MAKE IT HAPPEN
By David Halstead
© 2007 All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or by any information
storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from author or publisher (except
by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages and/or show brief video clips in a review).
ISBN: 978-1-93359-675-4 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-60037-247-6 (Hardcover)
Morgan James Publishing, LLC
1225 Franklin Ave. Suite 325
Garden City, NY 11530-1693
Cover & Interior Design by:
Make it Happen: Create Your Career – Control Your Life is designed and written to
help senior students and other young adults gain a deeper understanding and greater insight
into themselves and the world of work so that they may make educated and informed deci-
sions which will foster and facilitate an appropriate or “right” career choice.
We are pleased to present what may be the most proﬁtable study program that you will
ever complete. Over thirty years of working with senior high school students and adults at
other stages of their career development has given us the opportunity to meet with thou-
sands of individuals who were making major decisions concerning their present and future
At a recent 40th anniversary high school reunion a collection of mini biographies was
put together. The importance of these biographies for you would have been to see the
growth and transition these people made from their original career starting points to what
they are doing now or have recently just ﬁnished doing. They were constantly re-inventing
themselves in small or large ways to enable themselves to be competitive within the job
market. The workplace does not stay static and these individuals made it their business to
constantly be in touch with the changes that were happening around and within their minds
and bodies and act accordingly.
• One person who became a policeman rose through the ranks, retired and is now a
consultant to police forces around the world.
• Another started out to teach string instruments in the K-12 school system but is now
refurbishing old string instruments for orchestras across North America.
• Still another worked in various business settings while completing a university de-
gree in education, taught for a few years and now owns her own business training
and consulting company.
• There was page after page of testaments of people who succeeded.
The biographies went on and on about how people had used their original interests,
talents and training to create fabulously rewarding and successful careers. Most of these
mature careers would never have identiﬁable to them as they were leaving high school.
The key for all of them was to get started in an area which seemed, at the outset, to be
appropriate and then develop additional personal and professional skills which further en-
hanced their potential of for success.
Putting A Monetary Value on “Make It Happen”
It is assumed that you will probably be in the work force for about 40 years.
If you are earning minimum wage and you keep earning minimum wage for the
next 40 years you might, if you work enough hours, have a life time earnings of about
$500,000 in today’s dollars
If you are in the upper part of mid range you may have life time earnings of about
$2,500,000 that is, 2.5 million in to day’s dollars.
And if you are in some upper level salary ranges you could have life time earnings of
between 4 and 8 million in today’s dollars.
Of course the sky might be the limit for you and life time earnings of 40 – 100 plus
million dollars might be a reality.
The point is that even if you spent 100 hours completing “Make It Happen” this
small investment in yourself could result in such great increases in your life time earn-
ings that each hour you spend could be worth $20,000 – $40,000 or even more. You
will never again be paid that much money for an hour’s work unless you are a highly
skilled professional athlete.
Our belief systems are largely shaped during childhood and throughout adolescence.
Sometimes a belief system can be very limiting to our personal growth. A belief system
ﬁlled with fears such as the fears of failure, of success, of being someway inferior, not be-
ing good enough or being unworthy will serve as an obstacle and prevent us from moving
forward with making the right choices.
A portion of this course is designed to help you gain a better insight into who you re-
ally are and to orient you into making the right choices and moving you forward toward
a better future. Instead of using your energy negatively, which can lead to failure, you
will be taught how to harness all of your energy positively and to channel it into achiev-
Searching for a career, although an extremely exciting prospect can be a daunting
task. Too many people concern themselves with the possibility of making the wrong
choices. Sometimes their questions are too narrow, too directed on immediate rewards
and too concerned with simple solutions. The questions often raised are:
iv MAKE IT HAPPEN
• What if I choose the wrong career path?
• What if there is not enough work in this ﬁeld?
• What employment provides the most promising opportunities?
• Should I focus on an area that is currently really hot?
• Is it worth my while to go to college or university?
• Would I have to upgrade my skills?
• What if I can’t break into the job market?
Identifying the Answers
We have all heard these and many more similar questions. Although the answers to
these questions don’t provide immediate solutions, they are fairly straightforward and
can give powerful suggestions.
• When you are dreaming your dreams, what do you envision yourself doing?
• What type of work really appeals to you?
• Talk about yourself by listing your best qualities.
• What do you consider to be your strengths—academically, athletically, artisti-
cally, interpersonally and all other aspects of life?
• What are your hobbies and other interests?
• What are your current and future perceptions of the job market?
• How do you see yourself taking control of your work life?
• How do you see your self taking control of all other aspects of life?
The answers to all of these questions are within you; the solutions rest within you
also. Together, our goal is to have you gain a better understanding of yourself and the
world around you. The primary target of this career creation exercise is to have you select
one or more sectors within the current job market and, thereafter, determine the place you
wish to carve for yourself within those sectors.
