by Sylvia Walker, author of SmartWoman
Every now and then I come across someone who has a burning desire to write a book. Whether it’s to see their name in print, or to achieve some kind of status that goes along with being a published author, it’s a serious bucket list item for many. This always takes me back to my own situation and how I fell into the world of writing books. I use the word “fell”, because it was never a burning desire of mine to write a book. Although I had written a fair amount of material in my professional career, I had never considered the idea that I might be an author at some point. I had not even studied languages at university.
My journey happened almost by accident – it was only when an opportunity presented itself to me and I grabbed it with both hands that I ended up being a published author. This opened up a whole new world for me, and I built on this experience, going on to writing three more books. Once I knew I could, and once I knew how good it felt, I was eager to repeat the process!
So I often wonder - do we achieve success in life because of our desires and goals, or does the universe play a role? Can we be anything we want to be, or are our paths laid out before us as if in invisible ink, making itself visible at selected times?
I was recently at a meeting of professional speakers, of which I am a member, and we had breakaway group discussions on various topics. Our table discussed “how to find your niche” and I commented that I thought your niche found you. That seemed to be the wrong answer, as the group leader thought that finding your niche meant identifying something that people are prepared to pay for, and then delivering that aspect. It’s a very valid perspective when one is talking about being a well paid professional speaker, but says little about authenticity. But that’s a subject for another whole discussion!
But back to my question – what plays a bigger role – our goals or the universe? From my personal perspective, after I grasped the opportunity to write my first book, the concept of a goal came into focus - to write the book, with a certain number of pages (and I nearly fainted when I say the publishing agreement and it mentioned 65,000 words!) and within a given time. My focus shifted into that singular goal, and I wrote the book within four months, whilst holding down a full time job. I learnt a valuable lesson here - if you put your mind to something, anything is possible.
I believe it’s the same in business, or any other venture we may embark on. It’s a combination of the universe guiding our way, and our own ability to focus and set goals. If we look at the successful people of our times, we often say that they were at the right place at the right time. I believe it’s a bit more than this – they were at the right place at the right time, and they realized it. They then started channeling all their energy into making it a success.
It would have been just as easy to have missed the opportunity, perhaps because they were distracted or “too busy” (another one of our terrible modern day ailments). So it’s not luck, its intuition and being present and aware of what the universe is telling you.
So live life with your mind and eyes wide open, in tune with the universe. She whispers to us all the time, sometimes louder and sometimes softly. The wise amongst us stay quiet, and listen. I for one, am keeping very quiet, listening for my next book opportunity. My fingers are itching to start writing again!
Sylvia Walker is highly skilled and experienced in the financial services industry, having spent a large part of her career as a marketing manager for a blue-chip company. During this time, she worked closely with the media, conducting hundreds of presentations, doing radio and TV interviews and writing many articles for publications such as O, the Oprah magazine, Good Housekeeping / Goeie Huishouding, Sarie, The Mercury, Plus 50 and many others. She left the corporate world at the end of 2014 to pursue her interests further afield. She is also a published author. She contributed chapters on financial planning in Mary Ann Shearer’s Take Control the Natural Way and Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner’s Own Your Space. She authored Dealing in Death – Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik and co-authored Steeped in Blood, the memoirs of Dr David Klatzow, which was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Award in 2011. She also co-authored and published Reflections for Old Mutual in 2013. Sylvia is currently a financial planner, writes articles, and conducts workshops on various aspects of financial literacy and planning. She is also the resident financial guru on the Cape Talk Early Breakfast Show, and is on air every Friday morning. Her latest book, SmartWoman, has just been published, and is a culmination of many years of experience in advising women on how to gain financial freedom and grow their wealth. SylviaWalker.co.za
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