You’ll never know unless you try

Great opportunities for self-advancement don't get handed to us - we have to go looking and take advantage of the ones we find.

One of the best things you can do for your children is to teach them to think for themselves and encourage them to make a difference in the world.

We need to banish the idea that just because we live in a small town, just because our children may not have access to the same opportunities as children have in the cities, that our children cannot accomplish as much.

Accomplishment and leadership come from within. It’s up to us as parents, teachers or role models to recognize it and look for ways to fine tune it.

Children naturally look to adults for love, guidance and encouragement. If that isn’t forthcoming, then they turn elsewhere.

Supported by the Canadian Heritage Branch, Action Canada is looking for up to 20 outstanding young Canadians to participate in their 11- month leadership development program.

The program enhances Fellows’ leadership skills, broadens their understanding of Canada and its policy choices, and builds an exceptional network of leaders for our future. Visit www.actioncanada.ca for details on the 2013/14 Call for Nominations. The nomination deadline is Feb. 8, 2013.

Late last year I was invited to be one of the Career Day presenters at the high school. I advised those who were listening to me to take on any volunteer jobs that would teach them new skills. There are many volunteer roles out that that teach you skills that one day you may have to dig into your wallet and pay for.

While leadership skills may sound boring to some, they can be applied to many different jobs that, if not well-paying, will hopefully be deeply satisfying. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try.

No one said it would be easy to get ahead in life. You have to work at it, and keep on working. It’s a lifelong competition to get and hold on to the job you want. We do it because some things are worth the trouble.

It can be an arduous task to meet the requirements of a program like this, but if accepted, it’s like a whole new world opening up. And that’s worth it.

Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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