It is Your Decision
Ultimately, the decision must be yours. You must accept personal ownership. You
will be the one who will be able to live and full life and reach your potential as a conse-
quence of your choices. You will be able to carve out a career based on these choices. You
will be the one who will reap the beneﬁts and derive satisfaction as a result of the ﬁeld
of employment you will have chosen. Remember that every job is a bit or a lot different
from every other job even though the job title may be the same. Also remember a job is
not a career, it is simply one of the many action parts of a career.
You make the choice and you, then, must accept total responsibility for having made
that choice. It is also you who will ultimately experience the commitment to succeed to
your fullest potential. This program will not eliminate the possibility that you may make
a wrong decision or two along the way but it is designed to minimize their occurrence and
provide corrective procedures for errors in judgement.
As the adage goes, “It is better to make a mistake trying to achieve something
than to do nothing and achieve nothing.”
It is vital that you continue to challenge yourself, even at the risk of stumbling and of
making the odd mistake.
Since you will have made the decisions, have taken the actions and risks necessary
to succeed, it will be you who will have the satisfaction to bask in the sweet warmth of
success, your success.
Characteristics and Potentials
Most of us have a variety of characteristics and potentials greater than that we actu-
ally give ourselves credit. These will become apparent through this program and you will
realize what a truly unique and amazing person you are and that you will be able to suc-
ceed in any of those areas which you will have chosen.
The skills and techniques which you will learn through this program will not only
serve your immediate needs but will prove useful throughout your life, as you use them
throughout your professional and personal journey.
The Final Answer or Answers
Upon completion of Make It Happen, you will have gained the ability to answer
important questions about yourself and about how you picture yourself in related job
Please be aware that two or more career options may appeal to you and that, as you
gather more information, you will be able to make more educated choices regarding cru-
vi MAKE IT HAPPEN
cial decisions about your career and the rest of your life. Some times careers will overlap
and you will be able to apply your interests and skills to YOUR CAREER which actually
involves two separate career areas.
Good luck, and may your endeavours bring you happiness and a life of comfort and
viii MAKE IT HAPPEN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction and Overview...............................................................................................xi
Chapter 1 LOOKING AT THE “MAKE IT HAPPEN” PROGRAM........................................1
Chapter 2 CAREER AND WORKPLACE MYTHS AND REALITIES....................................11
Chapter 3 THE REALITIES OF TALENTS..........................................................................15
Chapter 4 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.......................................................................19
Chapter 5 I WILL BE, UNLIMITED..................................................................................23
Chapter 6 VISIONS, MISSIONS, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES...........................................27
Chapter 7 OPENING THE “DOORS OF LIFE”: USING YOUR SPECIAL “MASTER KEYS”...35
Chapter 8 THE ANALOGY OF DOORS........................................................................39
Chapter 9 DOOR 1 UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF “MORE”........................................43
Chapter 10 DOOR 2 INTELLECTUAL POTENTIAL............................................................47
Chapter 11 DOOR 3 YOUR PERSONALITY: ANOTHER LOOK........................................61
Chapter 12 DOOR 4 PERSONAL INTERESTS..................................................................67
Chapter 13 DOOR 5 CHECKING OUT YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES.................................81
Chapter 14 DOOR 6 CHECKING OUT LIFE STYLES........................................................87
Chapter 15 DOOR 7 RICH AND NOT HAVING TO WORK: WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES?.97
Chapter 16 DOOR 8 MEASURING SUCCESS BY YOUR STANDARDS...........................101
Chapter 17 DOOR 9 UNDERSTANDING THE WORK PLACE.......................................105
Chapter 18 DOOR 10 YOUR JOBS -THE GOOD , THE FAIR, THE BAD AND THE UGLY..111
Chapter 19 DOOR 11 USING THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES.........................................115
Chapter 20 DOOR 12 EMPLOYER – EMPLOYEE EXPECTATIONS.................................121
Chapter 21 DOOR 13 CHANGES CAUSE CHANGES. YOU CAN’T STAND STILL!..........129
Chapter 22 DOOR 14 THE REALITIES OF MOTIVATION................................................137
TABLE OF CONTENTS ix
Chapter 23 GETTING CLOSER TO THE ANSWER...........................................................143
Chapter 24 DOOR 15 ATTITUDES: MAKERS OR BREAKERS OF SUCCESS.....................147
Chapter 25 DOOR 16 MANAGING YOUR TIME, ENERGY AND INITIATIVE...................153
Chapter 26 DOOR 17 PUTTING YOUR JOB SEEKING INFORMATION TOGETHER.........159
Chapter 27 DOOR 18 BUILDING AND USING YOUR RESUME......................................169
Chapter 28 DOOR 19 THE INTERVIEW........................................................................177
Chapter 29 DOOR 20 THE BASIC FACTS ABOUT EDUCATION....................................183
Chapter 30 BUILDING YOUR OWN STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.........................191
Chapter 31 CHOOSING A POST SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM.....................195
Chapter 32 DOOR 21 HOW MUCH EDUCATION WILL YOU COMPLETE?...................203
Chapter 33 DOOR 22 ENTREPRENEURSHIP................................................................215
Chapter 34 WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR TO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE....................219
x MAKE IT HAPPEN
Personality is one of the aspects of our being which makes us unique. Each of us is
the product of a large and varied gene pool. We are, to a great extent, creatures of chance
and, except for those who have an identical twin each of us is signiﬁcantly different from
everyone else in the world.
