If you have fond memories of 2011, consider yourself lucky. In reflecting on what’s transpired, most think of sky-high unemployment, rampant economic insecurity, and job satisfaction being at an all-time low.

In today’s difficult economy, it’s never been clearer that the only one you can count on in life is you. Lifetime employment has become a laughable oxymoron and being able to keep your job simply because you’re good at what you do is an illusion.

2013 doesn’t have to be a repeat of 2011 and 2012 and holds meaningful potential if the right steps are taken. To thrive, emulate the 5 Key Steps of the Successful. If you do, 2013 will be an amazing year.

1. Begin leveraging your WHAT — the one thing you were born to do. The successful understand that there is ONE thing they are compelled to do and pursue this with reckless abandon. Until you identify your WHAT, life will feel out of your control and lack meaning or purpose.

2. The successful set deep anchors into their soul. They are crystal clear on who they are, why they do what they do and, most importantly, who they were born to be. Those who don’t set deep anchors operate like windsocks—their lives forever shifting based on outside influences. With these anchors, you’re clear on where you’re headed and life’s pity distractions won’t keep you from achieving your goals and objectives.

3. The successful operate as smooth rocks, not craters. Like water off a duck’s back, if you operate as a smooth rock, the waterfall of life simply continues downstream. If you’re a crater, life puddles. You think about everything, hold on to it, and life is defined by what currently engulfs your mind. As life’s next challenge reaches you, it washes out the old concerns and replaces them with new ones. If your life reflects a smooth rock, you’ll maintain comfort and happiness by refusing to expend energy or additional thought on that which should have long since moved past you.

4. The successful understand the power of patience. Some of the most recognized people of our time began just like you. Richard Branson began his Virgin empire selling one record at-a-time via mail-order catalog. Mother Teresa brought comfort to one person in need. Sam Zell convinced one landlord to let him manage his apartment building. In today’s instant gratification society, we are programmed to want everything… NOW. This is not realistic. Anything worthwhile takes time. Anyone who tells you differently is full of crap.

5. Lastly, while it may seem appealing to quit the job you loathe today, the successful let others fund their transition. Having the courage to quit is enough to get you fired up to make an inordinate difference in our world, but doing so without the means to replace your current income is ludicrous. Become clear on where you’re headed, what you want to do, and then enter THE TRANSITION. It’s at this point where you’ll hone your skills, learn what others are doing that is of interest to you, and begin putting your plan of action in place to derive 100% of your income from what you love. Like a recipe mixture, right now your life is comprised of 0 parts living your WHAT and 100 parts not. As soon as you take that first step towards your destiny, your mixture has shifted to 1 part living your WHAT and 99 parts not. As more of your income is derived from what it is that you’re compelled to do, you’ll reach a point in time when you can cut the cord on what you abhor. There are a LOT of hours in the day. Invest them wisely.

To make an inordinate difference in your community and, perhaps, across the globe, a monumental shift is required. The time is now to reinvent your life no matter your age or where you stand in your career path.

2013 is the perfect time to create the life you want and heed your inherent blueprint. Within this blueprint, you’ll discover your WHAT—the one thing you were born to do—and, once revealed, everything else (almost magically) falls into place.

The bottom line is that we are each put on this planet to do ONE amazing thing and it’s our responsibility to cultivate that which we are naturally compelled to do. Your soul wants you to discover your WHAT and by following the 5 Steps of the Successful, you have significantly increased the odds of finding it.