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Tis the season for newsletters!

Two weeks ago I wrote about an article I had found in The Torch – the alumni magazine from the University of Victoria.

Today I received the alumni magazine from my un-high school. (There is a short story here. I went to boarding school for Grades 9-12. It was a girls’ private school, across the lake from the boys’ school. The girls’ school has since closed but as the boys’ school is now co-ed they have adopted us as alumni so their girls feel they have some history at the 100 year old bastion of learning!)

This edition of “The Report Card” was sub-titled : The Shawnigan Under 40. In this magazine, the editors interviewed a number of alumni under the age of 40 who have created successes in their lives and wanted to share their thoughts.

I was browsing fairly quickly as I knew that none of these names would be familiar, but then I focused in on the last comments of each interview. The sentence started thus: If I could give one piece of advice to my eighteen-year-old self, it would be…

As some of these young people graduated high school as recently as 2008, I was amazed at the maturity of their hindsight.  Let me share:

If I could give one piece of advice to my eighteen-year-old self, it would be…

…to focus on identifying and building a skill set and hone those abilities through practice. Find opportunities to invest in yourself. (Ryan Kalt)

I love this one because I often discuss my pursuit of on-line training as an investment in a commodity I have insider information on: myself!  Do you invest in yourself?


…don’t be afraid to dream big, despite the odds and all the people who tell you it won’t happen… work hard and always stay true to what your passion is and you can’t go wrong. (Alia Karmali)

Dream crushers seem to have a full-time job, no matter what age you are. I agree with Alia – stay true to your passion!  Have you?  Do you?


…to make the most of every experience, every opportunity. I have always had a tendency to “look forward,” to plan what’s next, and it sometimes means that I miss out on all the great things happening around me, right now. It’s something that I struggle with – but I’m learning. (Arwen Kidd)

Planning ahead seems to a habit we develop as we grow older. The longer I am online, however, the more I am appreciating the process. I learned this in a hurry the day I stopped and thought about all the “stuff” I have learned since I started. Wow! it was amazing and I decided that if I was going to grow so fast, I should enjoy every moment of it!  How often do you stop and “smell the roses”?


…to always ask for what you want. You’ll be amazed how often the answer is “yes,” and a clear “no” is better than a “what if.” (Jacqueline Flett)

Ain’t that the truth!!


…to take every opportunity that you get to do something different or that might take you out of your comfort zone…Life is about experience and you grow and learn every day through what you experience. (Eloise Blackwell)

We talk about our comfort zones… or how often we operate outside of them… a lot as we grow our businesses. But that verb is so important: GROW!!


…don’t be scared to dream…[don’t] put limits on what might be possible. Keep an open mind and follow your passions. (Omar Mawjee)

Now I don’t remember having this sort of insight when I was in my 20s. It was an era when education was possible, affordable, and there were “expectations”. I don’t ever remember being told to pursue my dreams.  Did anyone give you that advice?


…don’t be afraid to make mistakes; get out in the world, give it a shot and have fun. (Geoff Roth)

Both my personality and my up-bringing have not left a lot of room for “making mistakes” and that is not a good thing. Since coming online I have made my share of them and I have finally learned to laugh at myself and try, try again.  


…stick with it and never give in. Every decision to persevere through tough times is ultimately rewarded. (Taylor Termes)

This one fact has helped me climb proverbial mountains and slay the proverbial dragons.


…just enjoy life as it comes to you. Do something you love, not what other people would like you to do. It might not be the most lucrative way to live, but if you find something you love to do, the money will come. (Matt Horn)

Is this not why we are all here?


I hope you have been as impressed with the wisdom of these young people as I was. To learn these lessons at an age when you still have time to savour the moments of your life, not fly through them trying to accomplish, trying to live up to expectations, trying to be the success someone else thought you could be… is invaluable!

Sometimes I feel like I have forgotten so many of the important moments of my life.

Statistically speaking, I’m well past the halfway point of my life, but at least I have finally learned to slow down, relish and remember the moments.

Is there a quote above that spoke to you?

Are you investing in yourself? Dreaming big? Are you noticing the great things happening around you, right now? Are you asking for what you want? Moving outside your comfort zone?

Dream! Make mistakes! Stick with it! And enjoy life as it comes to you.

As we find another year entering its final weeks, these are my wishes for you.