This difference must be recognized as a strength, since it allows us to carve out a
niche for ourselves—one which will give us a sense of satisfaction and well being.
Knowledge of your personality type can help you understand why certain activities
and situations leave you feeling either comfortable or uncomfortable in a given situation.
It is imperative to learn as much about oneself as possible in order to facilitate the
choices we must inevitably make, especially choices relating to career, for they will inﬂu-
ence everything else in our lives.
It is the aim of Make It Happen to equip the reader with the tools and strategies which
will enable each one to make informed choices about crucial decisions—decisions which
will yield tremendous beneﬁts or demand a heavy toll.
The following questionnaire will initiate some insights into your personality and thus
begin the journey into the Knowledge of the Self.
EXERCISE: PERSONAL BEHAVIOUR PROFILE
Current job Title:
Current job Description:
OJ 1 Title:
OJ 1 Description:
OJ 2 Title:
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xi
OJ 2 Description:
OJ 3 Title:
OJ 3 Description:
If you have had more than four jobs, take a blank sheet of paper and complete the
exercise. Use your experiences from the jobs you have to help you answer the ques-
tions in the following sections.
It would be a good idea to complete the following exercise for each one of the jobs
you have listed above.
Do you make things happen or do you wait/analyze?
Are you or were you proactive? Do you anticipate things happening and make plans ac-
cordingly. Give examples.
Are you or were you reactive? Do you respond to things as they happen and adapt ac-
cordingly. Give examples.
What did you want in this job?
Direction 1: Why are the above criteria important to you? How might they help you
xii MAKE IT HAPPEN
Direction 2: How might they help you to focus on choosing a career?
Did you move toward a challenge? By attaining, gaining, achieving, overcoming, striv-
ing? Give examples.
Did you move away from a challenge? By avoiding, excluding, recognizing a problem
and leaving? Give examples.
Did you do both? What were the circumstances?
Emotions and the Workplace
Think of a work project that gave you trouble. What were the circumstances?
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xiii
Did you go into and stay with feelings, re-live feelings? Yes or No? Example(s).
Did you use choice, that is did you go into and out of feelings? Yes or No?
Did you see yourself as a thinker and never go into feelings? Yes or No?
Style (Human Environment):
Think of a work experience that incorporated your personal criteria for a workplace.
What did you like about it?
Is there as a good a ﬁt as you had expected? Yes or No? Why or Why Not?
Organization (Your Focus):
What did you like about the work experience?
Was it a People thing? That is, did people, feelings, reactions really matter, if so why?
Was it a Bottom Line Process environment? Were tools, ideas, process, systems the BIG
focus? If so how did it affect you?
xiv MAKE IT HAPPEN
Were both organization styles in play? If so how did this affect you?
How do you apply rules?
Do you prefer Rule Style #1 Good way (?) to increase your chances for success:
MY / MY – My rules for me; my rules for you.
MY / ?? – My rules for me; who cares what others do?
Do you prefer Rule Style # 2 Good way (?) for someone else to increase chances for
?? / MY – I’m not sure for my own rules for me; but sure about my rules for you.
MY / YOUR – My rules for me; your rules for you.
How did you become convinced about the nature of this workplace?
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xv
How did you know that someone else, a colleague, for instance, was good at his job?
How did you recognize good job performance?
Convincer Mode: How did you process information in order to become convinced?
How many times did a co-worker demonstrate abilities before you become convinced
that they are doing a good job?
Source – How do you know that you have done a good job?
Internal – instinctive, internal sense of knowing. If so examples?
External – need to be told by others; need evaluation, facts and ﬁgures. If so examples?
Both. If so examples?
Why did you choose your present job? Reasons:
Options – criteria, choice, possibilities. If so, explain.
xvi MAKE IT HAPPEN
Procedures – promotional hype, no choice, necessity. If so, explain.
Both. If so give examples.
Job Perceptions – What is the relationship between what you are doing now on your job
and what you did a year ago on your job?
Same, no change
Change, new, unique
Not seeking change (content with current situation)
Scope and Vision – How do you visualize yourself at your job?
What type of visualization do you use?
Speciﬁc – exact details and sequences.
General – random, big picture.
Now that you have completed these proﬁles, please take time to study your responses
so that you can begin to have a better understanding of the type of individual that you are
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xvii
in terms of personality, direction, and motivation; for example, do you prefer a group set-
ting or do you work better alone? Are you the type of person that enjoys doing the same
thing all the time or do you prefer periodic change?
Gaining insight into yourself will provide a better opportunity to choose an appropri-
ate career that will be both lasting and fulﬁlling.
• Example 1: A person who enjoys freedom, who likes change and who prefers to
work alone may want to choose a career within the business industry, possibly in
sales, with the possibility of becoming self-employed.
