It's never too late to become who you might have been.

We are all motivated in one way or another to progress from surviving to thriving. For what is progress if it isn't discovering things that matter and going after them with vim and vigor, passion and persistence?

Progress is getting closer to where you want to be. But progress involves risks. "You can't steal second base," advised Frederick Wilcox, "with your foot on first." So at every stage of your efforts to actualize your personal and professional potential, you'll pause to wonder if there isn't something beyond that mountain you've been climbing, that peak that always seems to be just out of reach overhead.

The diagram below is one way to look at that mountain. It reflects the hierarchy of human progress proposed by Abraham Maslow. He identified the process as self-actualization and called it hierarchical because he believed we must satisfy the lower needs before we can reach the higher needs.

You need food, water and shelter before you can acquire the security of employment. You need a good job before you can have a family and the respect of friends and peers. Then you can focus your efforts on personal and professional success.