At first glance, you may disagree (I sure did), but after taking a longer look, I believe this to be true. Yes, we can take others' advice, give parts of ourselves along our journey, but in the end, it's all about what we think... what we say to ourselves... how we act... and what we choose to do about the process.
There will be many opinions about whether or not we're "doing it right," but our own assessment is the only one that counts. Our daily decisions will ultimately dictate when and how we reach our prize. They will definitely say, "I think you should do (X)," but we should nod respectfully, thank them for their suggestion, and refocus our attitude to what we know to be true for us.
There are simply times in our lives when we just need to take, take, take. Writing this actually makes me cringe a little but reliving the success I've had in the past, and thinking about my students' successes, makes me believe it just has to happen once in awhile. Nice guys finish last can absolutely be true, depending on our specific path. If we're competing against ruthless, cutthroat competitors, then being nice will definitely lead to our demise. If we're attempting to make colossal changes in our lives -- losing extensive weight, creating new eating habits, or quitting smoking... sometimes nice isn't the way. We may just have to say No I won't! No I can't! If you want to, please go ahead, but I never will again!
What is it that you want?
What plan do you need to create?
How much time do you need to spend?
-Put in the hours... no excuses!
Playing a round of golf with one of my students, it was obvious that she was too nice on the course. I was beating her, not because I was necessarily better, but because I was mentally tougher. I wanted it more than she did, and knew that I could take it from her! When she becomes more selfish, more mentally dominant, and forces her own will on her opponents, they won't stand a chance. She's never competed this way and understood the importance it'll have on her results, but the moment her mindset shifts, will be the moment she sees that next professional level!
Dream the dream, see it happening, and take it... no matter what they say!