• Example 2: A person to whom security is important may want to choose a career
that provides stability and is enduring, such as medicine or law.
• Example 3: A person whose sense of security depends on doing the same thing
all the time may be comfortable within the industrial sector in something like
production line work.
The results of this proﬁle should now enable you to proceed more easily to other parts
of this book. this book.
As you understand yourself better, it will be easier for you to make appropriate
career choices. You can be encouraged in the thought that the choices that you will be
making will be coming from a place of understanding and comfort; you can focus all
of your energy, free from worry, and become excited with what future career prospects
hold for you.
A 2 – Motivational Keys to Excellence
Motivation is the drive and ability to accomplish a speciﬁc task with energy, excite-
ment, passion and enthusiasm.
Unmotivated people often have obstacles that prevent them from approaching tasks
with spontaneous energy. These people may have set unrealistic goals, may have not
deﬁned their goals, or may simply not enjoy the task at hand, whether in their academic,
professional, or personal lives. There may be an underlying problem that impedes them
from being motivated toward working at their optimum potential. Relationships, ﬁnanc-
es, or illness can often prevent an individual from being properly motivated with the task
at hand because, quite simply, their minds are focused elsewhere.
The combined expertise of the authors of Make It Happen will equip you with the
necessary tools to understand and to deal with issues that may be blocking motivation.
Once properly equipped to solve related issues, a person is then better equipped to be-
xviii MAKE IT HAPPEN
come and to stay motivated to attain their ultimate goal, which is usually deﬁned by their
highest value—for example, security, safety, freedom, or peace of mind.
From the time you get up in the morning, you need to motivate yourself. Visualize
your great accomplishments for that particular day. See your day as being connected to
everything else in your life.
You can be motivated either by moving toward something or by moving away from
• Toward – positive, pleasure, reward, goals achieved. This type of person decides
to take a break as a reward for completing a task; picks friends who will be stimu-
lating; makes career decisions with great opportunity in mind.
• Away from – negative, avoidance of pain and discomfort. This type of person
decides to take a break to get away from a task; picks friends who are similarly
unmotivated, who will not be bothersome or upsetting; makes career choices only
when forced to do so. Unmotivated people require others to make decisions for
them and to give them directions.
Both of these motivational aspects are useful in different situations. For example,
when you exercise and sweat, you take a shower to get away from the muscular stress,
sweat and odour. Or, when a room becomes too hot, you lower the heat in a reaction to
the discomfort of excessive heat.
Good questions to determine how you are motivated would be:
• Are you poverty conscious or prosperity conscious? Would your career choice
be motivated to “not live” in poverty or would your career choice be motivated to
“live” in the best possible manner.
• Are you motivated by the fear of poverty or by the possibilities of becoming
wealthy? In the ﬁrst case you may want to take work which has a level of security
but with limited potential for growth. In the second you are willing to risk and
keep moving ahead.
• Are you moving from poverty or moving to wealth? In the ﬁrst case you are al-
ways looking over your shoulder and hoping poverty will not catch you. In the
second you are able to focus on your “unlimitedness.” Remember “I Will Be
There is a big difference! Individuals who are motivated by “away from” often
experience a lot of pain and worry before they become motivated. These are people who
are largely externally motivated and depend on outside sources to keep them going.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xix
Those people who are “toward” focused are motivated by internal forces or their own
internal drives to succeed. Who are you?
Caution: Do not let the stress or anxiety get too high before YOU react. Stress causes
your brain to reduce its capacity to think in large conceptual terms. Stress will interfere
with internal motivation.
Ask yourself: What are my goals? What is important to me?
A fulﬁlling job?
The best possible salary?
Personal (innate) values?
Note: Personal values are often the product of one’s family, local environment or
culture. It is important that you know who or what is driving your own personal values.
Then set your goals. What is important about that goal? What is the value I treasure
in this goal? What meaning do the following have for me:
Ability to Accept Challenge,
Acceptance by Others,
Personal Security in terms of being competitive,
Creation or Ownership of a project,
Note: It is important to live up to and within your values since values inﬂuence inter-
A 3 Examples of Values.
“Moving toward” values: love, intimacy, success, freedom, security, power, passion,
adventure, comfort, health, peace of mind, existence.
xx MAKE IT HAPPEN
“Moving away” values: rejection, anger, frustration, loneliness, depression, failure, hu-
Think of the values that you want to make life more attractive. Visualize them. If you
want to move toward something, make it bigger, closer, higher, with more dimensionality
and richly saturated with brilliant colours.
Note: The brain cannot distinguish between real and virtual images. Therefore the
visions you create for yourself can very easily become real if you put the necessary en-
ergy into the exercise.
Think of the values that you want to avoid. Again, visualize them but this time visu-
alize the value you want displaced with a substitute. For example if you want to erase
anger about a speciﬁc situation visualize your self being calm and focused on a solution.
The brain needs substitutes.
