"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." –Goethe

The year was 2003. I was living in California helping to build High Achievers Network when I received an email from a fraternity brother. He challenged me, along with the other recipients of the email to fill out the lottery application for the New York City marathon, adding that the NYC marathon is the 2nd most difficult marathon to get into without qualifying. He went on to state that since the chances were so slim that any of us would “win” the lottery, that if we did it was meant to be. Well, I tend to believe that sort of thing so I thought what the heck- I sent in my application pretty much forgot about it.

Fast forward 3 months. High Achievers Network had recently hosted a Jack Canfield seminar. He was speaking on his book The Power of Focus. This book contains a section on eliminating bad habits. I decided to take on quitting smoking (at the time I was smoking roughly a pack and a half a day). My master plan was to start on a Sunday at 20 cigarettes per day and to gradually wean myself down to be completely smoke free within a week. Wednesday of that week I received an email. “Congratulations, you’re in the New York City marathon!” I thought to myself- “Wow, looks like I picked the right week to quit smoking.”

By the way- I had never considered myself much of a runner. The most I had run up to this point at one time was 6 miles or so. It had been years since I had run more than 3 or 4 miles in one stretch and I had been smoking for the better part of 16 years.

Saturday was to be my last cigarette. I smoked it before 9am. By 10am I wanted another one. Instead I went to Sports Authority and bought a $160 pair of running shoes. I also swore to myself I would destroy those running shoes if I smoked another cigarette. I quit smoking that Saturday and 4 months later I ran (and completed) the New York City marathon. And yes, I am still a non-smoker.

Without that unexpected email it is quite possible I might have caved in to my old bad habit. When you take on something big in your life be ready, be aware, and look for the “unseen forces” that come to your aid.

Author's Bio: 

Doug Grady is President of High Achievers Network. For over 16 years, Doug has been engaging audiences from coast to coast with his wit and wisdom. Exciting, entertaining and enlightening are words invariably used to describe his unique seminars and workshops. As a business owner, professional speaker and musician, Doug is a jack of many trades and a master of one: helping you master yours. He has been privileged to share the platform with legends Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Tony Robbins, and Denis Waitley. The companies he has trained include Sprint, AFLAC, Bank of America, BNI and State Farm. www.highachievers.com