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November 2004
Success Harmony Newsletter


In the last few months, I have been lucky to accomplish some of my life-long dreams. For one thing, I got married on October 9th and got the chance to have a beautiful fairytale wedding. Then, my new husband and I left for a dream three-week honeymoon in South Africa. Ever since I was three years old, I watched nature shows and made it my dream to see the lions in the wild one day.

Growing up as the only daughter of a poor single mother in a communist country which allowed no out-of-country travel, neither the Africa dream nor my dream of getting married and raising a happy family of my own seemed like they would ever come true. If someone told me that I would ever visit New York City, let alone live here one day, I would have a hearty laugh. "Yeah, right. Dream on!", I would have said. As I stared at horses as a youngster and got turned away from the only local state-owned equestrian center for being too young and then too tall, I wouldn't have imagined that I would one day own my own horse. As the daughter of a father blacklisted by the communist government for his work for democracy, I had little hope of making getting any University education, let alone get a law degree. As my schoolmates in high school laughed at me for not being able to speak English, I wouldn't have imagined that there would come a day when I would get paid to speak and to make people laugh. In English. And yet, here are these things that seemed impossible at one point or another, all part of a life I now get to live. Sometimes, they seem like big miracles. Other times, there are little everyday miracles. Sometimes, there are failures and disappointments, but the big and small miracles outweigh all of those by a large margin in the end.

How do these dreams come true? I recall hearing a story about a grizzled old salesman being asked a question of how he deals with a bad economy. His answer? "Nothing that two thousand cold calls won't cure!" A few weeks ago, we watched my husband's sister walk in the New York City Marathon. That was a big enough accomplishment on its own, but it was even more humbling to watch the many disabled athletes running their own versions of the marathon. Some had one leg, others had no legs or legs that won't ever move again. Some were on wheelchairs, some were on skateboards (can you imagine having no legs, sitting on a skateboard and wheeling yourself along the road for a timed 26.2 miles?), some were on spring-like contraptions. All had a look in their eyes that said, "I may have limitations, but I don't have limits".

After watching success and lack of success around me, I will concede that there always is an element of luck to success. An Olympic gold medal may go to the runner who had a better day than the silver medal winner, although they are both just as incredible athletes. A horse may win a race by a nose and end up with a million dollars, while the second-place horse may end up with less than a tenth of that. However, nobody makes it to the race itself on luck or talent alone. Much more success is achieved by factors that we can control and, even if we are the ones with slightly less luck than the next guy, desire and perseverance will take us far further without luck than luck will without desire and perseverance.

I met my husband online, on one of these Internet dating sites. It was over four years ago and I was still licking my wounds from an engagement gone bad two years prior. I had become comfortable with being on my own. Actually, make that "too scared to try again". I was saying to others that I would love to be in a relationship, but I wasn't putting myself in too many situations where I could meet someone. Until, finally, as I was turning 30 and heard my biological clock ticking uncomfortably loud enough to wake me up from deep sleep, I sat up one day and looked myself in the mirror. The "me in the mirror" asked: "You say that you want to be married one day and that you want to have a family. So - WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?" The "me inside me" was very quiet for a while and then said, "Very little. I guess it's time to change that soon. Not just soon. Now. Today." I went back to bed and, that morning, as I browsed the Internet, I noticed a banner ad for www.one-and-only.com. On another day, I would have ignored the ad. That day, I thought of my "what are you doing about it?" question and decided to look at the site. I looked at the site, I looked at a few ads, and decided to put up an ad myself. With my heart beating very loudly and brain saying, "only losers do this, you know?", I posted the ad that afternoon.

In the first week, I got close to a hundred responses, most seeming to be serious enquires from some pretty high quality people. I got overwhelmed with responding and with how I could stay polite with everyone while I was sorting through the responses. It was a strange application of business-like coldness to romance. I replied to everyone, corresponded with a few, talked on the phone with a few less, met even a few less, fell in love with one, then tried to fall out of love as quickly when I found out there was an outstanding divorce, and kept on going with the process until meeting Erik, my now husband. Was it love on first sight? For him, yes. For me, I had no clue at all. We started as friends. As I got to know him over the next number of months, I started to see the incredible man I had in front of me. Four years later, as they say, the rest is history.

There have been many times in my life when I asked the same question as I did before putting up the ad. Whether it involved stepping over the Austrian mountains to get to freedom or starting a business, there has always been fear of the unknown and some version of "Do you really want this dream? If so, what are you doing about it?" that got my desire stronger than my fear. I am sure there will be many more times in my life when I will have to ask the same question. I only hope that, each time, that question will push me through the fear again. I figure, if I have already lived so many of the things I considered impossible, I wonder what else is possible for me… I think it may be time to dream some more.

How about you? Do you have dreams, perhaps even from way back in your childhood, that you consider impossible for you? Perhaps you've seen some others accomplish that dream and rationalized to yourself that "they" were richer, more talented, younger, older, taller, smarter, whatever "more" than you? Perhaps nobody has ever tried reaching it. Perhaps someone has tried and not succeeded. Either way, ask yourself these few questions:

1. How would you feel if you could actually attain this dream?
2. Is it really important to you? How would you feel on your deathbed if you looked back and hadn't ever begun? Would you regret not trying?
3. If so…

Happy dreaming, sunshine and smiles,


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"Mountains DO Move...One Stone at a Time."
Rick Beneteau

"Plant your dreams and you will grow miracles."

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do."
Henry Ford




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© 2002 Pavla Michaela Polcarova, CPR Coaching Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada