It’s up to you to create your future

Last August, at the time of my birthday, I was in the Rocky Mountains having a wonderful time. As usual, I spent some time thinking about my goals for the future.
When I came home, two friends took me out for a belated birthday luncheon. One brought beautiful flowers and the other a card decorated with crayons.
It read, “So many crayons, so little time. It’s your life—colour it any way you like. Have a happy one!”
Accompanying the card was a small cushion with the saying, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
What a wonderful way to begin the next year of my life. Colour my life any way I like and create my future the way I want it.
At the same time, I was reading a little book entitled “Serendipity of Success” by Joy Elise Macci.
Speaking of success, Macci said winners don’t let things happen, they make things happen. Then to my surprise, in the next sentence she referenced management guru Peter Drucker’s philosophy, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
So that’s where the cushion quote came from!
“Serendipity of Success” begins with Macci’s story. At age 20, she was a care-free, outgoing, honour student at the University of Arkansas. She was No. 1 on the tennis team and already had competed internationally.
Then one evening, in an instant, her life was turned upside down. She had a freak fall down a flight of stairs in her sorority house. Sirens blaring, the ambulance rushed her to the hospital, where she hovered between life and death.
Macci said that when she was released from the hospital, “It was so frustrating because the athletic, academic, and basic skills, that had been so effortless before, now seemed impossible.”
The next semester, she was able to return to school and was successful in tennis. But even with special help from her professors, she had trouble with academics and had to leave school. Her brain wasn’t sufficiently healed.
Now 20 years later, Macci holds a doctorate. She is an author, a business owner, a columnist, a consultant, and an international tennis and fitness specialist.
Macci understands what it takes to succeed—even against great odds.
“Serendipity of Success” is a workbook that leads you to examine your life by decades. Begin with childhood—write down three words that come to mind and remember a special story from that era.
Go on to your teens, then 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on. Describe the first event that comes to mind. What was your main focus in this decade? What were the activities that made you feel successful?
Looking back, watch for life patterns. Which of your personality characteristics have helped you succeed?
As you travelled down one path, perhaps it seemed that obstacles constantly got in your way. But did those obstacles lead to unexpected experiences of success?
Macci defines these lucky coincidences as serendipity: “being able to find something good while seeking something else.”
Look at your life patterns. Whatever your age or whatever your handicap, do you have the courage to take your misfortunes and turn them into launching pads for success?
Remember, it’s up to you to create the future you want.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit at

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