“Not everyone has a plan that worked out” - Ed Dodig
September is here, and fall is just around the corner. All seasons are a fresh start in their own way, but autumn always brings me back to the feeling of excitement that comes with the start of a new school year. Fresh notebooks. Blank pages. New plans.
Have all your plans in life worked out? Mine certainly haven’t! And thank goodness for that - because if they had, my life would look completely different. That’s not to say that there weren’t disappointments and dark days along the way. Not every cloud has a silver lining…but not every plan is meant to work out, either.
With both my boys away at university, and my ongoing work with the Smith School of Business, I find myself thinking about all the students out there who are setting down a new path, or starting their professional lives. It’s also got me reflecting on how our society measures achievement - and the messages we all receive around what constitutes success.
All in all, I think we put too much emphasis on “Plan A”. It’s great to have a goal, and an idea of how to accomplish it, but I think we should remember that our first plan isn’t automatically the best plan. There’s tremendous value in learning how to keep an open mind, and adjust your thinking when you learn new things. And while we might all sigh at the sight of the word ‘pivot’, I think we can also all acknowledge that life is unpredictable!
Sometimes the goals we set - especially early in life - cease to serve us. We may outgrow them. We might realize that we don’t actually enjoy the day to day realities of a particular position or industry. We might simply find that some dreams are outside of our reach, for any number of reasons. Or we could discover a new dream we’d never considered!
At the end of the day, success is about being proud of the way you live your life, and being able to stand behind the decisions you make. You have the choice to create the life you want: choose wisely, with awareness based on the best information you have at your disposal. And don’t let pride get in the way of you changing direction or making a different choice.
So as we start this new season, and continue making plans for the future, I invite you to reframe the way you think about success. And remember - “Plan A” is just the first draft!
Accomplishing the Bruce Trail - One step at a time
Dreaming, setting, adjusting (and readjusting) to succeeding!
We did it! After several years of hiking, Jennifer Lennon and I have completed all 900+ kilometres of the Bruce Trail, which spans from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory. It is the longest marked trail in Canada! While I have received academic, business and leadership awards, this is my first athletic achievement, and I am so, so proud! Thank you to everyone who has been following our progress over the past 4 years! Check out my LinkedIn page, or search #GYECHikes to learn more!
A special thank you to the Bruce Trail Conservancy and all of the volunteers that work tirelessly preserving and maintaining this renowned foot path along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory so that future generations may enjoy all that the Bruce Trail has to offer. Our sincere gratitude!!
In case You Missed It: 'Roots and Wings' Article
A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on the phrase “Roots and Wings”, and the value of cultivating both…in others and in ourselves. Whether you’re a parent, a leader, or you’re on a journey of self-discovery, check out my latest article.
January 2023 marks the 10 year anniversary of launching my coaching practice. And as I shared leading up to my 50th birthday, I LOVE to celebrate!
So throughout all of January, I’ll be sharing memories, stories and lessons I’ve learned along the way.
“You’re not defined by your past; you’re prepared by it.
You’re stronger, more experienced, and you have greater confidence.”
- Joel Osteen