Passionate collectors of all kinds have taught me some vital lessons about success and motivation that I would like to share with you, especially from my doll collectors. Over the years, I have seen that when my doll collectors want something, they GO FOR IT. They get their minds fixed on something and nothing can stop them. They figure out any way to make it happen. They might call the doll shop 15 times and finagle thirteen ways to get the doll paid for but when they know they need that particular doll, they go for it and nothing can stop them. Sometimes it seems obsessive – and it is, but it isn’t lacking passion. I like that about them. I once had a company I work for tell me that one of my best qualities was that I was obsessive about my work. I took it as a compliment.

Have you felt a need to do something new or different in order to add interest or meaning to your life? If you have, give the thought your full attention. Has it been nagging at you for weeks, months, or even years? Why not explore it. Give it a go. Your initial idea may not work, but it’s better to try something than to live life with lingering regrets. When we experience failure we usually gain some essential insight about ourselves. The feeling of failure is short lived, but the lessons we learn become vital tools for solving new tasks. The small price we pay is insignificant to what we gain. I have fallen flat on my face probably more times than I can count (and could tell you stories that would curl the paint on the walls) but each time, I gave myself a moment (or two or three) of self-pity and then figured out a different approach. Life really is about moving on and learning. We need our mistakes to learn.

Most people have felt a need to try something and dream about it. Is it weight loss? Is it a college degree that you have always wanted to get? Or it is learning to cook a peach pie from scratch? Sometimes it’s easy to look at successful people and think they must have something you don’t have. Not so. High achievers are not radically different from most people. High achievers differ in one critical respect. High achievers are those who follow up their dreams with actions. Their confidence grows as they meet their goals.

Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of doing something. Many people have entertained an idea of doing something for years and never take the first steps. They make excuses why they can’t accomplish goals. High achievers delve deep into their interests. Learn everything you can about what you want to do. What are you interested in? What excites you? Dolls, music, building things? You don’t need money to get started either. Want to bake? Get on YouTube and learn how to do it. What you do doesn’t have to make money but it does have to benefit you or someone else.

Don’t worry about the limits and the hard work and long hours necessary to achieve a goal because those are debilitating sentiments. Use positive self-talk. YOU are your biggest motivator. Take the first steps. Actions channel energy and positive thinking.

OK – right now, out loud, name for me five things that you are able to do now. Can you think of five things right now that you DO? Not things that you are, (eg, nice, loving, dependable) but what you do. Was it hard to think of five things? Then it’s time to get started.

There is an element about success that is difficult to explain. We often refer to it as luck. Think of this though – the harder you work, the luckier you get. It’s true. When we set our minds and hearts on something we truly desire, something essential to our happiness, chances are the very ingredients we most require will almost fall right into our laps. We need only to have the will to connect the dots. The Roman author Terence wrote, “Fortune favors the brave.”

What’s next? Here’s an important truth to keep in mind. Loving what you do turns work into pleasure. Don’t accept it on anyone’s word alone. Try it and test it. Learn as much as you can about your goal and be yourself. Break your work up into small steps. Reward yourself for each milestone you reach. You don’t have to love your work all the time. Nobody really does. There are hard days. I have an 80/20 rule in work, life, love. If I am happy 80% of the time, that is pretty damn good in my book. We all have our moment of "what the heck am I doing?! AHHHH." That is natural and human. Be human. Be flawed. Be eager for more.

Takeaway: Get started now. Those who postpone their dreams seldom achieve them. Your success will prove that you really are the high achiever you secretly dream you may be. Be your biggest cheerleader and motivate your friends. Be happy for their victories and support them in dark times. Be the person you wish you had when you were younger for friends and especially, for yourself.