Copy. Copy those who have already accomplished what you want. As it is written, “so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” You will save a lot of time and energy if you do this. The first step is to establish clarity around your mission. Then you look for others who have done something similar. Imitate (copy) them by learning everything you can about them. Humans like to think of themselves as original thinkers. The truth is that we copy more than we would like to admit. Copying is a productivity shortcut. You copy those who have already accomplished what you want.
It is necessary to copy and imitate because there are just too many possibilities and options available. You would exhaust yourself if you wanted to try out every possibility to see where they lead before committing to a path. Experience is the best teacher, but it is the worst way to learn. You want to learn from the experiences of others. Gathering the best of what others figured out on their journey. People that have the same hopes and aspirations as you now do. You will get started with your life’s work faster if you find someone to imitate.
You must be careful, and ensure you imitate those who have already achieved what you desire. Peer-to-peer mentoring has its place. However, you should have excellent examples of people who are not your peers to emulate. Most of the time, your colleagues are as confused as you are. And there’s no guarantee they’ve figured anything out. You want to model yourself after people who have already accomplished the goal. Obtain their biographies, interviews, or written works. Study as much as you possibly can. When you study them, you are looking for three things: their education, mentors, and teachers. And their plans. You should keep track of how their plans and execution changed over time. Copy.