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Success Harmony Newsletter
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?"
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
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".
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.
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.
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
4. WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?
sunshine and smiles,
DO Move...One Stone at a Time."
"Plant your dreams
and you will grow miracles."
"You can't build a reputation
on what you're going to do."