No One Owes You Anything

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

In an interview on his podcast, Tim Ferriss asked champion Obstacle Course Racer Amelia Boone what she would put on a billboard if she could put anything she wanted. Her answer: "No one owes you anything" has become one of Tim's favorite answers to this question which he asks nearly all of his guests. 

It may seem like a stark sentiment at first glance but really is one of the most liberating notions that you can adopt. While it may be necessary to seek help and guidance from time to time to accomplish your goal, in the end the only thing that will bring you success is hard work and persistence. And that's a good thing because those are conditions over which you have control. Waiting for others to provide you success is a losing proposition. 

When a goal is important to you, hard work is the currency you have to bring that goal to fruition. The key is focusing on your why for wanting that goal. Once you've gotten in touch with that emotional driver, your motivation will be set. 

Waiting for permission, approval or any other outside driver will at best delay you and at worst prevent you from even starting.