Nowadays, everyone wants to be special and the most frequent dream is to be the very best at something. Unfortunately, there are over six billion other people in the world who all want to be the best at something, too. This makes the dream a lot harder than it was in ancient times, when there were only a few hundred people in the village. But don't despair - with these handy tips you'll soon be the shining star that you deserve to be!
Choosing an Area
First of all you need to choose an area of specialisation, or rather several areas. By choosing lots of areas, you increase the chances of becoming the best of at least one of them, and decrease the chance of having to duke it out with someone else who wants to be the best in the world in that same area.
The second consideration is that it be some subject that you have some natural talent at. Don't try to be the best in the world at downing ale if the stuff makes you throw up, nor the best in the world at skydiving if you're afraid of heights. There is a difference between born talents and acquired talents here - if it is an acquired talent then you start off in a better position, but your room for growth is perhaps limited a little compared to a natural talent. Acquired talents are best for very limited areas because you can quite quickly become best. Natural talents are a necessity for tackling slightly larger areas.
Finally, and most importantly, pick a small, unpopular, area. While it might seem great to become the fastest man in the world, lots of other people think so too, and the chances of your beating them all for top place are minimal. So specialise. For example, try becoming the fastest masked man on stilts whistling 'The Sun has Got his Hat on' in the world. This will have a much-improved chance of success than, say, becoming the fastest person on Earth.
Becoming the Best
Actually becoming the best tends to be considerably harder than merely deciding to be the best. The first step is to evaluate your competition - these are the people who are going to be between you and becoming the best. The sort of people you want to watch out for aren't necessarily those who are currently the best, but those with the largest drive to be the best.
The reason is that sometimes those who are currently the best don't care about it too much - so if you become better than them they'll shrug and ignore it. Those who have a large drive to be best, and hence may well be best about the time you want to be, are stubborn. Because of this, if you temporarily are better than them, they will try hard to get back in 'their rightful place'. If you find such a person in your chosen area, you may well be better off choosing another area to become best at.
Finally, you simply have to be patient and persistent - plan from the start to be at the top - don't spend time learning how to beat incompetents, learn how to beat the very best. Exactly what you do depends, of course, on the area you've picked - but the common theme is that the more you put into it, the better your chances will be.
If All Else Fails...
... remember the words of Catatonia's lovely song 'Goldfish and Paracetemol':
Because I'm too weary to rest, since I noticed,
Coming second best, is close to ideal