She was three years old, yet she put more thought and planning into her playtime than most people put into their future.

I watched as she set up the pretend store and kitchen. She dressed each Barbie doll and joyfully explained to me what each would do.

One would prepare wonderful cakes and treats that the others would clamor to purchase. The “mother” would carry some sweets home to the strategically placed table and chairs.

Afterwards, they would all change into their beautiful evening gowns for an apparent night on the town.

What a wonderful life she was planning out for these imaginary playmates.

Maybe we could learn a thing or two from a toddler.

We are all drawn to the stories that magically end with  “Happily Ever After”, but we never question what it took to get there, or what comes after the credits roll or the book is closed.

There is really no magic to it. But, it does take some time of intentional planning.

Just like any well written book, it doesn’t just happen. It is thought out chapter by chapter. Most of the time it even includes a re-write or two.

You may be like me, in the re-write stage of your life. Although life didn’t turn out the way I dreamt it would in High School, I have learned that intentionality is making it better than I ever imagined.

Or, you may be a High School senior, embarking on your college years. (This is usually the only time we give some thought and planning to our future.) Spending a little more time on long range, 10-20 year goals, can prevent the frustration of finding yourself in the wrong career a decade down the road.

You have the power to write your story. You have the choice to start now.

What does the end of the story look like? What is your Happily Ever After?

Now, what steps will it take to get there?

Not everyone gets a Grace Kelly life, where the debonair Prince of Monaco sweeps the American starlet off her feet to live out her days as royalty. (This true story was actually my first choice when developing my life plan.)

The reality is that Grace Kelly was actually pursuing, and fulfilling her first dream of being an actress, positioned in the proper place for her Prince Charming to swoop in.

So, step number 1 is defining what your dream and passion is first and foremost.

Fairy Tales deceive us into thinking that a Prince riding in on a white horse will solve all of our problems.

Some problems were meant for us to solve. This is how we discover our identity.

We were created with an innate desire to leave a legacy.

Step number 2 is determining how your passion will help you do this.

If you are passionate about working with young children, will you become a teacher that molds their young lives?

If you are passionate about art, will you become a designer that brings out a new appreciation for beauty to the world around you?

If you are passionate about justice, will you pursue Criminal Justice to help bring law and order?

The answer may not jump out at you in five minutes. But, if you are going to spend the rest of your life pursuing this dream isn’t it worth spending some time thinking it out?

My passion is helping you be the best YOU, you can be.

The next step is up to you. Think about what makes you happy. What activities bring you joy? Write them down and then begin to plan steps to let them take you into the next phase of this journey, which will lead to your very own Happily Ever After.

It’s time for you to write your story!