My Lucky Letter to Millennials


Are you one of the lucky ones?

Dear young person,

I want to share something about how lucky you are to be a young, shiny new penny in a world with so much to offer but I can’t, because I don’t believe in luck. Apparently I’m in good company because even Oprah Winfrey and I have that in common. Well we probably also both love Oprah like Kanye loves Kanye, but what’s important for this letter is that neither of us believes in luck. Oprah says that luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity. While that might be true I don’t believe in luck because I am just not a lucky person.  It’s easy to not believe in something you don’t benefit from. Would you have believed in Santa if your stocking was always empty or the tooth fairy if you never found anything under you pillow?

Maybe you have that golden touch and you’re always winning. I am not one of those people. I am not lucky at all. If 4 names are put in a hat and they pick three out, mine will be the lone name in the hat.  Luckily for me, since I don’t believe in luck I am okay with chilling in the hat after all the other names have been plucked up because I have a better method to success. I simply believe in doing the next right thing. Oprah agrees with this too. I have heard her speak on the topic in many of her speeches that now live on youtube. Doing the next right thing means leaning into that thing that feels right. I believe in that. I also believe in destiny and I believe if you believe in yourself even if nobody else does and just do the next right thing you will get there.

Maybe just maybe you are one of those people who knows exactly what you want to do and you will just do it. My husband is one of those people. He was a teacher, then an assistant principal, then a principal and then an assistant superintendent and now he’s a superintendent. Pretty straight and narrow right?  He knew exactly what he wanted to do. But maybe you will be like me and it will take you a little longer to figure it all out. The good news is either way you just do the next right thing.

Follow your heart

I knew very early on that I wanted to be a counselor. Back when I was in high school I knew I wanted to help people with their problems but I let people talk me out of it and I wasn’t sure what the next right thing was. So I made other choices and did other things even though they didn’t feel quite right until I realized that I wasn’t where I needed to be.

I woke up one day and I was thirty! More than a whole decade had gone by. I was a divorcee, a single mom and career wise I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I had a fine job but I didn’t feel fulfilled. So then I did the next right thing and I went back to school to get my masters degree, and I became a school counselor and started helping people and I loved it, but I wanted to help even more people! Then people said “You should write a book about how you did so well for yourself as a single mom after your divorce, so that you can help other single moms” and I did, and then I liked hearing from people who read the book and said it helped them and I wanted to do more so I started this blog and I helped more people (or so they said) and then I started an Instagram account because someone told me you could reach more people that way and I did.. and then one day I was reading a magazine. My favorite magazine to be exact- Oprah magazine, and it said that they were looking for people who wanted to reach and help people and have their voice heard by lots of people and I said that sounds amazing!

So I applied and guess what, I was selected and then crazy things started to happen. I went on an Oprah Cruise and heard from so many amazing and inspiring people including Oprah herself. I was in a fashion show on the cruise and then I began working with major clothing and jewelry brands to show women how they can look and feel good because most of us aren’t supermodels and it helps women to see themselves through the lens of regular woman. Who would have ever thought I’d be involved in something as inspiring as that? And every day something new and amazing comes my way.  I still don’t know exactly what my destiny is but I can tell you that if I can start achieving my dreams in my 40’s, you can start to seize yours right now. Just do one right thing each day and I promise you, your life will start to unfold.

You’ll Get There

So while life is unfolding here are some things I want you to keep in mind.

You will fail- but only at the things that aren’t the right thing-I considered law school once and failed miserably at the LSAT. I didn’t even prep for it. I thought that I had a rational mind. That was certainly not the next right thing but it gave me an opportunity to reexamine what I thought I wanted and do the next right thing.

You can be different and still succeed– I’m not doing what other instagram models are doing. There a plenty of young ladies (and men) on IG posting pics that they wouldn’t want their parents to see. But they are doing that because they think it will make them popular and successful and the reality is if you do the right thing you can achieve that success and still keep your integrity about you.

Always present your best self to the world-If you go to an event, a job interview or a nice dinner with your friends always dress nicely. Even if no one else does. You know never know when someone who is in the position to help you achieve your dreams will notice you. Dressing nicely does not mean designer clothes. It means appropriate for the occasion, clean, wrinkle free and tasteful. It means wearing the right things.

Listen to advice… but sift it. Have you ever played with a sifter in the sand? Even if you haven’t you have seen it happen right. You dump a bunch of sand and stuff in and the sand sifts out and you’re left with a few beautiful shells. That’s what I want you to do with the advice that you are given. Look through that sifter for the next right thing and let what isn’t right sift right on through. You will know what you’re looking for.

I also hope that something I said in this post remains once all the sand falls away, and if nothing else is left behind do the next right thing! I know and I want you to know that if you simply do that  you will be on the right path to your destiny.

With Love (sans luck),

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 10.37.22 PM

Posted by

Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

11 thoughts on “My Lucky Letter to Millennials

  1. Nice piece, very inspiring and full of helpful tips. Thanks for sharing. As a single mom myself I don’t believe in setting labels. I believe you should do what feels right in your heart and aligns with your values. When I started writing and set up my Blog many thought it was just a hobbie. Then I bought my own domain name and set up my own site and still some found it “cute.” You can’t allow what others think you should be doing to taint your life. When you walk at your pace, you walk more comfortable. Congrats and stay blessed. Happy Holidays.


    1. Thank you so much Mari! You are so right about putting labels aside! You are also correct about following your heart and walking your own pace. You have to believe in yourself even when others don’t. I’ve learned that the right people will come around. It might just take them a minute to see your vision but when you truly embrace your own life no one can ignore your shine. 🙌🏾✨


  2. Very uplifting and inspiring post. I love that phrase – “do the next right thing.” Such wise words to live by. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you all the best – speak766


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s