“What do you dream about at night when no one else is around and all you can hear is your heart? What place, thing, or achievement do your thoughts wander to when they aren’t focused on anything else? What do you wish you had but don’t?…Make it happen!” (Kylee Shields)
Kylee Shields (author of Make It Happen) is a truly remarkable person.
Before I met her in January of 2012, someone told me that she was an accomplished writer and that her book had just been accepted for publication. As someone who wanted to write and publish his own books, I instantly wanted to learn more about this up-and-coming author (and perhaps learn the secret ways of writing a book!). I nonchalantly introduced myself and casually steered the conversation towards writing (“Oh, you’re publishing a book?! Well, that’s just totally new information!”). After hearing about her book, I told her about my own desires to publish.
I then made the fatal mistake of asking her if she had any advice on how I could write a book.
I say “fatal” because Kylee asked me about my goals. “Well, what goals have you set to write your book?” she asked. I shrugged and sheepishly admitted that I was waiting for some thunderous moment inspiration; a moment that would overwhelm my senses and provoke me into a twenty four hour spree of passionate writing, in which I would produce America’s—nay, the world’s!—most inspirational novel.
“Sounds to me like you don’t really want to be a writer,” she said with a grin.
I was a bit startled by her comment.
“If you wanted to be a writer, you would make it happen,” she continued. “I play the piano, and people come up to me all the time and tell me that they wish they could play the piano like me. I then ask them ‘Well, have you set goals to play the piano?’ And when they answer ‘no’ I reply, ‘Well then you don’t really want to play the piano, you just want to tell me that you want to play the pino. If you really want to do something, you would make it happen—and nothing would be able to stop you.'”
Her words reverberated through my soul (and I’m not making that up!).
Not long after that, my fiancee, Kim had gave me a blank, leather-bound journal. “For you to write your book,” she said. She then batted her large, cat-like eyes at me and filled me with an irrational confidence that proclaimed: “Yeah, Seth! You can write your whole book in two weeks!”
So with the encouragement of my fiancee, Kim (and the verbal kick in the pants from the author Kylee), I made the goal to write my book in two weeks.
And that’s how I made it happen.
So I owe a debt of gratitude to Kylee Shields, a truly remarkable person who has made many things happen in her life and in the lives of countless others. Because of her life’s motto (“Make it happen!”), Kylee has lived a life that many people dream about, but few people achieve. Indeed, despite many personal obstacles, challenges and frustrations, Kylee has made life happen for herself. She has studied in Jerusalem, recorded a CD of original music, worked in AmeriCorps, traveled to Italy, Africa, Scotland, and Ireland, started a non-profit organization, and currently works as a counselor at the ANASAZI Foundation (and those are just a few of the things she has done).
Her most recent accomplishment (as stated earlier) is the publication of her book, Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness For LDS Singles. Though the book was largely written for an LDS audience, its packed with brilliant and insightful ways for people of all walks of life to make changes in their lives, find hope, increase faith, and strengthen relationships.
No matter who you are (LDS single or not), I guarantee you that Make It Happen will help you…make it happen! 😀
Thanks for everything, Kylee!