When I was 10, my best friend told me, “Bro, working out won’t even do anything until you hit puberty. It’s pointless.” I grew up allowing myself to live an unhealthy lifestyle. In my head, nothing health-wise mattered until my teen years, so I allowed myself to do nothing today.

We grow up believing that what’s great is still to come. Therefore, we allow ourselves to accomplish the bare minimum today, because nothing I do is going to matter until I graduate high school, or college, or find a better-paying job.

Our problem is that we have end goals. We don’t realize it, but we break life up into checkpoints. We convince ourselves to live between these artificial, self-imagined checkpoints. It’s easier that way, it’s safer that way. “I can’t think about starting a business right now, I’m still in college.” “I have this cool idea for an app, but I’m still in high school.”

The single trait possessed by whichever prodigy is kicking your ass in the game of life, is that they allow themselves to live past these checkpoints. A prodigy doesn’t have an end-goal. A social reformer doesn’t have a finish-line. A game-changer lives in a never-ending state of self-improvement.

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick it once and you’ll suck forever.