It’s never too late to start living your dreams and C. Leslie Charles is proof. At age 50, Charles wrote and published her first book, Stick to it. Since then, she has published six more books, including her best seller, Why is Everyone so Cranky? Charles’ books are mainly about self help and dealing with the stresses of life.
“I want to continue writing. I would also love to do programs for seniors on how to stay fit and maintain a positive attitude. I’m 68 and I never want to retire. I’m living it,” says Charles.
Charles started her speaking business in 1979. She started working with people who had disadvantages and found she had a natural talent and passion for time management mentoring. She decided she wanted to share her advice with the community and joined the National Speakers Association in 1982. Meeting with distinguished authors and speakers was an absolute thrill for Charles. It helped her set goals, improved her speaking skills and led to her becoming an author.
“Getting started is the hardest part,” says Charles. “Desire is the vehicle in order to get somewhere, motivation is the engine, but we cannot accomplish the things we want if we lack discipline. Discipline is the fuel and you are the key to your success.” When Charles developed this attitude it really turned her life around. She went from being a double high school dropout to writing a book that became nationally recognized and raising her family.
“Persistence is a main quality you see in successful people and I believe my rebellious and stubborn sides have contributed to my persistence.”
Charles believes in pushing forward in the face of adversity, “Look for the opportunity to turn something bad into something positive and always be grateful for what you have instead of stressed about what you don’t have.”
Charles finds herself focusing on the good in life. She doesn’t try to get rich, but enriched. “The downfall of the economy has been humbling because it has forced everyone to see what is really important and that is not ownership, but relationships,” she says, “Although it has affected my business, it has given me the time to write and pay attention to nature and other little things that are free.”
“Live with a light heart, laugh and be fun. This is a big secret to being happier and healthier,” says Charles. “We have the power to choose how we feel and can either learn our lessons or create mental lesions. It is far more productive to move on than hold ourselves in a place of hurt. The enormity of moving forward can be overwhelming, but just like a book is written one page at a time, the journey of 1,000 miles starts with the first step. Dream big and take one step at a time.”