I was once told by a man a few years my senior, that you should never let yourself off the hook.
I took this to heart. Not because it was the words from his mouth. Not because he had more experience than me, more years under his belt. It was because it rang true in a world of faux reasons and excuses.
You can make all the excuses as to why you are still where you were, how God made you who you are, how all your problems are beyond your control. However once you strip away these layers of excuses in the ever changing world the only constant is you. You are the one making the excuses and using them to justify your failing. Your inability to do what needs to be done to make a difference.
It is fair to say that it is incredibly easy to make up these reasons as it is never something that people like to admit when you have failed. I have certainly taken the easy road. Said, 'no one else does it, so why should I?'
Now I try and look at every situation and judge it against this mantra. 'Am I just letting myself off the hook? Or have I really tried and failed?'
As you are the only constant in all the bubble of excuses, you are the only one who can really know if you are selling yourself short by making out that everything is OK when it isn't.
This isn't to say that people that don't become famous artists, have big cars and big salaries are hopeless existences and should be removed from the Earth. What I mean is so many people justify their actions by comparing them to the next man, or to the world. They shouldn't. It is a basic human need to better oneself and fulfill a purpose, though many don't even give themselves a chance.
Many people have a lot more to give than they do and the only barrier in their way is in their head.