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“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
— Epictetus

My Thoughts:

Before we make anything of ourselves, we need a vision.  Something we want to be. Something we envision ourselves to be—a goal, an end state.  Without articulating this to ourselves, we will not achieve it.  That is the importance of having a goal.  Carl Sandburg, American writer, poet and editor, said, “Nothing happens unless first a dream.”  That is the prerequisite of success—to have a clear, achievable goal.  How can you measure success, let alone achieve it, if you don’t know what you envision it to be.  Once you’ve set your mind to a goal, cling to it. Do everything humanly possible to achieve it.  The road to success is rarely easy.  Along the way, you will encounter difficulties, hardships, trials, tribulations…something that will urge you to give up.  Your determination will be the final arbiter if you will succumb to failure, or achieve your goal.  Everything rests with you—don’t be at the mercy of circumstances or others.  If you do not like the circumstances, change it.  Sometimes, the only way to achieve will be to change your attitude.  Without the proper attitude, you won’t succeed either.  You are what you think you are.