Change, Success and The Principles of Margaret-Part 1

If you ever meet my friend Margaret, you will be able to say you have met one of the zaniest, most energetic, charismatic, charming and warm individuals in the world. She has tremendous organizational skills, plays the piano, can direct choirs and make the world’s best homemade bread. She is a marriage and family therapist who has a beautiful way of helping people work through some very difficult experiences. After a visit with Margaret, you can definitely say you’ve been in the presence of a “filler,” an individual who always seems to know how to make us feel better about ourselves and give us the encouragement to keep striving to accomplish for what is important-our own "blue ribbons" if you will. She is one of my heroes and mentors, along with her husband Ed, who we will discuss in the future.

What you wouldn’t know about Margaret is that she has multiple sclerosis. You also wouldn’t know that she made the decision to go back to college at age 55 and earn her degree in marriage and family therapy… after she had already been battling MS for several years. Her medication regimen is intense, and one can only imagine how hard it is for her just to get out of bed some days.

At her graduation party a few years ago, she shared one of the ways she was able accomplish such a feat. She said, “I had to put a lot of things off over the past four years. Some things just never got done, while still others were completed by my wonderful husband and my children. While it was indeed difficult, I can definitely say the time and energy I spent was worth the effort.”

Yes!!! Did you sense just how intentional she was in making this choice? She delayed, deleted (and delegated) things of lesser importance so she could focus on the things of greater importance-a hallmark of good pruning. If she had simply let things grow on their own there would have been a million reasons why she should not pursue such a daunting task.

Margaret has (and continues) to teach me that when we set our sights on achieving anything of value, changes will need to occur and some things won't get done. But those things that do... well, I think Margaret's accomplishment speaks for itself.

In the next blog I'll share another one of Margaret's priceless principles.