Our story is a personal invitation to learn. It’s not our curse nor our blessing. It’s not our label or paradigm or racket or reason to blame or run or justify. It’s not our grandeur or accomplishment or title or goals. Story just is, and it never ends, while we have breath in our body, blood in our veins and synapses firing between our ears, it is our story that invites us to keep on learning. Why? Because an experience of living doesn’t happen in what we know, it’s in the minute after minute of discovery, and it’s vital to our happiness.

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, comparison did. You know what happens when we stop learning? We start believing that we know stuff and God help us when that happens because that’s how comparison creeps in. You’ll notice when you start using position statements like: I’m right, they’re wrong. She’s good enough, I’m not. They can do it, I can’t. Why me? Why her? We begin to use words like always and never, as in…I always have to… or I never get to… as if there’s another option out there that we’re not allowed to have.

Comparison killed the cat.

The remedy? Operate in the learning and living zone. Let your story unfold. Be curious. Can we have knowledge?  Yes of course it’s just that we mustn’t stop there. We must develop skills and gain wisdom, be guided by our experiences, but the very second we stop learning it’s as if we’re saying I’ve had enough of my story thanks. That’s enough learning for me.


How about this: what makes an unbelievable book? Some fictional character or person’s real life experience takes us on a roller-coaster ride of happenings that move, inspire or transform us. Most importantly, it’s a journey that we can see ourselves in. Memorable books reflect our human experience and that’s why a killer book compels us to turn the page. We are addicted to learning. We have an insatiable desire to answer the question: What next?  Think about your morning routine. When your feet hit the floor and you raise your first cuppa, doesn’t the little voice in your head ask you that very question?  Isn’t that why you move forward? What’s next? 

That is the juju of our story. That’s what learning is.

We say: Teach me. What else is there? I want to know. I’m ready. More please. I want to be better at this. I want to try something new. I want to expand, to stretch, to lift, to enjoy, to be thrilled, to be moved. I am a life-long learner.

Life IS learning.

In today’s seemingly chaotic world governed by technology, at-capacity-thresholds and relentless change, those of us who embrace life by continuing to sit in the learning seat, (dare I say it?) will be HAPPIER than those who don’t (there I said it) because it takes more energy to hang on than it does to let go and learn.

It takes more energy to hang on than it does to let go and learn.

If you’re in business, and you don’t get story, you’re in trouble because today’s marketing is steeped in it. If you’re still selling pain instead of freedom your days are numbered because today’s consumers are done with adrenaline based marketing. Fear hurts more now because it’s difficult to get away from. If you have a website (and come on now, you must if you’re in business) and you don’t have a book: you are totally missing it. Today we are story based. That is how we learn. That is what we respect and that is what we are yearning for.

Enough with telling me what you know.

Teach me what I want to know instead.

I’m a program director with The Leap Learning Lab and along with Meribeth Deen, the two of us lead a program called PUBLISH supporting the stories of Canadian women from concept to publish ready. And while I can tell you about the tangible benefits of writing your book with us, it’s not the ‘how to’ stuff like this that you’ll take with you once you’re done.


  • craft a title that connects to your core.
  • conduct a research based interview.
  • link one chapter to the next so your reader is compelled to turn the page.
  • bring the vibrancy of your inner story up and out to live on the page.
  • magnify your voice to cut through the noise of other books in your genre.
  • etc… etc… etc…

Those are just some of the writing take-aways of PUBLISH, but what about the intangibles? Because this is where life as a committed learner enters the picture. This is where we follow, and yes possibly even run along our path to happiness.


  • Honouring the roots of where you’ve been so that your wisdom is a gift.
  • Connecting to the core of your why to make sense of why any of it matters.
  • Trusting the story that wants to tell you instead of feeling the pressure of having to drive it all the time.
  • Allowing a relationship with your creative side to lighten your load a bit more.
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence in who you are, where you come from and your place in the world.
  • Finding deeper meaning in all of it.

How do you put that into a curriculum? You can’t because it’s a bi-product of showing up and doing the work whatever that may be. In PUBLISH it’s about getting your book written. In Live Your Best Story (a retreat I lead), it’s about listening so as to lead your life. Whatever it is, take it on as the life-long learner that you are designed to be.

Happiness is connected to our sense of belonging, to understanding what brings us peace, and to doing life within the design of who we truly are. None of us get there by standing on a mountain of what we know.  All of us will get there when we’re committed to living by learning.

Our story is an invitation to learn and as we do, we invite more happiness in to our life.



If you are a Canadian woman entrepreneur, leader, innovator, millennial or your business offers services to women in Canada we invite you to find out more about LEAP Learning Lab.

We are a team of 10 fabulous Canadian women creating opportunities for other Canadian women to accelerate their success and their results across multiple disciplines. We also offer corporate learning solutions for businesses committed to the development of their women leaders.

We are looking for fabulous Canadian women to learn, live and lead with us. Collectively, through learning, we will make each other better humans.

Want you FREE COPY of TinaO’s Core Story Playbook?  Click here. 


Here’s where you can find out more about Tina’s upcoming retreat: Live Your Best Story. Here’s where you can find out more about PUBLISH and become a VIP in the Leap Learning Lab.