The desire to change was a constant in my life and, as you know, I daydreamed about the possibilities. However, in my case at least, it took the merging of various factors to lead me to act. There is no doubt that the competition win was an incentive to make a move. Believe me, I never counted on it making enough money to retire on, but the win gave me confidence, a 'rehearsal' for success (in my terms). I've admitted previously, and with some embarrassment, that I sometimes read self-help books. One of my favourites, by Marsha Senetar is called "Do what you love; the money will follow". Although I read it years ago, one story in particular stayed with me. A potter talked about leaving his profession as a teacher and he was commenting on how he knew when to make the move. He said that as he began to sell a few pieces of his work he felt that the 'Universe' was sending a positive message back to him and this gave him the confidence to invest more of his time into his pottery. Now that might sound a bit 'out there', but in Senetar acknowledges that not everyone has the talent or the wherewithal to succeed. You have to recognise your limitations too, and maybe change course, but when you do get positive feedback it suggests you have something of significance to offer. I felt that I was getting some of that feedback, so maybe I too, could make a move. 

A word on those self-help books. If you read them you can glean a lot of good advice; however, you (or at least I) can become more confused by the various methods to achieve your dreams, and then there's the subsequent feeling of inadequacy when you don't quite measure up. I was amused recently to see a new release in my favourite bookshop that proposed that striving for happiness could very well make us even more unhappy. I think I understand that. Too much pressure to be happy. Too much pressure to do it the 'right' way (as if there aren't enough rules around at the moment for doing everything the right way. Try 'parenting' again.). Anyway, the point of this is, that I have abandoned all (at least most) of the methods and procedures to attaining my dreams. I'm sick of the self-help books, and I'm sick of saying that one day I'll get around to being all those things I'm supposed to be. I'm running this show my way - win or fail.

AuthorAmanda Apthorpe