Claim This As Your Motto: Let It Be Me
By Author Donna Jean McDunn
What do these three things have in common with writing: Taekwondo, Weight Watchers and Mary Kay Cosmetics? If you’ve read my bio, then you know I became a third degree black belt in Songahm Taekwondo at the age of 58. During my years of training and teaching Taekwondo, there were several recurring themes for students and teachers alike and I soon learned that was also true for Mary Kay and Weight Watchers.
For Taekwondo: Commit to goals, Keep promises, Persevere through challenges, Honor those who surround you and Be loyal
For Weight Watchers: Set goals, Stay motivated, Make smart choices, Learn the program, and Learn to overcome obstacles
For Mary Kay Cosmetics: Set goals, Follow the Golden Rule, Pursue your dreams, Enthusiasm propels you forward to meet challenges and Have a “sharing and caring” attitude
Do you see the similar theme running throughout all of these as I did? Each set was designed to educate, encourage, motivate and overcome challenges. When the leaders talked about reaching goals, they would often ask, “What is your dream? Where do you want to be in five or ten years?”
My answer for Taekwondo was easy. I wanted to be a black belt and an instructor. The answer for Weight Watchers was also easy; I wanted to lose 40 pounds. But when it came to Mary Kay Cosmetics I wasn’t sure and I didn’t quite know why.
During my training for Taekwondo I set goals, persevered through the challenges, reached my goals, set new ones and kept my promises to myself never to give up. I honored those around me by showing respect, helping in whatever way I could and by doing this I brought not only honor, but also loyalty to the dojo and sensei. I worked hard and I am a black belt.
During those years of learning Taekwondo, I also needed to lose weight and I wanted to be sure I was as healthy as possible. I wasn’t getting any younger, you know. Taekwondo is a great exercise, but for me it wasn’t enough to lose all the weight I needed too.
Weight Watchers moved in next door to the dojo and I thought why not give it a whirl? So I joined. I began hearing a very familiar theme from the first day I attended, “set goals and with hard work and perseverance you’ll realize your dream.”
I already knew how to set goals and I knew it took work to reach them. I already understood I had to keep learning. The only difference now was instead of learning forms and free sparing; I needed to learn how to be a Weight Watcher.
Instead of breaking boards and side kicks, I needed to learn how to make smart choices, stay motivated and how to overcome obstacles in real life situations. I had to learn about nutrition and diet and exercise and how they go hand in hand with one another. Diet and nutrition without exercise or exercise without diet and nutrition, just doesn’t work for me.
After two years and oh so many obstacles and ups and downs, I had lost forty-five pounds. I worked hard, reached my goals and I am a Weight Watcher.
My oldest daughter introduced me to Mary Kay Cosmetics. She convinced me and my youngest daughter to join her in Mary Kay. I loved the product and I enjoyed the other women who attended the meetings and by selling it, I received a discounted price. So I was hooked and now I was hearing the same familiar tune of set goals, follow the golden rule, pursue your dreams, enthusiasm propels you forward to meet challenges and have a “sharing and caring” attitude.
The recurring theme of “Pursue your dream” first with Taekwondo and then with Weight Watchers and now with Mary Kay, always made me think of writing. When I was young that was my dream, but life got in my way and I thought I had missed my chance so I would push it out of my mind. I told myself I wasn’t any good at it anyway and no one would want to read anything I wrote. I told myself I was too old and I’d die before I ever got anything into print.
So whenever I heard someone say pursue your dreams (you hear it a lot more at Mary Kay meetings and seminars than you do anywhere else) I would ignore the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach and continued pursuing my goals in Mary Kay. I thought I could make enough money to quit my day job, set my own hours and still have time to write. But even though I loved the product and the people and Mary Kay Ash is someone I wish I could have known (she passed away in 2001), my heart wasn’t in it.
I didn’t need to quit my day job to be able to write and as it turned out, it was Mary Kay Ash who convinced me I should pursue my real dream.
I was watching a special on TV about her life and they showed her talking on stage to a huge audience at a seminar in DallasTX. These were her words:
“Do you know that within your power lies every step you ever dreamed of stepping and within your power lies every joy you ever dreamed of seeing? Within yourself lies everything you ever dreamed of being. Become everything that God wants you to be. It is within your reach. Dare to grow into your dreams and claim this as your motto: Let it be me.”
Of course she was talking about Mary Kay and becoming an Independent National Sales Director and earning a free pink Cadillac, but that’s not what I thought about when I heard those words. My head said, don’t be a fool, but my heart was screaming be a writer.
I still am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, but I don’t pursue it the way many do. I love and use the product and I know a few ladies who use it too. I put an order in once in awhile, just enough to stay active.
I’m also still a member of Songahm Taekwondo, although I no longer teach. I’m also a member of Weight Watchers, but instead of attending meetings. I attend online.
In my heart, I’m grateful to all three for everything I’ve learned. I don’t believe I’d be pursuing my dream today if I hadn’t been part of each one of them. Everything I’ve learned about pursuing writing as a career, I’ve already learned from Taekwondo, Weight Watchers and Mary Kay, well everything that is except how to show don’t tell.
When I need a dose of encouragement or want to tell someone about my newest writing project, I turn to the Internet and go where the writer’s are, in blogs, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and a dozen other sites. There’s no shortage of good advice, words of encouragement and best of all when I see the words “Pursue your Dreams” I can say, “I’ve worked hard and I am a writer.”
How about you? Are you pursuing your dream? Have you always had the same dream? How did you decide what your dream would be?
As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will like, follow you, or Tweet in return.
It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.
I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of the nine winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.
My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.
Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.
I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.
In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it.