The Pebbles in Your Shoe
If at all possible, your goal should be to place yourself in an environment that gives you the best chance of achieving your goals. Great teams strive to do this. They set standards that only attract the quality of character that they are looking for. Their team is constantly motivated to live up to and hold each other accountable to these standards. Former coach Lou Holtz said it like this, "Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated."
I've found this to be one of the great truths in life and always tried to place myself around the best at whatever I do. I was always taught the proverb, "He who walks with the lame, learns how to limp."
Muhammad Ali put it this way, "It's not the mountains that wear you out. It's the pebble in your shoe." Anyone can get to the top of the mountain if they put themselves in a great place to do it. That's what great teams do for you. That's what great coaches do for you. That's what great partners, friends, and family do for you. They help you up the mountain, they aren't the pebble irritating and wearing on you all the way up.
Work hard an to control your environment. Analyze your life in terms of it's environment. Seek to eliminate the pebbles in your shoe.