Learn something easy. At some point, you're going to have
to learn to play by ear - if you're sitting with your guitar on your lap staring at a speaker while a Paul Gilbert solo rips out of it, you're demanding a lot. Petrucci and Gilbert and all started out by learning Santana and Rolling Stones songs because that's all they could handle when they were starting... the visualization
of playing something "good" does involve a number of intermediate steps, as frustrating as that is.
Right now there are
9 year olds out there learning Stones songs so that they can learn Petrucci licks when they're 14. I have some students who go all dramatic sometimes, I just tell 'em maybe they should get a spatula and start practicing flipping burgers instead... I sure don't hold with the idea that you'll become a better musician by not playing. Somebody
out there is practicing 12 hours today, and tomorrow, and the day after - who's going to be working in ten years?
The single most important thing is to set concrete goals because that defines the steps you take to work towards them.
The goals can change over time. After he watched his best friends Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman die, Eric Clapton made a very conscious choice to stop chasing the flash guitar mantle and become a singer/songwriter - and that's fine....
all of the best guitarists I admire write most of their own stuff, so write an instrumental, make it harder that you can actually play...
then make yourself play it.