Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen ~ Michael Jordan


Lucky is an interesting word. It’s often used to describe successful people. Famous actors, professional athletes and entrepreneurs are all called lucky. They are viewed for where they are, at their high point, and not much thought goes into what those people went through to achieve their accomplishments. It’s assumed that they just got there… that they’re lucky.

I have this poster hanging in my office. I look at it regularly to remind myself that I can achieve anything that I want, if I am willing to put the effort in.


I try to remember this concept when I think of successful people. I don’t want to discredit anyone’s success. I don’t want to assume that they were just given the opportunities to get them to the top, to be the best.

Rory McIlroy is one of the top golfers in the world. He fits into the category of someone people think is lucky. Golfing on the PGA tour is a dream for many, especially being among the elite. This ad was released recently and the point is made – he is not lucky – he made this happen. He is up when most are still sleeping, he pushes himself physically when most would prefer not to be that uncomfortable and he fuels his body with healthy options when most would prefer not to restrict their diets.  When you see this video it becomes apparent that he’s not lucky, he’s doing what most aren’t willing to. It’s one thing to want something, it something much different to do what’s necessary to get it.

Watch this – Enjoy the Chase!

Pitcher Roy Halladay routinely puts in a 90 minute workout before his teammates arrive on the field.

Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi worked as a receptionist on the midnight shift to earn money while she was completing her Masters degree at Yale.

Henry Ford, H.J. Heinz and Walt Disney all filed for bankruptcy but didn’t allow their failures to stop them from working hard and eventually creating incredibly successful companies.

In the book Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin he talks about Jerry Rice, who some consider to be the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL:

In team workouts he was famous for his hustle; while many receivers would trot back to the quarterback after catching a pass, Rice would sprint to the end zone after each reception. He would typically continue practicing long after the rest of the team had gone home. Most remarkable were his six-days-a-week off-season workouts, which he conducted entirely on his own. Mornings were devoted to cardiovascular work, running a hilly five-mile trail; he would reportedly run ten forty-meter wind sprints up the steepest part. In the afternoons he did equally strenuous weight training. These workouts became legendary as the most demanding in the league, and other players would sometimes join Rice just to see what it was like. Some of them got sick before the day was over.

Now, I know you are probably reading this and thinking that these people are intense and focused and doing things beyond what you are willing to do. And that’s ok. But just know that they aren’t lucky. They are doing things that most won’t. They are doing things that maybe they don’t always want to do, but know that it’s required to be the best. They deserve their success.

What are you willing to do, to give up, to suffer through to reach your dreams?

At first they will ask why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask how you did it.



All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – these photos were borrowed from the internet – I was still using an old school camera with film when I visited.

Previously I mentioned that I signed up for a travel writing course. I am three quarters of the way through and it’s been an encouraging experience. I really had no expectations going in. I thought it would be something interesting to try, combining two things that I enjoy.

When I received marks in the 80’s on my first two assignments, I was shocked, and then excited. And then the third assignment came along…. This one was a literary article. The first two had been consumer type pieces. Writing about a place or an experience. I am much more factual than I am creative so the literary piece scared me! In fact, I thought well this was good while it lasted!

I wrote the literary article and honestly didn’t expect much. I was pleasantly surprised when I received my instructor’s comments which included “nice sense of storytelling” and “this kind of quirky little travel anecdote is something you will find is often sellable – publications often look for short, interesting pieces like this”. Well those certainly weren’t responses I was expecting.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, you never know how it may change your life.

So in keeping with my own advice, I am stepping out of my comfort zone once again and sharing my literary article with you…

Elephants, Buffalo and a Mammoth Waterfall

I arrived at the lodge and was greeted by the South African innkeepers. “Is this your first time in Zimbabwe?” the husband asked. “Yes” I replied. “Great, welcome. There are a few rules which we should go over”. Interesting, I’ve never been given rules upon check-in. He started to brief me on the lodge and then started discussing the rules. I was only half listening. I assumed it would be standard information. I’m not really a rule breaker so I didn’t think there would be anything that applied to me.

The first rule – absolutely no walking to town at night alone. It struck me as odd. Maybe because I was a bit nervous being in Africa for the first time and traveling solo, but I had no intention of going to town by myself, particularly at night. I joked, “Yes, that would be dangerous”. He looked at me with a very serious face. “It’s the elephants”. Seeing the confusion on my face he continued, “The elephants walk through town at night, you could be trampled”. I didn’t know how to respond, “Uh, ok” I mumbled.


After hearing about the elephants I will admit I was concerned about going outside at any time of the day. I set out to make the trek to town, but following the directions of a fellow traveler, I got lost. I was unsure where I was, unable to speak the local language and in a country with it’s share of political issues. My heart starting racing. I approached a woman. She was kind, she provided directions to town and followed them with, “Be safe”. That certainly didn’t increase my confidence of the situation. I made it to town and started to feel drops. As I walked further it started “raining” harder. Only it wasn’t rain at all, the spray from Victoria Falls could be felt kilometres from the edge.

The spectacular rush of “The Smoke that Thunders” made the trip worthwhile, despite the apparent dangers. The awe-inspiring view is captivating. A massive volume of water flowing into the Zambezi river provides a breathtaking view, dividing Zimbabwe and Zambia. I was enticed by the magnitude of both the unfathomable quantity of water and the immense beauty of this natural attraction.

After staring at the grandness of the descent for hours I made my way back to the lodge. It was dusk as I walked to the edge of town. A taxi driver approached me and asked if I would like a ride. “No, it’s ok I will walk” I replied. “No, you shouldn’t walk, the buffalo will be out soon. It’s not safe”. I got into the taxi with visions of a parade of animals marching down the road after dark.