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

Monday, May 1, 2017

"What would Derek Jeter do?"/ "What dream careers may come...."

Sept. 27, 2015 "What would Derek Jeter do?": I cut out this article by Wency Leung in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 5, 2010.  This is an inspirational article.  It interviews the author Scott Singer who talks about losing his job and how he overcame it.  Here's the whole article:

You may be a brilliant visionary, an amazing communicator, or a stellar leader. But if you really want to be a business all-star, you'd better know how to hit a curveball - metaphorically speaking, author Scott Singer says.

In his new book How to Hit a Curveball, Mr. Singer offers advice on how to deal with the unexpected, a skill that he says is crucial for survival in the modern business environment.

After receiving a few major curveballs himself, including losing his job as an investment banker at Bear Stearns before the financial crisis and dealing with a divorce, Mr. Singer, who divides his time between New York and Connecticut, says he realized he needed to be more resilient in times of uncertainty. He needed to take more control. He needed to be more …like New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.

You say learning how to deal with the unexpected isn't just an important skill, it's the most essential one. Why?

If you're running a business today, the fact is that you need to be nimble. You need to surround yourself with people who know how to deal with that change pretty quickly. And if you're a CEO [who]'s unable to do that, you're going to get passed by really fast by your competitors.

What was your epiphany watching Derek Jeter at a Yankee game?

I'm sitting there and I'm looking at this guy who's known to be one of the best baseball players out there. And I had just dealt with this series of curveballs myself.

I realized this guy got faked out a couple times. Because he's so good at what he does, he was able to not get distraught that he had swung a couple times and missed. He was able to say, "Okay, every time's an opportunity and if they try and throw me another one, I'm gonna be ready for it. I'm gonna expect that unexpected."

And what [did he do] He knocked it out of the park.

I just realized that was just a perfect metaphor for what we all do every day. Some of us don't do it all that well. I hadn't done it well. [So] I looked around at a handful of people handling what seemed to be even bigger problems better than I, and I wondered, what was it? What were they doing?

What you found was that Derek Jeter and Mikhail Gorbachev have something in common. Not only them, but Michael J. Fox and Buzz Aldrin too.

What I thought was that there was some kind of secret sauce that most successful people had and I wanted to know what was in that secret sauce.

What I learned was they're people just like us. They've had successes. They've had failures, and they've overcome them. The reason why they're successful is, for the most part, they've learned how to approach curveballs, those unexpected events, and deal with them in stride better than the rest with us.

I found that commonality was their attitude. It was a whole process…. It was [their] skill sets - not some magic thing that they were born with, which should give the rest of us some hope.

What were your biggest mistakes in handling the curveballs you were given?

[When losing my job at Bear Stearns] I undermined and sabotaged my own thinking because I thought, "Hey, I was a failure. How could I have not succeeded here? What will people think of me?" And as a result, I didn't reach out to everyone in my network. I didn't reach out to all the people who could provide psychological support or job leads, for that matter.

I hid. I didn't step up to the plate.

It ended up lengthening the time I was unemployed. And [as]that time got longer, I continued to sabotage myself and become more anxious about every interview.

So what I would tell people is, just deal with it. As someone has said to me, no problem ever got solved by worrying about it. The problem gets solved by doing something about it.

You advise people to ask themselves "What should I do?" instead of "What can I do?" What's the difference?

I think the subtle difference is [when you ask] "What can I do?" you're limiting yourself in your thinking of what's possible and what's not possible. I think people will find when they focus specifically on what they should do, it's the most positive and affirmative question, and therefore answer.

Not long ago, you were thrown yet another massive curveball - losing another job at BMO Capital Markets during the height of the recession. Yet you say you were giddy walking out of that office.

Well look, did I want to lose my job? No. But … I looked at the event rather than as a failure, I said, "Okay, that happened, and what I going to do about it?"

The last time this happened to me, I did everything wrong. This time, because I had more or less just finished writing the book, I said, "You know what? I'm going to take everything that I've said and I'm going to put it into practice and I'm going to prove to myself that I can handle pretty much anything that comes my way."

And I did. It worked out extremely well. Almost ironically, I ended up back at a firm [The Bank Street Group] with a number of my former Bear Stearns colleagues.

