If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:
1. Become the best at one specific thing.
2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.
The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.
The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort.
There is a lot of advice out there of people saying become the best at something. Often these same people forget to explain what it takes to do that. If you want to become Olympic-class (top 1%) at anything you're going to have to put in a lot of time to practice.
To master any skill it take about 5000 hours of practice to get to that level. If you work at it full time 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it will take you about 2 and a half years to get that time in.
Most people don't have the capability to do that, but you may be able to squeeze in 1 hour a day. That will take 20 years.
On the other hand, if you just want to get really good at a skill (top 25%) that can take only 1000 hours or less. That will only take 4 years at 1 hour per day. A college course often is only about 50 hours of study and you end up knowing quite a bit.
Becoming good at two or three things and presenting it as a package can be a really great way to break into a market. Look at Ben&Jerry, there were lots of big ice cream companies, so they dual-classed with organic-ice cream. Haggen-Daas went with gourmet-ice cream.
What is your dash?
I am an engineer and I also write. I am an engineer-writer. Can I dominate in a market with that? I think I can.
How about you?