A.4. Elements of Excellence
If you want to excel at a given task, you must commit. You must make a commit-
ment to focus totally on executing your best performance under the most demanding
• Set a goal and commit yourself to executing your task with the highest quality
of effort. Compare yourself to the marathon runner who focuses on reaching the
ﬁnish line that is twenty-six miles and 385 yards from the starting point.
• Stimulate execution of individual aspects of the task at hand, this will provide
the drive to persevere. You will be like the marathon runner who must keep with
the race strategy. Focus on smaller successes and smaller strategies as you move
toward the bigger goal.
• Remain connected to the goal – focus is the key. Your brain has the capacity to
visualize you succeeding. This visualization will only remain if you keep mak-
ing progress to that goal.
• Recognize and acknowledge distractions and release them. There will often be
external and internal thoughts that might take you off course. Frequently friends,
and even family, will tell you that you may not reach your goal or reaching your
goal isn’t worth the hassle. Most of these people just want to hold you back.
Sometimes you may have self-doubts. Stop, measure your progress, dismiss
these doubts and start moving again..
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xxi
• Respect the importance to your goal of your supporters. There are many people
who have or will help you achieve your goal. Acknowledge their contributions and
thank them for their care and concern.
• Realize that everyone needs support and that much can be accomplished by having
a good support network. It is important to development a group who can give you
direction, insight and other forms of assistance as you strive to meet your goals.
Also give of yourself. You can beneﬁt greatly by helping others succeed.
• Trust your instincts for guidance and draw on all of your inner resources and
strengths for empowerment. Your inner self-conﬁdence, your intelligence and your
emotional drive must all be engaged. You will begin to feel as if you are a massive
force moving to a speciﬁc location.
Set your goal. First, you must set a goal, a speciﬁc task or outcome toward which
you will aspire and work. Set up your goal with a sense of commitment and strong
desire. Any goal achievement requires effort and, in order to produce the required
effort, one must be committed. This drive combined with concentration or focus
enables one to maintain a connection to the goal set.
Manage distractions. Along that path of achievement, however, there will cer-
tainly be distractions. We must not allow these to deter us. Instead, recognize them
for what they are—temporary detours—and continue to forge ahead.
Respecting others, no matter how determined and competent a person may be, one
does not journey alone in the quest for excellence or in its achievement. Respecting
and acknowledging the contributions of others is very important. Fundamentally,
everyone is equipped to achieve their perception of excellence. Often, however,
doubt and lack of conﬁdence can set in and can cause one to lose sight of goals.
Learning to trust your instincts will empower you with the conviction necessary to
realize your ultimate goal: excellence and success within an academic environment
and, thereafter, in a suitable career choice.
The goal(s) we are setting here is appropriate decision-making on the road to excel-
lence, its pursuit, and its achievement. Actually, you will come to realize that even
striving for excellence is in itself excellence.
Certain principles have proven time and time again to be the foundation of success-
ful decision- Getting in Touch with Yourself.
xxii MAKE IT HAPPEN
Mental Relaxation – inner calm, the ability to focus clearly on details in the
This component is dependent both on your ability to recognize tension and on your
ability to create and maintain a relaxed state voluntarily.
Physical Relaxation – feelings of warmth, ﬂuid movements, body responds di-
rectly and precisely to drive to the goal. This component is also dependent both
on your ability to recognize tension and on your ability to create and maintain a
relaxed state voluntarily; mental and physical relaxation are intertwined.
Conﬁdent/Optimistic – high expectation of success; recognition of challenge and
excitement; response to idea of accepting a challenge; feelings of strength and con-
trol. These positive emotions depend on being certain that you are engaged in an
activity in which you experience high drive impact.
Focused on Present – sense of harmony; mind and body working together; sense
of performing automatically, without conscious or deliberate mental effort. This
requires maintaining focus and concentration and being engaged in activities which
enable you to work toward goals with high expectation of success.
Highly Energized – associated with feelings of joy, intensity; feeling “charged” or
Sleep and nutrition, combined with positive emotions and being focused in the
present, are all associated with high energy.
Extraordinary Awareness – an acute awareness of people, the ir abilities and how
they think; mental impressions rather than analysis; a sensation of being completely
in harmony with one’s environment.
Establishing harmony between the activity and your mental image of the activity
creates a sense of acute awareness of every detail of the set goals.
In Control – body-mind unit seems to respond to the environment and to process
information in the most efﬁcient and appropriate ways possible; no sense of exert-
ing or imposing control, although everything is happening as you wish it to happen.
Control comes about through a combination of being engaged in activities that
have high drive impact, being relaxed and open to the experience, and having men-
tally rehearsed the activity so that mind and body seem to respond directly to your
In the Zone – feelings of having complete access to all one’s powers and skills;
feelings of detachment from external environment, though acutely aware of every-
thing associated with a task at hand; a feeling of invulnerability.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xxiii
A.5. Proactive Quest for Excellence
• Avoid the cycle of poverty. Don’t settle for any low-paying job, rather, use this
level of income only when necessity demands it. Living within the cycle of pov-
erty is like living poorly inside a glass house. You can see others living well but
you can’t get out to live with them. The cycle of poverty is not only an economic
reality but it is also an emotional one.
