Director of Events 2001-2002
NAAAP Venture of the Year Team 2001
NAAAP Convention Team 2003

Everyone strives for success. But what does that mean? Success can pervade many aspects of life – professional, emotional, health, etc. What does it mean to you? To me, success does not only include more money, promotion and social status. It also includes more happiness, harmonious relationships and spiritual growth. It’s not to say that NAAAP will offer you all of these accoutrements, but volunteering in NAAAP was a definite stepping stone in helping me build and attain some of these aspects in my life.

I’m not the type of person who likes to waste time. Life is too short. I realized early in my University years that I’d rather live a life full with challenges and obstacles because that’s how I grow as a person. I want to look back every year and be able to say things like:

“I was on the team that help plan and execute the 2003 NAAAP National Convention”

“I was on the team that helped build NAAAP Toronto from just an idea into a Venture and then into a Chapter within a year. Now this organization stronger than ever after 8 years.”

Most of the people involved in NAAAP are of the same mindset. They are all here to live and learn.

Throughout my life, I’ve always lived by the mantra that nothing comes easy and that if you really want to succeed in life, you’ve got to step out of your comfort range and challenge yourself in different ways. It’s easy to do what you’re good at; what you studied in school and what you’re employed in right now. What rounds a person off and provides them with a fuller and more enriched life are the experiences that they choose to (or not to) participate in. Inaction can be just as deadly as just jumping in and taking the plunge. I chose NAAAP and have never regretted taking the plunge. It provided me challenges that I learned and grew stronger from, I met new lifelong friends and potential business partners as well.

Some of the life lessons that I learned along the way can be described in the following bullet points. I hope that some of them strike a chord in you and help you in your daily lives.

1. Every day remind yourself that you did some things well.

Instead of dwelling on what didn’t work or the tasks you didn’t finish, focus on what you did accomplish. Give yourself a mental pep talk at the beginning and end of the day. Coach yourself, just like you would help someone else overcome a challenge. Celebrate the little successes that your team has accomplished.

2. Be thankful.

No matter how bad your circumstances may be, there’s probably someone worse off than you. Put things into perspective. Think of all the things (and people) that you take for granted that are not available in other countries. Most of your problems will pale in comparison when you take a mental snapshot of all the benefits that you enjoy every day.

3. Build excellent relationships around you.

Make a decision today to build a fortress of people around you. Select only the best people. There are many to choose from. Look for those who will build you up and encourage you to succeed. Remember life is all about building and enjoying great relationships. NAAAP is an amazing tool that can be used to meet and create amazing relationships.

4. Push yourself to accomplish short-term goals.

There’s no greater way to build confidence than getting things done. Create an environment of accomplishment every week. Focus on your three most important targets. Every day do something that moves you closer to finishing a project, closing a sale or expanding a relationship. By doing so, you’ll eliminate the feelings of guilt and failure. Take one small step at a time. Success manifests in small daily events, not only in the accomplishment of great ambitions.

5. Do something for yourself every week.

Find a way to celebrate your weekly accomplishments. Don’t you deserve it? If you said “No,” go back to step one and start again!

Tired of wasting your life away year after year? Want something that you can say that you helped create and something that you can be proud to look back on? NAAAP is definitely a way to get your feet wet in exploring your potentials. Live your life with no regrets like I did and never look back and think “I wish I could have…”

Whether you think you can, or can’t… you’re right. – Henry Ford