One of the hidden differences between outstanding Success Stories and the average Joe stories, lies in a huge sacrifice. This is also referred to as "losing an arm". This is indeed about some irreversible loss and the pain endured at the time of execution would be unbearable for most of us.
You will not find a single person who has accomplished a monumental work without giving up something generally considered very precious. In many cases, they decided to "lose an arm" in order to make their dreams come true. They ultimately accepted a physical or emotional pain that most of us would not have accepted. Sometimes they put up with it over several years.
When a teenager decides to become a sports professional or a music/movie star, he makes the implicit decision to "set aside" certain teenage distractions in order to reach his goal. You may have heard of Tiger Wood's long hours of training as a child. Encouraged by his parents, whatever the weather, he agreed to train on Sundays (days off for his competitors). Some may find it strange or insane to play golf in the rain, but that was not the case for the Wood family. Others may say that it is useless to rehearse Rap lyrics 15 hours a day without leaving home for several weeks. That was not the opinion of best-selling musician Jay-Z when he was still a teenager. For ordinary people, it would sound even more awkward to try the same chemical or mechanical experiment more than a thousand times, with only a minor modification in the process at each test iteration. That would be without taking into account the drive of Thomas Edison who indulged in it with pleasure during most of his life.
Achievement therefore has a price that only committed individuals can assess, understand and accept. At any moment in life, a woman can decide to do something remarkable. Open the Guiness Book of Records and you will see things as incredible as the people who accomplished them.
Only you can decide to "lose your arm" to achieve a dream. Whether it be notoriety, money, charisma, you will never reach the highest level without sacrificing something precious. A coach, a mentor, a teacher cannot do much for you in that respect, his contribution could not go beyond a permanent reminder of your commitment.
The good news is that very few people are willing to put aside what they view as precious. This gives you the opportunity to go further than others without worrying about real competition. Since at some point, it will be necessary to "lose an arm", and at that point, almost everyone drops out. If you agree to proceed, there is no reason why you would not reach the top.
[Translated from a contribution by Jean-Patrick Ehouman]