Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Lynette Latzko is talking with Aksana Palevich, author of The Ten-Dollar Dream: Live and Love Your Own Dream.

FQ: What inspired you to write this book?

PALEVICH: The birth of my daughter. This life experience changed me and changed my view on many things such as what makes us happy, why we are hungry for success, and what our most important lifelong values are. Also, in my very active life, I met people from all over the world and some of them had a hard time believing that I’ve built a brand-new life from scratch in a foreign country. Telling bits and pieces about my story, I could see how people were getting energized, asked me more questions, and had an inspiring smile on their faces. It was a great feeling and I wanted to tell more. So, I started telling my story in a personal diary to my daughter, which later became The Book.

FQ: You mention raising your young daughter by yourself while juggling a career. What important message would you like to tell her when she grows up and begins her own career?

PALEVICH: The modern way of parenting is no longer focused on food, a warm bed, and a safe environment for our children. It is more than this. It is about investing a great proportion into kids’ development, which requires time. So, I would advise Maali to make room for that development but that would not mean necessarily mean stopping her career. I would tell her to never stop chasing her dreams even after having children and becoming a mom. Because humans can achieve a lot while doing many things in parallel. What I would warn her about though, is to listen to her inner wellbeing detector, which I hope she would develop in time. A detector that would tell her to stop and breathe when the balance of work and personal life deteriorates.

FQ: Setting goals, both small and complex, are one of many themes discussed in your book. What are some of your current goals?

PALEVICH: I have a few. Learning to play the piano is the biggest one, I guess. I almost achieved this when I was 10. But my parents could not afford a piano at home and I thought I would fail if I was

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unable to practice. Now is the time to fulfill this ambition. Also, I am planning to adjust my career, so I can work more with people – coaching, teaching or self-development. After a year of running a not for profit dance class for 6-7 year olds, I was offered a paid job, which I might consider as well.

FQ: In lesson five you say that a person can be impatient, but once they set their goals they won’t need to worry about being impatient because the drive to complete the goal will push them along. What do you suggest for people, especially for some teenagers, who are too impatient and scattered in their thoughts to even know where to begin setting goals for themselves - they just want to experience the end result?

PALEVICH: Start small but start somewhere. Start with one very simple thing – something rooted into your daily routine – a task that a person is doing occasionally anyway. Important that this is an obvious part of the daily routine because it can easily be converted into a long term goal. For example, many people focus on their health and well-being and spend a fortune on diets, workouts, and healthy eating. It is all worth it. But such ambitions can easily be supported by nearby surroundings and nature. Instead of driving to work, use a bicycle (if short distances) or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pause the gym and introduce a family workout in the yard with your kids. Stick to one simple thing and just practice it regularly. It will become embedded everyday and you would stop thinking about it as an ambition by becoming a natural habit and a quick win.

FQ: After reading this story I would say you’ve had (and are continuing to have) a successful life. Is there anything you would have done differently if given a chance to do it over?

PALEVICH: No, I would not change anything. I tend not to look back to the past thinking of what I could have done differently. I look back to find what I can learn for my future. I cannot change the past, but I can surely change my future. I even forget past events quickly if they meant nothing to me. And even if I had a possibility to change the past, I would be able to change some things, while many other things would still remain tough and unpredictable. What is the point of changing something when you cannot change everything?