Do you always do everything you want or need to do? I don't, and I bet you don't either. But that's not a good reason to give up trying.

Throughout history, people have risen above challenges to succeed in things they've set their minds to accomplish. Whether you're talking about explorers overcoming huge obstacles, or people overcoming their own physical challenges to excel in areas few believed they could participate in, a can-do attitude is all that you might need in order to make your dreams come true.

The book on it
Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner tackled a similar topic in their well-received book, You Have More Than You Think.

They explained that you already have:

  • A brain. You needn't be a rocket scientist to succeed in investing. Look at all the big brains on Wall Street, who are either responsible for much of the economic crisis there, or who simply didn't realize what was going on. Look at the Nobel-prize-winning folks who drove the 1990s hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management (now that's a misnomer in so many ways!) into the ground. Simple, average intelligence can serve you very well. All you might need is to invest in an index fund, to earn the market's return.
  • Time. Time is a critical part of the formula for making money. And even if you're 60 or 75 years old right now, it's not too late. Remember that you may well live to 90 or beyond. If so, some of your money still has 15 to 30 years left to grow, and you might want to keep much of it in stocks.

To those, I'll add that you have money. Sure, you might not have a million, or even $100,000 to your name. But smaller amounts can grow to much bigger ones. If you have as much as $25,000, for example, it can grow to more than $270,000 in 25 years at the market's historic average rate of 10%. Adding to it along the way will only take you further toward your financial goals.

What to do
So don't think you can't get rich, or at least more financially secure. Don't think you don't have what it takes. Just take some action.

Sock away 15% of your income each year for several decades, and invest it well, and you may end up with $1 million or $2 million in the bank. You might want to aim to beat the market with some or all of your money, too. One way is via mutual funds.

The Meridian Value (FUND:MVALX) fund, for example, has averaged nearly 7% over the past five years and recently included Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Mattel (NYSE:MAT), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) as top holdings.

Another option is individual stocks (and of course, you may want to mix and match, combining a few funds with stocks in your portfolio). Choose carefully, and you may do very well. General Mills (NYSE:GIS), for example, has averaged 14% growth over the past 20 years, while Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has averaged 16%, and Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) has averaged 21%.

If you're in the market for some promising investments, try (for free) our Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter. It regularly offers two investing styles, from Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner, and its picks are trouncing the market. (Go ahead and try it.)

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.