What's Important To You? By Marja Norris

What’s Important to You?

What’s most important to you? My friend Marie Remboulis, the head of communications of Thales Avionics, a large Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles, California, believes that every choice we make in life comes at a cost, and you set your course in life based on what you are prepared to pay. “I come from a family of immigrants who chose to leave a place where they were very comfortable because they knew it was not going to last. Freedom was precarious, and they wanted to bring up a family in a world were there would be a future, where everything was possible. As the eldest of three, I felt I had a responsibility to prove them right: I owed it to myself and my parents.

“My dad described me as perseverant. I never chose the easiest path, and once I chose, I was prepared to work hard— very hard—to achieve what I wanted. No regrets, no complaints, just happiness, because I chose it. Whether it was about school, learning another language, career choices, relationships, values, and so on, I believe once you make a choice this and are prepared for what it might cost, then you are true to yourself and can truly live life to its fullest every day—the ultimate freedom!

“No matter the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows, the successes and failures, for me it’s about setting the course and pursuing it with intent. That course may change; success may be defined differently, and that is okay because we change. We learn from our mistakes and get better every day because of that.”

Success, then, comes once our values are crystal clear and we can make decisions based on upholding them. Aligning your values with the career sacrifices you must make keeps stress to a minimum and success to a maximum.

What’s most important to you? Is it your career? Your family? Your health? Earning a good living? All of the above? Nobody can answer this question but you. Determine what you value, because that’s where success begins and ends.


Marja Norris is the CEO and Founder of MarjaNorris.com, a company dedicated to helping women achieve their career goals with style and confidence. With a distinguished career in finance, Marja has successfully navigated the male-dominated business world. Working her way up from an entry-level assistant to a Senior Vice President, she draws on her three decades of experience in the corporate world to empower women to pursue their highest goals and blossom into everything they can be.

Marja is passionate about coaching women on projecting their best professional selves. With the publication of her latest book, The Unspoken Code: A Businesswoman’s No-Nonsense Guide to Making It in the Corporate World, Marja’s mission is to provide women with the tools to successfully navigate the workplace through heightened confidence, excellent communication skills, and dressing the part to achieve career success.

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