Reflections on Mother’s Day: Personal Goals

This time around, I’ll yield the podium to Mary Ericson who had offered up her thoughts on her personal goals.


There are three rules that my boss shared and wish for us to follow:

  1. Expectation drives behavior
  2. Don’t feed the stray cat
  3. Alert the tower at 10,000 feet

Today, I’d like to talk about the three rules my mom taught me:

  1. Don’t step on others to get what you want.
  2. Do your best and God will do the rest.
  3. Don’t make a Plan B.

My biological father passed away when I was five years old.  So, for ten years my mother raised three girls as a single parent.  At times, it was difficult financially, especially when tuition fees were required for us to be able take our quarterly examinations.  Despite it all, she worked hard and managed to put us through an exclusive international school in the Philippines.  Now that I have my own children, I don’t know how my mom got by without putting us through public education.  Throughout the difficult times, my mom would remind us constantly, “Don’t step on anyone just to get what you want”.  She always believed in the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.  There is always the possibility that you will run into someone again, whether it be in a future career or even the afterlife;  Thus the importance of Rule #1.

I have always been a fan of Math – unsurprising since I work at an engineering company.  But it didn’t come easy. I had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to learn things on my own or try to challenge myself by taking the most difficult professors at LTU.  But back in grade school, whenever I would ask my mom about a math problem, she would always say, “I was absent the day that one was taught.” Thing was: it was like she was sick at every Math class. Of course, she would reassure me by saying, “Just do your best and God will do the rest.”  Whether you are of faith or not, one basic principle remains. As Frank Stronach, the founder of Magna, tells us: “The harder you work, the more luck you have.”  Thus, the importance of Rule #2.

The final rule is certainly not the least – and is actually my favourite: “Don’t have Option B”.

As a Program Manager, it is always a good idea to have another option in my back pocket especially when dealing with customers. But I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for this rule.

Ever since I started disassembling my toys and our old TV remotes, my mom had her head set on one idea: “You will be an engineer!” She even started introducing me to her friends as “my future engineer”. She made no reservations or concessions in providing for my educational needs all throughout my college years – simply, anything I needed to become an engineer, I got. It was the same for both my sisters. For mom, focusing on an “end goal” would always ensure that you would get there.   Thus, the importance of Rule #3.

While I have learned more rules (like my boss’ career rules) and will continue to learn from my life experiences, I believe these three rules have defined who I have become and will continue to guide my life ahead.

So what about you? What are your “three rules to live by”?

Let me know what you think,

Marygracesoleil J. Ericson


About Jeff

A long time resident of Southeastern Michigan, I am husband to the beautiful Trisha and father to three incredibly bright, compassionate, amazing young adults. I have been called husband, father, brother, friend, demon, scoundrel, team-mate, leader, misfit. I constantly seek personal and professional environments that encourage creativity, empower individuals, and foster excellence. is an opportunity to share thought and opinion based on my personal and professional experience. My passion for learning remains the driver to become a better friend, husband, and father. The focus of my professional efforts (and satisfaction in what I do) is developing effective teams and equipping others to become exceptional leaders. My personal mission statement: to inspire, to love, to promise, to share, to believe that nothing is impossible
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