• Break from what may be family traditions. It is not necessary that you carry
on the family business if it is not truly what you want or have the talents to do.
Too many people have become enslaved inside their family’s business. They tend
to live a life of unfulﬁllment. They never know whether they could have been
successful in other activities that may have been more suitable.
• Explore your wishs to develop your fullest potential. Explore your innate
talents and abilities that lie within you. Many of these are still to be discovered.
Our brains are not able to know what we like or can do unless we make every
effort to experience a variety of work or study situations. Analyze every job and
discover the “WOW” parts within each. These “WOW” parts are the ones that ﬁt
your interests and abilities.
• Fulﬁll your desire to work in a non-traditional job. Your passion to succeed
in a non-traditional occupation, if it is your true calling, will overcome resistance
in the workplace. It is very important to know that gender does not restrict one’s
abilities, interests and personality. Go with your strengths.
• Achieve your dream. Visualize yourself moving forward on the path of the
realization of your dream career. Your brain has the capability to create visu-
alizations that are so powerful they cannot be distinguished from reality. These
visualizations can be an incredible force in helping you achieve your dream.
EXERCISE. Complete the sentence.
My dream, vision, quest or ultimate goal is to
The big question is “What will I do with the rest of my life?” (Please do not think of
yourself as a “What”. Think of yourself as a person doing or will be doing a particular
type of work.)
The major keys to achieving success in a job or career search are:
Knowledge of Self – awareness of your talents and interests, your personality
type, further skills and desires
xxiv MAKE IT HAPPEN
Knowledge of the Choice-Making Process – how to combine the knowledge of
oneself and the workplace to your personal and professional advantage.
Knowledge of the Job Market – existing ﬁelds of employment, income levels,
future demands, skills required.
Your Ability and Willingness to Make a Choice – your commitment to grow
The material presented in Make It Happen is designed to assist you in putting to-
gether the “complete package” of your:
Talents. It is important to know the kinds of talents you have. For example, are
you skilled in the use of language or mathematics? Do you have good eye-hand
coordination or are great at interacting with people? There are many more talents
that you may have. Try to determine what they are and use this information to
help chose a career.
Interests. When you go though the exercises you will ﬁnd that you have certain
dominant interests. For example, you like working out doors, or you like the
challenge of selling merchandise or ideas or you like to work with you hands.
Note the repeated use of the word like.
Personal preferences. These can be considered the combining of interests and
talents. For example, you may have strong abilities in managing or working with
people and you really like cars or other aspects of the automotive industry. With
this knowledge you may start investigating careers such as managing an automo-
tive dealership, or services sales manager or company representative.
Personality. Knowing your personality traits such as introversion or extrover-
sion can be critical to making a career decision. But you must be careful. Some
times we tend to generalize and think that being an extrovert is essential for cer-
tain jobs such as teaching, sales or marketing. Actually introverts can be equally
successful when they adopt an approach which works for them.
Workplace information. As you gather information about workplaces either
through part-time jobs or through study you will start to decide on the kinds of
environments which are attractive to you. There may also be health and safety
issues that you should be take into account.
Trends in the workplace. Technology is changing how we work and the kinds of
materials and equipment we work with. Computers may make some aspects of
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW xxv
work easier but they also allow us to do more research and increase the accuracy
of our work. For example, the computers in our new cars may control or monitor
300+ different aspects of the car’s operation. The service technician must be able
to effectively use a computer analysis in order to repair a customer’s vehicle.
xxvi MAKE IT HAPPEN
2 MAKE IT HAPPEN
There are two ways in which you can view the program that this book entails and the ex-
ercises that form the process of learning and changing your strategy in life. First, you can
view the process as assembling a “jigsaw puzzle”, with each piece representing part of
you and your workplace; or, second, you can view the career search process as a “jour-
ney,” where each part of the journey is a discovery that adds to your knowledge about
yourself and the workplace. You may wish to collect a series of writings called “reality
checks” or “summations.” These will give you the opportunity to gather your thoughts
as you move into the ﬁnal decision-making process.
No matter how you may view the steps of the process—whether as pieces of a puzzle
or as signposts along a journey—they can be compartmentalized into “vision,” “mis-
sion,” and “goals and objectives.”
Within each compartment are vital questions.
In “vision,” you must ask yourself “What do I imagine my life to be like?”
When identifying you “mission,” the key questions are “Who am I?”, “Where am I
now?”, and “What is it that I want to do?”
Finally, in setting your “goals and objectives,” ask yourself “What is my plan of ac-
tion, both in the short- and long-term?”
To clearly illustrate how the pieces of your puzzle or the signposts of your journey
will ﬁt into the processes in this workbook, do this quick exercise using pen and paper.
1. On a plain sheet of paper, placing a pen at the centre of the page, draw a spiral that
has four or ﬁve revolutions.
2. The from the centre point of the spiral, draw ﬁve straight lines to the outside of the
page, dividing the spiral up like a pie.
