Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

“Self- discipline sets the road to success”/ 12 questions

Mar. 1 “Self- discipline sets the road to success”: I cut out this article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail on Jul. 30, 2012.   I like the picture of this kind of map of words like motivation and innovation that leads to the word success.

This is a really good article about being productive and staying focused.  It reminded me of how I succeeded in graduating out of high school.  I did mention that gr. 10 was a really easy year for me, that my work ethic atrophy because I didn’t have to work really hard to pass my classes.
My sister tutored me in math and she put discipline in me.  She had to supervise and watch me complete my math homework.  I did gain discipline.  I have heard about something like: “If you don’t feel like you’re in the mood to exercise.  Work out for 5 min. and then you can get into the flow and be able to work out for 15 min.”
It reminds me of dancing since it’s a form of exercise.  There are times I don’t feel like dancing, because I’m tired.  I dance to one song and then I feel energized and dance for 2 more songs.  Then I’m not tired and have energy to do something productive.

Here’s the whole article:  

Consultant Rory Vaden works with successful people, and he believes the secret to their success is self-discipline. In an Internet-driven, multitasking era, this is becoming more and more difficult.

He stresses that the successful people he works with don’t come to self-discipline naturally, nor do they enjoy it. But they think about it differently, recognizing “it’s simply about doing the hard things you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing them – and then doing them as early on as possible, to boot.” On ChangeThis, he offers these principles to help you become more self-disciplined:

The paradox principle: Do the difficult things now, and things will be easier in the long term. Too often, for example, we tend to ignore problems, playing down their importance. But they compound, and eventually we are confronting a bigger mess. Instead of running away from your problems (or, at least, skirting them and hoping they will go away) confront them directly and immediately.

The buy-in principle: The more you have invested in something, the less likely you are to let it fail. So invest more time, energy, money and other resources in the commitments you have taken on, and you’ll be more determined to make them happen.

The magnification principle: If your focus is diluted, so too are your results. You must avoid distractions and focus your energy on the task at hand. He warns against something he sees in himself: creative avoidance, unconsciously filling the day with menial work to the point where you end up busy just being busy. “At the end of the day I had ‘worked’ all day long, but didn’t have much to show for it. I was engaged in activities all day, but I wasn’t making progress,” he writes.

The creation principle: There is a four-step process to getting things done: You think it, you speak it, you act it, and it happens. But we don’t place enough importance on the power of words, making sure we choose them carefully and backing them up with intent. “Words are the first manifestation of ideas or thoughts into the real world. At their origin, those ideas exist only in your mind, but once they have been spoken or written, then they exist and have the power to shape the world around us. The moment we galvanize our thoughts into words marks the onset of creation,” he observes.

My opinion: I like that part about words.  I’m going to put that in my inspirational quotes collection.

The harvest principle: Focused effort is amplified by appropriate timing and regimented routine. Farmers organize themselves so they can work long hours at harvest time. Similarly, you need to recognize the seasons of your life – seasons of education, of independence, of love, of growth, of new beginnings, of sickness, and of health – and allocate your time appropriately.

Mar. 17 “12 questions to get a jump on the year ahead”: I cut out this article by Eileen Chadnick in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 22, 2012.  This is a very good article that asks insightful questions.  Here’s the whole article:
Each December, like many other people, I reflect on the year past and the year ahead. I focus this reflection with 12 questions. I note highlights and lessons learned; how I have evolved; the memorable moments and the various goals I’ve advanced toward – and more. Often, I’m surprised by how much I achieved. As we trudge through our busy lives we are often thinking about all we have not done or achieved. So I invite you to use these questions to take stock and consider your intentions and aspirations for 2013.


1. What went well?

Identify the goals you accomplished or advanced towards; and note anything else that went well and is worth highlighting.

2. In what ways did I grow and evolve?

How were you tested or challenged and how did you grow as a result? What new skills, knowledge, ideas and insights (in your work and personal life) have made you better or different this year?

3. What were my favourite moments of 2012?

Savouring positive experiences has been proven to be a successful strategy for building optimism, resilience and mojo – all essential ingredients to personal and professional well being.

4. What do I need to clean out or let go of now to be ready to start fresh in 2013?

Consider both your physical space (your office, your home) as well as your emotional and mental mindsets.

5. What and who am I most most grateful for right now?

Consider the people in your life, including co-workers, family and friends; the events; the unexpected surprises; make this a juicy list!

6. If there were a theme for me in 2012, what was it?

Think of the year as a whole, and fill in the blank: “This was the year of -----.”


7. What are my goals for 2013?

Consider professional goals as well as personal goals. Consider small, medium and “big-hair audacious” goals.

8. Which of my strengths and assets will I tap into to realize my goals?

Consider your personal strengths but also your assets such as your network, knowledge, experience and more. Make a plan.

9. How will I foster my personal well-being to maintain or boost my mojo?

Mojo involves resilience, energy, inspiration and an overall sense of well being. Take time to reflect on your physical state as well as your mental and emotional well being. If you were operating at your peak, what would that look like? What needs to happen to bridge the gap from where you are today to where you want to be? Make a plan.

10. How will I foster my professional well-being to boost or maintain my career aspirations?

What new skills will you acquire or deepen? How will you foster or build your network? What new challenges will you take on? And what support might you call on to help you achieve your professional goals?

11. How can I contribute to the ‘greater good’?

In what ways will you go beyond yourself, and contribute to the greater good of your family, workplace and community?

12. What will be my theme for the coming year?

If the year ahead were to have a personal theme, what would that be? Think big: “This will be the year of ----.”
Here’s to celebrating the past and gearing up for the future. And making each day count along the way.

Mar. 19: Here's the first post of the year

Jul. 27 The Gramophone: A few weeks ago I found this store on Whyte Ave. 

It sells used and new cds and records. It also sold record players and headphones.  The website says it's been open for over 24 yrs.  I don't know about you, but the digital age may end up forcing them to close.  Unless the store proves me wrong by staying open.


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