I love America. Where else can someone come from absolutely nothing and go on to create an extraordinary life? 

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When the odds are stacked against you, it’s so easy to become the statistic everyone expects from you. How does one escape their bleak fate and go on to achieve noteworthy success? How do men and women with very little resources, horrific backgrounds and less-than-promising circumstances end up making history and reaching world-class levels in their line of work?

They each committed to changing their odds. Here are five ways you can, too.

1. Relentless work ethic. Countless men and women have overcome obstacles to create everlasting masterpieces. Their key to success is a relentless work ethic. Be willing to outwork the others. Arrive earlier, stay later, do more than is expected of you. Strive to be the best in your field. Take pride in yourself and your work. 

2. Unbreakable self-belief. Life can be tough. Don’t wear the labels people will try to give you. Albert Einstein was once labeled “mentally handicapped” for not speaking until the age of four. His name is now synonymous with “genius.” Shed the limitations and develop expectations for yourself. Begin by seeing yourself as a valuable member of society. Become that. Believe with obstinate conviction that your future is bigger than where you are and where you were.

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3. Keep knocking. Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, took 1,000 attempts to make a light bulb that worked. Where would we be if Edison had given up after the 900th time? When asked, Edison said, “I have not failed 999 times, I have simply found 999 ways how not to create the light bulb.” Keep knocking, keep persisting, no matter how long it takes you.

4. Seek positive role models. Study great men and women who have already reached their pinnacle of success. The vast majority overcame substantial odds.

Your role model can simply be a person of character you want to strive to become. Whether it be the discipline of your mother, work ethic of your father, or a marriage like your grandparents, seek these individuals out. Ask lots of questions and take notes. Try making a list of five people who can be a positive role model in your life and find a way to get in touch with them. You just might be surprised at the response you receive.

5. Create opportunity. Changing the odds begins by taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and creating opportunities when there seemingly isn’t one.

One of the core reasons why many miss golden opportunities is because they are thinking in terms of instant gratification. They aren’t willing to lay the groundwork for opportunities to bloom down the road. Laying a firm foundation will allow opportunity to sprout in the future.

Understand that opportunities aren’t always going to come your way. People who wait for the door of opportunity to swing wide open so they can waltz through will likely be waiting a lifetime. Sometimes you have to walk right up to that locked door, size it up and begin breaking it down.

The odds will run your life unless you decide that you are the captain of your ship. What you do when confronted with challenge, the attitude you choose, will dictate your outcome. Focus on your destiny with all into your passion and you will end up at the right destination.

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