Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Secret of My Success

…and I don't just mean the Michael J. Fox film.

So here I am, pre-7am, with a coffee in hand, writing.  Just like all the great ones (seem to do).  From what I've read of everyone from Stephen King to cookbook author, Rose Riseman, if you wanna write, you gotta get up early.

That piece of advice was just one tidbit I picked up last night at a round table discussion dinner I attended with my good friend, Susan, a successful journalist. Who, by the way, was up pre-6am today, writing.
No, these are not the Doublemint twins; just Susan and I.
Apparently when it comes to hair and wardrobe, great minds think alike.  
During a round table discussion dinner, you sit at a different table with a different "leader" for each course and have, well, a round table discussion.  Last night, all of the leaders were bigshots in the Toronto business world, ranging from the head of Facebook Canada to the commissioner of the CFL.

I can sum up what I learned about success last night in two words: be passionate.  Not only about the job you do, but the reason you do it.  Mark Cohon doesn't just love being the commissioner of the CFL, he believes in the power of sports.  Rose Riseman doesn't just love writing cookbooks, she loves eating food and strongly believes in the importance of being healthy.

As I got dressed this morning, I was thinking about my own life and wondered if one day, I might experience the kind of success I encountered last night.  And then I realized that I have.  I've done a lot in my little life.  But is the secret to my success guided by the same passion as theirs?

Well, yeah...but with a simple little cherry-on-top thought:

How hard can it be?

That's what I was thinking when I wanted to get into Teacher's College.  And you know what? I got in to every school I applied to.

That's what I was thinking when I wanted to get a job after teacher's college and you know what? I got a job a week after graduating.

That's what I was thinking when I wanted to run a 10k. And a half-marathon. And a marathon.  And you know what? I did.

That's what I was thinking when I decided I wanted to write.  And you know what? Within less than 6 months, I was getting paid for my writing on a pretty regular basis.

Maybe I'm naive and maybe its passion and maybe its luck, but so far, with what felt like very little work, I've accomplished every thing I've ever set out to do.

If you expect to succeed, you will.  It really is that easy.


  1. You're right sister, when you set your mind to do something, you'e like NIKE.

  2. I agree with you in that it is often possible to achieve a goal when you have a positive attitude and visualize success. On the other hand I believe it takes years and years to become an overnight success. You are most likely minimizing the effort and sacrifices you made in becoming a respected educator, accomplished athelete and up & coming essayist.