I'm a bit jealous because of how many people in this thread who from my perspective seem to take their self-discipline ("drive") and ability to self-motivate ("enthousiasm") for granted. I didn't have any of that in my formative years...
For many years after I left school, I didn't do much and it wasn't until I hit my early 30's when I realised I wasted 10+ years of my life. That was the turning point for me to pull my finger out and do something. It's a big regret when I look back and realise that my 20s were a waste. Didn't save any money, didn't take on and finish any higher education, stopped doing all sports, became unfit, etc.
Once I changed my outlook on life, I was able to motivate myself to get into higher education at night and did a 3 year course in 18 months. Out of the 16 subjects, I did 14 in the first year. The education institution (in QLD) had concerns if I could do it as no one had attempted what I was trying to do. I moved interstate with the same company to do this because the institutions in the state I was in (NSW) refused. I then moved back after I finished and that was the time I changed companies.
I was feeling burned out at the end of the first year but wanted to get it over and done with as quick as possible. Then sat for my national exam later in the second year and out of 144 Australia wide, 29 passed and I was one of those 29. It did open doors and I've never looked back.
Another reason for my turnaround is surrounding myself with people who are motivated themselves and receiving encouragement from them. Financial advice or assistance from my partner also played an important part. Having someone trying to steer you in the right direction when you don't want to can be hard. Especially financially. It can be hard at first when someone is saying, don't buy this, don't buy that. Put your money into this. Or if you have to buy this, lets find a better option. Some of the financial advice I received was a big WTF for me as some of it didn't make sense or even seem logical, but now it's so obvious since doing it.
Now, I'm getting things in order so that I can retire in 15 years or less. I want to be able to shift from a working job to retirement and still feel like I'm getting the same income. The next 3-4 years as I've been doing in the last few years will be setting up things (eg. investment properties) and then 10 years after that making sure everything is ready and finalised (paid off) when I do retire. I could work another 20 years or so but don't want to anymore. I have a lot of interests and hobbies outside work that I want to do full time. My partner is the same and want's to retire in about 5-10 years. She's already set up everything for herself but then she didn't waste 10+ years like I did.
I can't understate how important it is to have people help you, but most importantly you have to be willing to accept the help and change even though you may not see any sense in it. Otherwise, I would still be on that downward spiral.