Here I was, going through and having to deal with losing a job in an even worse environment, yet opportunities came my way much faster because I approached things very differently.

Winning the work game

Scott Singer, U.S. author of How to Hit a Curveball, says successfully handling the unexpected isn't a reflexive act, but a process, which he breaks down by innings.

First inning: "Step up to the plate." Admit you were caught off guard, even if it's embarrassing. Blaming a scapegoat is a waste of time, and blaming yourself won't help either.

Second inning: "Be the batter, not the ball." Don't let your imagination run wild with nightmare scenarios. Great curveball hitters remain optimistic, or at least realistic, about their ability to turn their circumstances around.

Third inning: "Keep your eye on the ball." Recognize there are some things beyond your control, and focus on what is within your power.

Fourth inning: "Listen to your coach." Reach out for help from professionals. It's unnecessary, and even counterproductive, to confront an unexpected situation alone.

Fifth inning: "Step outside the batter's box." Assess the situation from a fresh perspective. Sometimes the solution is just as surprising as the curveball itself.

Sixth inning: "Wait for your pitch." Don't just respond rashly. Be patient and think through your plan to make it a success.

Seventh inning: "Become a homerun hitter." This is a critical moment to shift from playing the defence to the offence. Be your own consultant and listen to the advice you give yourself.

Eighth inning: "Fill out your lineup." Staff your department or company with other curveball hitters.

Ninth inning: "Outside the ballpark." These skills to deal with the unexpected don't just apply to business, but to your personal life as well. "The ultimate winner is someone who … learns to succeed at both ends of life's doubleheader," Mr. Singer says.

Dec. 26, 2015 "Don't hold yourself back": I cut out this article by Julie Tyios in 24 News on Jun. 6, 2011.  It's very motivational:

Is it time to go? Whether the work isn’t challenging or your career feels like it’s stalled, you’re starting to think that it may be time for a career change. But when opportunity knocks, will you be ready?

Your career is entirely in your hands. The decisions you make and the opportunities you choose ultimately shape your career path. When it comes right down to it, you just need to take action to get where you want to go.

Changing careers entails a small element of risk. We’re leaving what we know to plunge into a new challenge.

However, opportunity often presents itself with a narrow window. If you hold yourself back and take the safe route, you may spend a lot of time wondering why in the future.

A fresh start can also entail hard decisions. Even if you’re only switching departments, you may leave behind co-workers whom you’ve established great relationships with, or clients that you like to work with.

As selfish as it sounds, though, your career is about you. If your current role won’t help you reach your career goals, it’s best to get a fresh start elsewhere. The decision and responsibility are entirely yours.

Set your sights on the right kinds of opportunities and take the plunge.
Give the job search your full attention.

It’s all in your control — from your cover letter and resume, to the roles you apply for, there are so many possibilities for your career path.

Don’t hold yourself back. Your job search is an investment in your future. Take charge and give it the attention it deserves. Pursue your goals and don’t settle for a role that won’t help you meet them.

Above all, don’t wait to make a decision. Every day that goes by is a day you’re not enjoying your dream job. Know what you want — and act on it.

Dec. 28, 2015 "What dream careers may come....": I cut out this article by Maja Lundager in the Metron on Aug. 26, 2013.  There is an e-edition:

It talks about the book Build your Dreams: How to make a Living Doing What You Love by Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden.  They also have a movie called The Dream Share Project which inspired their book.  

Chip Hiden: Today I think that people are finding that happiness also can drive what you do with the time you give to honest work.  You (can) make a lasting contribution.  And I think that young people are starting to think more about the legacy they will leave.  What type of mark are you going to leave on the earth?

One thing we have noticed is that people who pursue their dreams, as opposed to just doing a job to earn money, tend to be more happy and passionate.  That happiness and passion reflects on other areas of their life, too.

"One thing that we found is that it's not necessarily obtaining whatever the goal is (that matters).  It's more the journey along the way that is the really rewarding and exciting part.  In our case we made the film, which was super exciting, and then we were like, 'OK.   Now let's try to write a book.'  Try to enjoy the journey and take some time to look around and realize that you are pursuing something you care about."

