OK, seriously. Three things: T-Nation helped me figure out what to do and when to do it. It helped me figure out WHY to do things, and HOW things work.
It was knowledge and science combined with determination and grit. The science behind muscle fiber recruitment, sets and reps, big compound moves, nutrition whats, whys and whens. That combined with people dedicated and committed to improving themselves. The drive to be better.
So, T-Nation took all my chaotic undirected attempts at self-improvement and helped me figure out a plan, then execute on it.
I'm still a beginner. But I am now a beginner who has a clue. A small clue maybe, but then I also have determination.