3. Write the ﬁve questions—What is my mission?” Where am I now?, Who am I?,
What is my vision?, What is my action plan?—one in each sector of the spiral.
When you look at this drawing, you will see that every time the spiral cuts through
a section, the length of the arc is longer. This represents an increase in the amount of
knowledge in this area. Learning is precisely this: the increase of knowledge through
research, study, and the analysis of results. This is where Make It Happen is designed
to take you. For every time that you do one of the exercises in this book, you will become
LOOK AT THE “MAKE IT HAPPEN” PROGRAM 3
more knowledgeable. Soon you will possess a better understanding of yourself and the
world of employment, thus enabling you to control your entry into the workplace.
The sections in this workbook have been laid out in a way that will help you to pro-
ceed through the discovery process in an orderly fashion. It is similar to peeling an onion:
every layer removed reveals a new layer. Of course, you have complete freedom on how
you wish to proceed through this book.
Reasons not to succeed.
Many people are convinced that they will not be able to succeed because of discour-
aging messages from their school system, from parents, from friends, and from employ-
ers. They absorb this negativity to such a degree that soon the pattern is engrained and
they believe that they are destined o be working at a level much below their potential.
They believe that they cannot succeed. You must rid yourself of those thoughts.
Reasons to succeed.
The truth is that you possess the potential for great success. You are limited only
by how you view yourself and by your willingness to act to meet your goals. It is always
possible for you to expand you abilities and skills.
Sadly, it is also a truth that very few people ever reach their full potential. They give
up too soon, thereby limiting themselves and their achievements. You can enjoy a full
and productive life, but you need to believe that you can and act accordingly.
Two most dreaded questions asked to every young person are “What did you learn
in school today?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The ﬁrst question is difﬁcult. We seldom really know what we have learned. As for the
second question, an interesting predicament lies in it. In truth, you may never grow up.
• You will always be you.
• You are not a “what”, you are a “who”.
• You must always keep learning and developing.
There is no magical age when one day you discover that you are “grown up.” The
great comedian George Burns while in his 80’s is quoted as saying he wasn’t sure when
he became grown up, but he knew he was still having pimples at age 65. Many people
don’t even begin to develop untapped talents until well past the so-called age of retire-
ment. Speaking of George Burns, he was 77 when he began a whole new career as a
4 MAKE IT HAPPEN
dramatic actor in “The Sunshine Boys,” a role for which he received an Academy Award.
Colonel Saunders started KFC when he was 65. So don’t pain about the “ﬁnality” of be-
Society attaches certain events and circumstance to the idea of being grown up. Some
of the common ones may include:
• Married with children and a large mortgage. As a young person you may have
difﬁculty projecting yourself 10-15 years into the future. This might lead you
to be afraid of accepting the challenges of being responsible for a family and all
their needs. However, this is what mature men and women do on a daily basis.
• Having a good paying job. Having such a job can give you the ﬂexibility to live
life with some sense of freedom. You can purchase a nice house, clothes or car,
travel to exotic places etc. It is important though that the good paying job also
gives you personal satisfaction.
• Being 35 years of age. There is no magic in being 35 but many people have made
considerable inroads in establishing their career by that time. They also may be
ready to make a major advancement with their company or venture out on their
• Ah sixteen and having the freedom a driver’s license affords. But with this
freedom comes the responsibilities of caring for a vehicle, driving safely and
protecting your self and others from injury. Maturity usually combines increased
freedom with increased responsibility. And that is good.
• Graduating from high school, college, university, trade school or wherever
SHOULD be considered as graduating to the next level of life with a new set of
skills, aspirations and challenges. Celebrate and then move on.
• Moving away from home. When you assume responsibility for taking care of
yourself in your own apartment or house you are really becoming mature. No
more mother’s cooking or washing and ironing, no more free food but also no
more parental restrictions. Freedom, responsibility and maturity.
As you can see, being grown up is not well-deﬁned in Western culture—neither
age nor education seem to deﬁne “grown up” adequately. In some cultures, manhood
is marked by completing certain rituals which are often conducted during the age of
puberty. In these cultures, once you are considered to be grown up, you are required to
assume a certain adult role in society.
In our Western culture, there really are no clear lines anymore, except perhaps when
one reaches the age of 16 and is able to obtain a driving license. Or, perhaps, when one
LOOK AT THE “MAKE IT HAPPEN” PROGRAM 5
reaches the age at which voting ids possible or consumption of alcohol is legal. What is
important to recognize, however, is that both of these events favour limited responsibil-
ity. These “milestones” do not require the individual to make signiﬁcant contributions to
the family or community.
“Who will I become when I grow up?” you ask yourself. You will still be you,
but you will have a whole new set of skills. Again, it is the purpose of this workbook to
provide an opportunity for you to ask meaningful questions about yourself and ﬁnd some
As you become older, it becomes more probable to have gained some advantage
from work and life experiences; however, this is only a probability. For instance, your
workplace experiences may not have been positive. You may have family commitments
which you feel may have limited you. You may believe that, because of your age or other
commitments, you no longer have the ﬂexibility to re-learn or to re-train.
