A few pages into Miracles Happen, The Life and Timeless Principles of The Founder of Mary Kay Inc., Mary Kay Ash tells a story about the responsibilities she had to take on during her childhood as a result of her father’s illness. At the age of seven she had to take care of the household while her mother worked long hours outside the home. I don’t know about you, but at the age of seven my greatest worry was the next outfit I’d put on Barbie. So reading her words, that her mother would “go through every step, one at a time, trying to think of everything I need to know. I hadn’t been raised to be a complainer, but I’m sure she knew that my job sometimes seemed overwhelming. Because when she was through with her instructions, she always added, ‘Honey, you can do it.‘” was inspirational in so many ways. Hearing those four words over and over again, day after day, how could she grow up and not succeed?
When I read that excerpt, I highlighted the text and marked the page. I’ve gone back and read her quote at least fifty times in the past couple weeks. I especially find it helpful during editing, when I’m ready to walk away from a paragraph I just can’t get right. I go back and give it a tenth or twelfth try and eureka, it comes out right.