An Early Experience of Success


I grew up in an area with a lot of tourist traffic in the summer. My first chance to earn money came when I was twelve. I sold newspapers. Each day I would stand on the dock when the ferry boat came in from a nearby island, and I would offer my papers to those coming off the boat.

In between ferry runs, I would make the rounds of the local cottages and trailer parks. Since a lot of the trailers were actually summer homes for people from the city where my paper was published, some of these people became regular customers, who would buy a paper from me when they were at their trailer, to keep up with the news at home.

coinsEach afternoon a woman would deliver the papers to my house. I would load them in my bag, put the bag in the basket of my bike and be off for six or seven hours of hard work selling papers. Over the weekend I would count my money and prepare to pay her on Monday for the papers I had sold.

I learned many things that summer. I learned to count change to people. I learned how to work, rain or shine. I learned that persistence pays off in the long run. I did not always sell all my papers. Sometimes I ended up returning a lot of them, no matter what I did. I also learned a lot about being nice to people. That was a good summer, and I am glad I had the experience.

transistor radio

The radio I bought with my money

Mostly I remember being so proud of the money I earned and the good feeling of being able to use my own money to buy things I wanted. I was successful that summer because I had a dream, and I achieved it.

Write in your journal about the first time you experienced success. What was going on in your life. What did you have to learn to achieve success? How hard did you have to work? Were there people who encouraged you? Were there people who told you you weren’t going to make it? What kept you going to achieve your success?

thinkingClose your eyes and envision that success. What is going on in the picture you have? This will be a powerful memory to draw on in the future as you work toward other successes. Spend some time just enjoying the good feelings. These good feelings are closely connected to the reason you are willing work to be successful. They can help you identify your “Why.” Write down what you think your “Why” is as you are having these feelings.