My week:

Feb. 18, 2017 David Anders cute and funny video: I found this a couple of months ago.  It was a video by one of my favorite actors David Anders (Alias).  It was from his iPhone.   The photo was of Superman. The camera pans around this coffee table filled with Batman and Superman items.  This is a 21 sec. video.

The camera pans up to a 2 yr old boy wearing a Superman sweatshirt and Batman toque. 

The boy giggles and clasps his hands together.  He lifts his arms up.
Boy: Thank you Uncle David!
David chuckles off screen.

My opinion: Aww.. that's so cute.

Apr. 27, 2017 Juice Monkey: I was looking for a job and I found this.  This is like Booster Juice and Jugo Juice that sells smoothies and wraps.

This is from my notes:

Katie: Does anyone remember Katie Couric's talk show?  I saw a bit with episodes like reincarnation.  The show was average.  Even though it got cancelled, she is still successful.  This is from Wikipedia:

Katie is an American talk show that aired on syndication from September 10, 2012 to July 30, 2014. It was hosted by former ABC News correspondent and current Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric.[3][4] It premiered on September 10, 2012,[5] with the second season debut on September 9, 2013.[6] On December 19, 2013, Disney–ABC Domestic Television and Katie Couric mutually agreed to cancel the show.[7][8] The last show was taped on June 12, 2014 [9] and the series finale aired on July 30, 2014.

The Queen Latifah show: Does anyone remember she had a talk show too?  I saw a bit when she had actors like Ian Somerhalder (from The Vampire Diaries) and Josh Dallas (from Once Upon a Time).   The show was average.  Even though it got cancelled, she is still successful.  This is from Wikipedia:

The Queen Latifah Show is the title of two American television talk show programs hosted by the actress, singer and entertainer Queen Latifah. The original The Queen Latifah Show ran from September 13, 1999 to August 31, 2001. The revamped The Queen Latifah Show debuted September 16, 2013, and was renewed for a second season in January 2014. On November 21, 2014, Sony Pictures Television cancelled The Queen Latifah Show after two seasons due to low ratings. Production ceased on December 18, 2014 and the final episode aired on March 6, 2015, with reruns to continue airing until the end of the television season.

I had written this word down so I could look it up:

Ayurveda (Sanskrit: आयुर्वेद, Āyurveda, "life-knowledge"; English pronunciation /ˌ.ərˈvdə/[1]), or Ayurveda medicine, is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.[2] Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of complementary or alternative medicine.[3][4]. Literal meaning of “Ayurveda” is science and knowledge of Age. This means knowledge about science of life. The word “Ayurveda” is the combination of two words “ Aayush” and “Veda”. Aayush means life and Veda means knowledge and science. This means “Ayurveda" word means “Science related to life”[5]. In the Western world, Ayurveda therapies and practices (which are manifold) have been integrated in general wellness applications and as well in some cases in medical use.[6]

I had written this down to look it up too: quasi -knausgaardian

Quasi is an American indie rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1993 by former spouses Sam Coomes (vocals, guitar, rocksichord, various keyboards, bass) and Janet Weiss (vocals and drums). Joanna Bolme performed and recorded with the group as a bassist from 2007 to 2011.

Apr. 28, 2017:

Wed. Apr. 26, 2017 Filmmakers meetup: There were 6 of us.  It was average.  The Starbucks offered us free small ice coffee samples.  I had one.  I had the marshmallow whip cream part and saved the coffee to drink the next day.

Thurs. Apr. 27, 2017: I also went out to a restaurant and had fun.

Work: Last week I was scheduled to work 3 days and then I got to work 5 days that week so that's good.

This week I was scheduled to work 4 days this week and got 5 days because my co-worker E has hurt his back.

Meaningful career search: I don't know if you can tell, but in Jan. -Mar. 2017, I was putting up all these meaningful careers job articles up because I was really looking for a career.  Anything in medicine, law, law enforcement, social work is very meaningful. 

After 3 intense months of looking for one, I can't seem to find one.

Asian restaurant: Earlier this week I did get an interview for another job interview.  However, it was in the west end and it was really far, so I told them I wasn't going to it.

Law of attraction: I did a job interview at this Asian restaurant a couple of weeks ago.  Then a co-worker told me she ordered food from there this week.  Yesterday I talked to a guy and he told me he ate there the other day.


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