But take heed: your life experience can be used to motivate you to greater, more de-
cisive action to bring you the life you desire.
Since you will be working most likely until at least the age of 65, you absolutely must
ask yourself whether or not these years will provide meaningful and satisfying work in
your life. Consider also if you are working in an area that is using your gifts and talents
to allow you to reach your personal desires and ﬁnancial goals.
When considering your remaining years of work, you may certainly be confronted by
some potentially discouraging question.
• What will the 21st century be like? Change will be the key word. But then
change has been with us since the 18th century. You will have the potential to
adapt to change if you keep learning, keep reﬁning your skills and keep paying
attention to what is happening in your career area.
• What if I make a mistake? There are only two types of serious mistakes you
can make. The ﬁrst is not to try to get your career going and the second is that if,
by chance, you select a career which does not work for you, you refuse to ﬁnd a
new career or make adaptations to your current career. No one is perfect!
• How can I know what lies ahead? Actually you don’t, anymore than you know
what you might ﬁnd on the highway as you round the next curve. The only thing
you can do is be as prepared as possible and be able to adapt as needed.
• Will I be smart enough to handle the challenges? Your level of “smartness”
is in your control. Your brain is not “ﬁxed”, it will become “smarter” when you
learn and experience more. The harder you work, the smarter you become.
6 MAKE IT HAPPEN
Daunting, to be sure, but think about it. Do you know for certain what will happen to-
morrow? Of course not. Even the laws of physics say that you cannot know, but you carry
on living today and assume that you are prepared for tomorrow. You can only prepare as
well as possible.
It’s a best guess that the job market of the 21st century will be volatile. You can be
certain that the economy will continue to change. You can, therefore, be sure that many
jobs available today may not be as accessible in a few years from now, at least not in the
same form. You can safely assume that you will be required to be much more accountable
for yourself than your parents’ generation in terms of beneﬁts, retirement plans and your
own personal development. Remember that, although the job market will change, so will
the population and the needs of that population. Realize that the opportunities for you are
enormous. Your generation is the ﬁrst to experience rewarding employment opportunities
as a result of having the required skills. In North America there is a shortage of skilled
people in almost every occupation due to baby boomers retiring and lower birth rates.
Scientists have discovered that, when the brain is properly stimulated, its capacity
for learning is greatly increased, becoming much more capable to gather, process and re-
tain knowledge. In other words, the more education one receives, the greater the growth.
Remember education comes in many forms.
Your potential lies here. You can actually grow smarter, increasing your competitive
edge. By believing in yourself, by taking meaningful active steps, and by working proac-
tively, you can become extremely successful.
The responsibility of making decisions about your future belongs uniquely to you.
By becoming proactive, by being in control you can accomplish six important steps.
1. Avoid the cycle of poverty.
How many people do you know who grabbed the ﬁrst job they could get and
stayed with it for the rest of their lives? Minimum-wage jobs yield income that
is always below the poverty line. Families on minimum wages often use food
banks just to survive. Children who grow up in these homes tend to do less well
in school, repeat the poverty cycle, have poorer health, and possess lower self-
esteem. Nobody wishes this kind of lifestyle upon himself.
There are thousands of low-paying jobs available for you right now but, equally,
there are many high-income jobs available, too. Now, a low-paying job may be a
temporary necessity to meet immediate needs, but do not become trapped by it.
The high-income jobs are out there, too, and it is “Make It Happen’s” goal to
teach you to access them readily and conﬁdently.
LOOK AT THE “MAKE IT HAPPEN” PROGRAM 7
2. You can break from the family tradition.
There are many family businesses which pass from generation to generation.
Economic climates change, however, and the small business which provided a
good living 25 years ago may today not provide the same level of security. To
illustrate, I know of a three-generation family business which was abandoned by
the fourth generation. In fact, the third generation son wanted to pursue a career
as a pharmacist, but was pressured by his father to stay with the family store. To
cite a more personal example, this author is the ﬁrst son in at least six generations
of sons who is not nor has ever been a farmer.
3. You can achieve your wish to develop your fullest potential.
You feel that within you exist possibilities that have never been shown, talents
and abilities never expressed. Perhaps in school and during your adolescence,
your potential went undervalued. Now you want to prove to yourself and others
who did not believe in you that they were wrong.
4. You can fulﬁll your desire to work at a non-traditional job.
Society has made progress but sexism still exists in many workplaces and is a
stumbling block for many people who want to work in a non-traditional job. If
a non-traditional occupation is what you wish to pursue, go for it! The passion
to succeed in an occupation that you recognize as your true calling will in most
cases overcome the resistance in the workplace. Charlotte Whitten, the ﬁrst fe-
male mayor of Ottawa, once wrote, “Any woman can succeed if she is twice as
smart and works twice as hard as her male counterparts and the good news is that
is not difﬁcult.”
5. You can achieve your dream.
People who have dreams of what they want from their lives are able to vi