Another point at which most people fail is proper planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Any "long term" goal, be it physical, career, new skill-set, etc... requires a plan. It requires a CLEAR vision of what you want. Once you have that, you simply figure out how to get there.
"I wanna get big and swole" is a hell of a different goal than "I will add fifteen pounds of lean muscle mass by eating XXX a day and doing 5/3/1 for a year".
"I wanna get rich" is FAR different from "I will make TEN calls a day to my referral partners and strategic alliances" (knowing that ten calls a day yields twenty applications a month which yields five closed deals per month with an average of two points on a 350K loan amount which equals ~35K in gross commissions)
"I wanna kick ass in billiards" is different than "I will practice shooting 100 long shots a day for one month and then focus on bank shots next month"
CLEARLY DEFINED goals is what will make it happen. Clearly defined can mean different things to different people. I personally have a "dream board". I have a physical representation of what I want to achieve in front of me. Every time I look up, there it is. I also have a separate spreadsheet with a plan for EACH goal.
I schedule a WHOLE DAY every week to examine my progress, make sure I'm on track, and adjust my goals, my plan or my tactics/strategy as necessary. Once a month, I have a skype conference call with my "mastermind group" (a group of friends and mentors) to be held accountable for what I said I would achieve that month.
Accountability and getting leverage on yourself is very important. Personally, I am a very "pleasure seeking" person. I HATE to do tedious and boring "work". So I set up accountability systems to punish myself when I fall short and rewards for when I meet my goal perfectly. The "budget" for each is the same - $XXX.00 to my friend when I fuck up and $XXX.00 to party my ass off with hookers and cocaine (I kid) when I succeed. I also have no problem paying other people to do work I don't enjoy doing. I focus on selling and I have a partner who focuses on the details and structuring and compliance and the THOUSANDS of details that I really don't enjoy keeping track of.
With the above "system" I've been able to get a lot done with my career in a relatively short amount of time. Of course, it helps that I'm in an industry that offers commission and not a straight salary, but the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Some people aren't comfortable with that kind of risk. Or it would be irresponsible for them to switch to a high risk career if they are supporting a family - the learning curve would be too steep and the possibility of failure unacceptable.
But if I can go from being a felon with out a HS diploma, working blue collar for a decade after prison and make a career change that LITERALLY added a "zero" my income, why can't other people do it?
I have a friend who moved here LESS than ten years ago from Peru with NOTHING, he opened a painting business and bought a few properties, flipped them, reinvested and rented them out and now has a crew of guys working for him and a net worth of over three million... WHY can't people who are BORN here do that?
Because MOST people are afraid to think BIG and figure out how to make their dreams come true... They are afraid to get outside of their comfort zone... They are afraid to "fail" (or they are afraid of being JUDGED for "failing")... So they just... don't...
Learning a SYSTEM of goal setting and proper planning is probably the most valuable skill a person can possess. Good thread idea, OP.