Succeed at Something New

We’ve all been there at one time or another. We’ve come upon a great opportunity to be successful at something, yet something else got in our way – ourselves. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy, and deny ourselves what we really want in life. Many reasons can contribute to failure, but there are steps we can take to ensure that we at least have a good shot at being successful.

I recently came upon an article on inc.com by Kevin Daum. It’s titled “How to Get Out of Your Own Way on the Path to Success.” He writes of five techniques to stop the self-sabotage.

The first is to be disciplined, to be in control of your daily activity. This means having your priorities straight and not letting bad habits deviate you from your plan.

Second – be confident. I overheard a conversation recently where an experienced businessman was speaking to a young man who didn’t have much world experience. “Project an air of confidence, and people will think you are confident and in control,” said the older man. In other words, if you believe you can, then you will.

Staying on the sidelines and watching others achieve success can be a lesson in futility. The third way to be successful more often is to be bold. This is no time to be timid; it is the time to “go for the gusto.”

Fourth, being gracious and knowing when to ask for help and who to ask can be the difference between success and failure. The best way to get to that goal is to talk to people who are smarter and more experienced than you.

The last way to be successful is to be grateful. No matter how difficult the times may be, it’s always good to be thankful for what you have.

So you ask, how does this apply to life in the Finger Lakes? Success stories are not limited to any one area of the country, or the world, for that matter. At the same time, I find that quite often the articles that appear within these pages depict someone’s success and a goal attained. Some may think this is a sappy thought, but why not present positive stories? Why not add to people’s happiness and well-being, rather than tearing them down with the “regular” news stories of the day?

I am so proud of the people that make up the population of the Finger Lakes Region. In spite of living in a state with one of the highest tax rates, and a state government that can be quite dysfunctional at times, people still find a way of not only surviving but flourishing. All it takes is a dream, a lot of hard work and perseverance, and help from friends and family.

I think of Serge and Sandy who recently opened a wonderful restaurant in the little village of Rushville called 1 Water Street (read the article on page 76). They don’t have much of a background as restauranteurs, but their eatery has been a success. They create an atmosphere of welcoming friendship, and their food is fantastic. And, they have big plans for expansion as well – a drive-through for breakfast, an ice-cream shop and a farmers market featuring local produce and unique items. They followed Daum’s five rules, and so can you.

I also think of Jan Bridgeford-Smith, who conquered her own misgivings about getting in a dragon boat (see page 33) and trying something new. She not only survived, but she managed to have fun along the way.

Strive to succeed this summer – by this time next year, you won’t believe what you’ve accomplished.


by Mark Stash