Think Big, Dream Big
What’s your secret wish – and how do you make it real?
Mary Piccone dreamed of writing a cookbook and sharing everything she learned from the world’s best chefs – her Italian mother, grandmother and aunts. She’d grown up in Canada with their rustic cooking, using fresh, local and organic products. Later she learned the recipes of her husband Paul Piccone, a native of L’Aquila, Italy. Mary had plenty of culinary talent, even if she did not have experience as a professional chef or writer. She tapped into her true passion and fearlessness to make it happen.
“My husband died in 2004,” she says, “and I went to Canyon Ranch the following year. I spent a week at the Life Enhancement Center still healing from my grief. I found great support there and regained confidence.”
With no experience in publishing, Mary took over Telos Press, the company started by her husband. “That’s where my passion was,” she says, explaining her subsequent success. “I learned that passion comes when you do the work. I talk to people who say they’re passionate about something. So do they do it?”
Mary worked steadily on her cookbook and was inspired to finish it following the major earthquake that hit L’Aquila in 2009. Writing as Maria Filice, she honored the devastated town and its culinary tradition by calling her book Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, and donating net proceeds to building a children’s playground there.
It’s been a long process for Mary, and she hangs onto some wise words she heard at the Ranch: Sometimes you take ten steps forward, then twenty back, then thirty ahead again. Life is a dance, not a straight line.
A dream of your own
Life Management expert at Canyon Ranch in Tucson Karen McIntyre, L.C.S.W., enjoys helping guests identify and pursue their dreams.
“I encourage people to think about what they’d like to do next. To visualize starting in one spot and getting to the next,” Karen says. “We use methods like life mapping to help people access information in the inner mind, that ‘knowing’ part of ourselves.”
According to Karen, what stops many people from going after a dream is fear. “Something seems too far away,” she says, “or people are afraid they might not be good at that thing. Fear of failure can become a guiding principal. It’s important to override your inner critic.”
Starting something new is good for you, Karen says, and it’s more interesting than the extreme ends of the learning curve. “When you’re in the active learning phase, you’re in the Technicolor middle of the curve, where you’re learning all the time and growing your intelligence.”
For many people, the biggest obstacle is simply getting started. “Maybe you’re dreaming of doing something but you have no bridge to get to it. You need to build that bridge.
“Have lunch with people who are doing what you’d like to do, and talk about how they do it. Read about what interests you. Find a mentor. Start with small steps and enjoy one success at a time.”
Versions of a dream
Once you put your heart and efforts into pursuing your dream, it might be realized exactly as you expected it – or it could change, evolve and take new shape as you go along. Be ready to accept the wonderful surprises ahead – and the setbacks that might occur – as you pursue your dream.
Mary Piccone’s advice: “Live life to the fullest and love what you do!” In addition to being a publisher and a cookbook author, Mary now blogs on columnist Amy Dickinson’s popular website, has been able to help L’Aquila rebuild, and plans to start selling her delicious biscotti. As her dream has expanded, she’s risen to each challenge. The result is something deeper and more beautiful than she ever dreamed.
What are you dreaming about?