I came across this incredibly heart-warming story of a good samaritan who picked up a fast-food worker walking to his job in 95-degree heat. Turns out, the employee was walking three miles each way every workday, because he was saving for a car. The fellow who picked him up ended up posting something on social media about it. In it, he challenged anyone who claims they want to work, but makes excuses about why they can't, "How bad do you want it?"

How you respond determines your outcome

The truth is, how we answer that simple six-word question is the single most significant factor in determining whether we will succeed in our next career goal. All of us want to achieve our goals, but how much are we're willing to do to make them happen is not something we tend to think about enough. In fact, if you're like many people, you may respond with "I'll do what it takes." But have you really sat down to determine if that's the truth? Let's find out.

1. Inventory your commitment

Ask yourself the following questions to see how committed you are to achieving your career goal:

  1. Am I willing to give up my free time, or adjust my routine and schedule to make this happen?
  2. Am I ready to save money and go without certain luxuries so I can make this happen?
  3. Am I OK with being criticized and made fun of by friends, family and peers who don't share my ambition or want to see me succeed?
  4. Do I understand that the time and energy it takes to make this happen could be far more than I'm envisioning it will?
  5. In my heart, am I saying with 100 percent conviction that "I will not give up"?

If you can sincerely answer yes to all of the above, then you're on the road to success. But, there is still one more part to the equation.

2. Compare your commitment

One of the best ways to validate your commitment level to make sure it's where it needs to be compared with those who have succeeded before you. Reaching out to successful people and interviewing them about their journey to success helps you to understand just how far they had to go to succeed. You'll also find yourself inspired by their determination and focus. Just ask them the five questions above and see what proof they can give you for each one. The more stories you internalize about commitment to your type of career goals, the easier it will be to get through those days when you want to quit. Why? You'll be able to say, "Today stinks, but I remember what those people went through and this isn't as bad as that. I can do this."

This story has a happy ending (and a moral for us all)

The young man who picked up the worker walking three miles to his job was so inspired, he raised enough money in just a couple of days to buy the employee a car. And, while you may not have the same kind of pleasant surprise happen to you on your journey to reaching your career goal, I will tell you this: In my experience, when people have unwavering commitment toward their goals, others take notice. I know in my own career, any time I could answer the five questions above, I seemed to attract the attention of like-minded, talented people who opened doors for me and helped me reach my goal. Everyone likes to support a winner. How do you spot one? Winners have commitment.

I challenge everyone reading this article to go through the steps above. You'll quickly learn whether you've got what it takes to achieve your career goal. Or, that it's time to pick a different goal.