that marks exactly one year since he started his daily plan, he realizes he’s already given up a month ago. He’s filed for resignation from his part-time job because he could have a comfortable and care-free smile looking at his phone instead. He hasn’t finished a two-hundred-page book that he started two months ago, and his weight has gone up by five kilos. He can barely do three pull-ups and ten push-ups, and he can’t even afford one-fifth of the house he wanted to buy in four years.

By that time, he’s realizes he wasn’t able to defeat the longevity of time, and most importantly, himself. Correspondingly, he concedes defeat to himself and begins the life of a regular person.

This second type of person is the most common case. They were able to take initiative and craft a comprehensive plan of tasks they must fulfill to enhance themselves and their life. They were able to keep it going for days, weeks, months, or even years. They were able to place the first few bricks in the staircase to their dreams. And then came the hurricanes of distraction that threatened their halfway-built structure and at first, they resisted the storm vigorously and continued building. But then came another intensified wind of stress, exhaustion, and desire for joy, which further eroded their building, and this time they tried to withstand the disaster with their last bit of stamina and strength.

Then some sad news or an incident came as a sleet falling on them and their staircase and they collapsed, and so did their construction that was half-completed. “Maybe that’s not where I belong,” a hidden voice soothes them, and from then on they never dared to dream big again. They returned to living the life of ordinary people, doing ordinary things, and enjoying ordinary joy and success. And when they hear someone talking about persistence and endurance being the paths to success, they redirect the conversation to a new topic and smile to themselves that they were lucky to only have to suffer the feelings of being at the bottom once while searching for something that they believed, which was never meant to be found by them.

And when their kids or grandkids ask them about how to become successful, all they can do is give them the loudest laughter to conceal their embarrassment—and probably regret—and say what they’ve been taught about diligence and persistence in a heroic manner, as if they had been through all the storms and hurricanes in the world, but it’s actually to save them some credit, attention, and recognition from their family. But what they don’t know is that their young grandkids probably see through their well-acted drama, because there is this well-known saying that “children have the purest souls in this evil world.”

And last but not least is the third kind of person, the one that we strive to become and look up to, the one that does the undoable and receives the incredible. Finding these people is as tough as looking for a needle in a haystack, as they grasp the tight link between ambition, effort, hardships, persistence, and success. But most importantly, they know themselves incredibly well. They have the potential to spot their fatal weaknesses that will contribute directly or indirectly to the rupture of their staircase to their dreams, and come up with pragmatic, plausible, and durable methods to withstand the powerful hurricanes and tornados of self-satisfaction, distraction, and failure.

The key point that distinguishes these kind of people from the previous two is that they usually diagnose their weak spots and work nonstop to not only build up their path to success, but at the same time minimize their weak. They opt for adjustment and improvement in their strategies once they realize the effectiveness is wearing out and no longer fits into their constantly fluctuating life.

So how are they able to observe the traits and signs showing that they are starting to lose grip of their direction? They apply a shockingly simple but straightforward technique that’s been applied for centuries. Fastidious people may do this self-reflection on a weekly basis, while those who are more self-confident may do it monthly. It doesn’t matter how frequently this kind of person does their review, what matters is how detailed and accurate these inspections are and whether it will provide them with deep insight about to what extent they are following the path to attain their goals and what points they need to work on.

They are scrupulous and harsh, and reflect on themselves and assess their progress and setbacks without manipulating the truth, although it may hurt their self-esteem and pride. To them these are trivial components that they must ignore, and instead focus on rectifying their wrongdoings and keeping up with what they’re doing well, which will eventually lead them to the peak that only a handful of people can reach.

Walt Disney was known as an extraordinarily successful creative whose visions as an animator, filmmaker, and theme park developer changed entertainment in the twentieth century and beyond. Yet, if you dig deeper into Disney’s life, you’ll discover that his road to success was paved by an unhappy childhood along with countless business failures and setbacks. Being one of this third group of people, however, he took stock of his situation, made adjustments, and came out on top.

Disney’s tenacity and perseverance turned his endeavors around. Disneyland became a colossal success, clearing out his financial debts and, to this day, operates as an integral part of his business empire.

Commenting on the benefits of failure, Disney once said: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all the troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”[1]

Pay close attention to Disney’s story and you’ll see that there are astoundingly tight connections between Disney’s hardships, his solutions, and his success. “It's kind of fun to do the impossible. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney is just one of the many successful people who are embodiments of ambition, diligence, persistence and success. Even when you don’t think you are one of those people who belongs in the third group of people who have most of the necessary qualities and persistence to achieve their life purposes and do great things, you can always enhance yourself in numerous aspects that will improve your life significantly.

Take a risk! Our life is a life of richness, full of unexpected happenings, and it’s safe to say that there will be times we have to take a chance. Daredevils can do miracles and achieve great things. A ship cannot explore the vast ocean without cruising far away from shore. Of course, you’ll want to have a plan; and probably a plan B as well.

We’ve heard copious stories about people who dare to think differently, do differently, take risks, and how they’ve become monuments of success. There are many things we can pick up from their adventures and apply to our own life to enhance it significantly.

Risk-taking is a typical quality that we should acquire—to a certain extent. People with the bravery to take risks are often those who dare to think big, do big, and know when they should seize the chance; they will never allow good opportunities to fall out of their hands.

Then there are those who don’t have the inclination of taking risk and are reluctant in making decisions.

Audacious people give us the sensation that they are extremely creative, and that has emerged as their routine, manifesting them as boisterous, lively, and broadminded. They usually devote themselves to doing risky, sometimes perilous jobs, which has made their unbelievable deeds become their own irreplaceable brand.

In order to become successful and attain our goals, we need not be more intellectual than other people, nor does our knowledge and level of understanding need to be greater. What we really need to do is to gear ourselves up with a mindset of being ready to risk, and to suffer from failure, accept it, and learn from it. Even though, for instance, we haven’t been born with such a spirit, we can regulate and train ourselves in appropriate ways, and it’s never too late to start, as long as you believe that you can nail it.

About the author

I am a Vietnamese 16-year-old writer who is passionate about writing self-help books for teenagers. I am about to publish my first book which is titled "From teen to teen: How to attain your best life". I hope to receive sincere and constructive comments to better myself everyday :D view profile

Published on May 11, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Self-help

Reviewed by

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