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You have the Hardware and the Software but is your WETWARE ready?

"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."
Ronald Reagan: 40th president of the U.S.

Many times we think that the heroes we have come to admire were born with special privileges or money, or that they were plain lucky - and therefore we, without those advantages, could never achieve the same feats. But success is measured by your input, or the amount of effort you put forth, and your output. In the end, you will have exactly what you intend. If you do not succeed quickly and quit, you will get exactly what you intend. If you press on, and keep on pressing on until you reach the finish line, you will get exactly what you intend.

"My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had - every day I'm learning something new."
Sir Richard Branson: British business magnate; founder and chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies

Think you're too young or too old to achieve anything extraordinary. At age 13, Pablo Picasso was already a recognized artist. And Harland David ("Colonel") Sanders began Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise pursuit at age 65 using his first Social Security check.

Nor do background and environment preclude success. While many squander the riches they were handed at birth or fail to take advantage of the blessings life has bestowed on them, others who have not had the benefit of a safe home and loving family have succeeded tenfold. Honorable hard work, a clean, honest living and a little bit of luck can translate into a rags-to-riches story - and there are countless examples that exemplify this American dream.

In your own circles, family and neighborhood, there are many exemplary individuals who have overcome odds of various proportions and have reached noteworthy achievements and made an impact in their communities; others may still be pursuing their dreams. Seek them out and acknowledge their perseverance. Associating with winners breeds a winning mentality. You know the tremendous effect of actions and thoughts.

Here are real-life success stories of people who had the odds stacked against, but didn't take time to notice.

Some wish, some DO, some flounder!
  • Never, ever give up: Diana Nyad's 35 year goal achieved on the 5th attempt!

  • Teenage stories are located at

  • High School Sophomore, Builds $3.5 Million IT Company In Little Over 2 Years.

  • 18 'Ridiculous' Startup Ideas That Eventually Became Successful.

  • This principal's tough love, and high expectations, get kids into college. (7/22/09)

  • In 2009, British granny, Sarah "Paddy" Jones, swept the local competition to win a Spanish salsa dancing contest, and $15,000.

  • Eleven-year-old Lexi Lehrman founded the Love 4 Lexi Foundation and raised more than $24,000 for breast cancer research.July 2009

  • 'Saving kids' lives': Teacher fights gangs with harmony

  • Victim? No sir. This woman overcame sexual abuse to become a legal advocate.

  • Kseniya Simonova, a young Ukrainian girl, tells an awe-inspiring story, which brings her audience to tears, with nothing but sand and her hands.

  • Alex Griffith, 16, raised more than $60,000 for a new playground at the Russian hospital where he was born and abandoned by his parents. A little over two years later, he had founded the Krasnoyarsk Playground Project and recruited more than 500 volunteers in five countries.

  • Nearly 400 days after starting his journey aboard the Intrepid, a 36-foot, $6,000 vessel he purchased with money saved from summer jobs, 17-year-old Zac Sunderland of Thousand Oaks, Calif., became the newest and youngest person to sail the world solo ... a voyage that spanned nearly 28,000 nautical miles.

  • Jude Ndambuki teaches high school chemistry, but when he's not in class, you might find him dumpster diving for discarded computers.

  • The Paralympics offer a vision of what's possible to those who have paralyzed. Anything you can dream, you can achieve!

Steve Jobs. How to Live Before You Die
"Connect the Dots", "Love and Loss" and "Death"
If today were the last day of my life
would I want to do what I am about to do today?

"The most creative act you will ever undertake
is the act of creating yourself."

Deepak Chopra, M.D. Author on mind-body medicine and spirituality
  • Steve Job's Seven Rules of Success

  • SI's 50 Highest Paid Athletes

  • Helping Other Women Soar

  • Texas man Brad Blauser brings hope to "forgotten" disabled Iraqi kids.

  • What motivates someone to dedicate his or her life to save the planet? From art and conservation to activism and philanthropy, people from all walks of life are doing extraordinary things in the name of environmentalism.

  • Seventy-two-year-old Oliver Seikel cycled more than 800 miles to get to his 50th college reunion.

  • Is Kiran Williamson the next Picasso?

  • Faith Coleman's ordeal as an uninsured cancer patient drove her to help others without health insurance. Today, more than 6,700 patients have benefited from her initial quest.

  • When teenager Jordan Thomas lost his legs in a scuba diving accident, he started his own foundation to help underprivileged children with traumatic injuries.

  • Meet business's hottest young rising stars. They're innovators, value creators, and agents of change. And they're all under 40.

  • Beth Hollis, a 53-year-old librarian, is taking the roller derby world by storm.

  • With a Harvard MBA and three B.S. degrees in technology-related areas, Sal Khan now works from a converted walk-in closet in his Silicon Valley. Through his website, Khan, he educates viewers on a host of topics, making him the most popular educational site on the Web.

  • Military Business Leaders of today, and the future. Look at the experience, edge and commitment of these up and coming business leaders. What price did they pay to achieve their glory? How many will follow in their footsteps?

  • From miserable man to 'Ultraman'; this is one man's fitness journey.

  • A New Jersey woman cooked up an idea to save her home from foreclosure. She calls it Mortgage Apple Cakes.

  • "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
    Earl Nightingale: American motivational speaker and author

  • Yves Rossy is the first man to fly across the English Channel from Calais, France to Dover, UK, using a homemade, single, jet-powered wing.

  • Michael and Steven Roberts didn't have two quarters to rub together a couple of decades ago. Now, the two African-American business leaders estimate their holdings (including everything from hotels to TV stations) are worth $1 billion.

  • In Indonesia, one woman is helping those who make their living by picking through trash while also aiding the landscape with an environmentally-conscious line of products through her organization, Garbage for Good.

  • An 80-percent pay cut for Jim Elliott was worth it to teach scuba to people with disabilities.

  • Luis Soriano, a teacher who uses donkeys to bring mobile library to children in rural Colombia, has helped more than 4,000 youngsters since his "Biblioburro" program began in 1990.

  • Roz Savage has rowed single-handedly across the Atlantic and is now tackling the Pacific.

  • Bartender, Doc Hendley, is raising money to dig wells with clean water all over the globe.

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