In Chapter 3, I used the word, "Junoon," a term I would now like to explain by telling about an ostensibly unbelievable encounter. The experience came after many years of searching for the secret of what makes ordinary people achieve extraordinary accomplishments.

Throughout my life, I've had the opportunity to hold many different jobs—from counting containers on freight ships to designing and building software for high-tech companies. I've had the good fortune to work with salt-of-the-earth laborers who spat and urinated in the hull of a ship to highly accomplished engineers and operations managers at prestigious organizations like as NASA and General Electric. I've interacted regularly with entrepreneurs who risked all their worldly assets to achieve their visions, and with social workers driven by their causes. The vast differences among all these people and the lives they have led have always intrigued me.

My questions have abounded, and continue to this day. How do some of us capture the ability to dream and achieve incredible goals? What enables some people to find the energy and focus to pursue their ideas? How do they fend off the temptation to give up before they fulfill their goals? And how do they attract large numbers of people to support them in what might appear to be impossible missions?

My search for answers led me to study several Western philosophies and bestselling books like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends ...

Get Driven: A how-to Strategy for Unlocking your Greatest Potential now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.