I have lived like a rich kid – and on the “other side of the tracks.” Sometimes I thought I knew it all and that I was on the fast track. Other times my ignorance was glaringly obvious. But as I’ve read more and added life experiences, I’ve become wiser. Today, I have achieved a notable status in life – fancy titles, impressive paychecks and business success – and yet like so many others, I remain perpetually on the road to discovery and continued achievement.

Most people dream of success but, as they grow older, settle into believing that life got in the way, that their unfulfilled dreams and unachieved goals were simply not meant to be. I disagree. It is a matter of choice and of persistence, coupled with dogged determination in the face of obstacles, setbacks and failures. Success, when you’ve scaled the mountain and really earned it, is so much sweeter. And wishing for success and committing yourself to it are very different things.

Of course, “success” is a relative term. Each of us must determine which mountains we want to climb and set priorities based on the utility we want to bring to our families, companies and communities, and to society as a whole. Reaching those objectives is success. But the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little extra. What extra commitment will you make? What extra endeavor will you pursue? What extra sacrifices will you make?

This book blends time-tested philosophy with a host of modern-day tools for the psyche published in several personal development and business books – and exemplifies them through the story of one young man’s life. (The character could just as easily have been a young lady, as these concepts are in no way gender specific, but to avoid using the awkward “he/she” throughout the book, I chose the masculine form.) Then, in the “Models, Movers and Mentors” section, you’ll read about successful and inspirational men and women who’ve defied great odds and bounced back from repeated failures to change the world.

So, what difference will your difference make?