Life lessons from Dawn Porter: “Aim high to achieve all your goals”

TV presenter Dawn O'Porter shares her thoughts on living life your way.


by Fiona Day |
Published on

I wish I knew when I was experiencing it that failure is going to have such a positive impact on life.

I had a really successful career as a writer and TV presenter in my mid-20s then, when I hit 30, all my ideas for TV shows and books just kept being rejected. After a year of that, I stopped bothering and just wallowed in how bad things were getting. One day, I woke up to the news that I had lost my weekly magazine column, the only thing that kept me afloat. After a few weeks of doing little but sobbing, I had a moment when I was walking the dog- crying- where I thought, “ No, Dawn, you are better than this.” I went home and started working on a proposal for a book.

Less than eight months later, I was signed up to write it. I needed to remind myself that I was in control of my own destiny. But that’s easy to forget when things are going wrong and you lack self-esteem. I’d got to the point where I sat back and presumed my career would come and find me again, but what I learned is that it never would if I didn’t put in the effort. Since then, I have never worked as hard. I know now that success will not just come to me, I have to work for it.


Dawn Porter life lessons

Donu2019t listen when people say not to set your goals too high- aim higher1 of 5

Don’t listen when people say not to set your goals too high- aim higher

There have been too many times when I’ve vocalised my dreams- said I want to write books for instance- and someone has told me to get my head out of the clouds. It just made me push even harder to prove them wrong.But imagine if I’d listened? I wouldn’t have achieved anything and I see that happening to others all the time. When someone tells you they want to do something far fetched, wish them luck- don’t crush their ambition.

Donu2019t let other peopleu2019s opinions of you get you down2 of 5

Don’t let other people’s opinions of you get you down

I used to spend far too much time worrying about what people thought of me. It held me back more than anything else because doing that made me obsess about my weaknesses and forget about my strengths.It’s such a waste of time. Life has taught me that there will always be some people who dislike you. We all have an audience- play to the ones who are clapping, not the ones throwing tomatoes.

Look after your mates3 of 5

Look after your mates

Friendship is everything. Everything! Even when you find the love of your life, your friends remain so important to you. Look after them, cherish them and build memories with them so that if your lives go in separate ways, you can meet up after years and still have a million things to laugh about. Hanging out with girlfriends and looking back on good times is the best. As is creating new memories.

Stop saying how old you are and start realising how young you are!4 of 5

Stop saying how old you are and start realising how young you are!

I’m bored of people moaning about how old they are. I’m 34. When I get to 44, I’ll look back at being 34 and think, “I was so young.” We should all live in the moment more and feel young, not old. I tell people to shut up when they go on about it now, it’s such a waste of energy and I don’t want to be made to feel like the best years are behind me.

Take loads of photos5 of 5

Take loads of photos

I’m obsessed with photographs. I take them all the time and get upset when I miss a significant moment. When I lost my mum at six to breast cancer, I was left with very little material stuff. I don’t have any of her clothes or belongings, just a few pieces of her jewellery and fur hat. Photos of her have become some of my most precious possessions. You can never have too many photos of the people you love.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us