21 Truths About Life, Business, Parenting, and Style
I have learned in my first 50 years
Fair warning: 10 min read on how to be a better person, business person, parent and dresser.
There is not a single universally flattering thing in life that looks good on everyone. Especially not a haircut. People all around the world eat differently, work differently, do business differently, parent differently, dress differently, move differently, yet they live a happy life regardless. Even their ultimate life goals differ greatly. Some want to be rich, some influential, some acknowledged, while others strive for the simple satisfaction of love and happiness. There are only two things we all have in common: we yearn for love and we eventually die. But even the moments of our demise will vary, based on our individual circumstances.
I intend to make your time still being alive and reading my piece worthwhile. After living on various parts of this planet for about 50 years I accumulated certain experiences that you could benefit from. The following list of my observations (in random order) that changed my life towards improvement – one day or one year at a time – can help you in yours. That’s my promise and my hope.
Photo credit: Marc Louviere
1. Truth is the safest lie
I have been called brutally honest by my manifesting coach. I don’t know what is brutal about truth but I prefer leaning into the solidity of my words. Not only am I too lazy to remember my lies but lying also doesn’t feel right to me. I either tell the truth or I don’t say anything at all. I believe that it is better to be slapped in the face with the truth than kissed with a lie. Secrets and lies kill relationships. Because lies have short legs, they never get far. The end of a lie is grief. Then disappointment, resentment and regret follow.
Smart tip: Never lie to someone who trusts you. Never trust someone who lies to you. Even if it is your own blood. You can love someone whom you don’t fully trust. Trust me.
Photo credit: Pixabay
2. Follow your intuition
Whenever I didn’t trust my gut about someone or something, I regretted it. On occasion, bitterly. Intuition seems to be a matter that very few teach and very few know a lot about even though we are all equipped with it. Society, the learned behavior, the mob mentality suppresses this basic instinct that we have to protect us – sometimes from ourselves. In a way, our intuition is our inner fortune teller and bodyguard in one. Don’t fight it. Never mute it. Perhaps, because we don’t have to pay for their services, or becasue it speaks in riddles, we tend to ignore it. I don’t know about you but I believe that I have lived long enough to tell you that it’s wrong to disregard it. After I reframed the concept and accepted the bodyguard / fortuneteller aspect of my intuition, my life turned around. For the better.
Smart tip: ALWAYS follow your intuition. It’s the secret key to the future that you carry in your gut.
Photo credit: ArtHouse Studio, Pexels.com
3. There is a thin line between spontaneity and stupidity
Look at people between the ages of 15 and 25. There is a reason why the car insurance companies charge this particular age group the most. Statistics don’t lie. On the other hand, staying “spontaneous’’ up until they’re middle aged can be a hassle for those who have to deal with them.
Psychologists agree that instant decisions can result in poorer choices. Speaking of poorer choices, let’s not mix fast decisions and instant decisions. They are as different as dollar millionaires and sperm millionaires. The term instant decisions is often merely a euphemism for irrationality.
A spontaneous trip to Bali can turn into a nightmare. Especially, if you don’t check the weather and travel recommendation from an official source or earthquake calendars.
I spontaneously decided to move my family to another continent where we did not know a single soul and my husband didn’t speak a word of the official language. However, we had planned our move carefully for months. The stupidest spontaneous decision I have ever made was not listening to anyone’s advice about my wedding dress whenever someone tried to talk to me about it. To this day I feel itchy about my choice but I don’t regret whom I marry so I don’t look at the wedding pictures and focus on my man.
Smart tip: Whenever you think about doing anything spontaneous, ask yourself: Am I being spontaneous or… not?
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels.com
4. Girls and women need a bike seat designed specifically for females
If you are thinking about taking up biking to keep your thighs firm or you just want to move and enjoy the scenery (or both, like I do), I want you to know that a specifically designed bike seats make a world of a difference for anyone with a vulva.
Smart tip: Get one. No further words are needed.
5. The first step when you start a business is not what you think it is
Unlike many business gurus and their cats will tell you, I firmly believe that the most important aspect of your new business is knowing whose testimonials you want to prominently and proudly display on your website and sales pages. Never start with the price point. Start with the end in mind and adjust your offer, your sales funnels, your language, visuals and everything else to this one type of client. You will attract a wide array of people but the ones that your message is for will respond the most.
In time, your offers can be altered, reconfigured, modified for a different tier of clientele, or abandoned altogether but the basic client-seller interaction defines your positioning, your branding, and your marketing. When all three are in alignment with your Clientella McDreamy, the hard work is still hard work but you enjoy it all the way through. And that makes a huge difference.
Smart tip: Write a testimonial as if it was written by your dream client and read it every day. Your mind will attract the people who speak like that.
Photo credit: Lukas, Pexels.com
6. Scarcity mindset leads to more scarcity
People with a scarcity mindset clearly have underlying self-trust issues. They don’t trust their own ability to make up for potential loss. They live in constant (hidden) fear. These people rarely ask for help and when they do, they pull their traditional cards: excuses, entitlement, indecisiveness, offensiveness, constantly-under-attack-ness – one by one or all at the same time.
It’s energy draining to be around these ‘perpetual victim’ people. They emit negative vibes with an overwhelming instensity. Because nobody wants to be around them or talk to them (because scarcity stinks for miles), their behavior deprives them of many chances for betterment of their lives or circumstances.
Whenever I find myself willing to swim in the Scarcity Lake, I pull myself from the brink of the abyss and think about the straightforward Robin Sharma’s words: “Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results.” I want to deliver results, so excuses are out of the window and hard work starts.
Smart tip: Stop blaming and being suspicious of everyone around you and rewire for abundance. It works. I know because it works for me, too.
Photo credit: Eugine Akyurt, Pexels.com
7. How prayers work
I learned this lesson relatively recently. Brought up a (latent) catholic, I always found the concept of vengeful God unappealing just as I found the idea that I have no power whatsoever over my life. Therefore, I never really enjoyed praying to someone whose main goal was to punish me for my bad choices after I die. Until I read that short but utterly enlightening quote by Mother Teresa: “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.”
Smart tip: Whenever you are about to break, pray. Whether you pray or meditate, ask for more power, strength or will within you. The rest will come. Jim Rohn, the ultimate business philosopher put it, just like million times before, simply and beautifully: “Don’t wish it was easier. Wish you were better.”
Photo credit: Marc Louviere
8. First impressions set the course
If there is something that has never disappointed me, it’s the impression I seem to create on people. They react exactly as I expect them to. We absolutely have the power to steer the feelings people have about us when they meet us in our favour. How you present yourself is just as important as how you present your ideas. More often than not, the ideas presented by a better dressed and groomed person are accepted even though they may not be the best solution. They just seem more believable.
Smart tip: To get the first impression matters under control you might like to look into wearing only flattering outfits and nothing else. The differences in how people treat you are astounding.
Photo credit: ELEVATE, Pexels.com
9. Don’t flatter, praise
Flattery will get you everywhere, they say. This is the skill I yet have to master. Or not. I don’t flatter people to take advantage of them. As a matter of fact, I don’t flatter people, period. If I want to win them over I find something that is positive about them and praise them. Typically something visible – be it a colour they are wearing, a brooch, shoes, their glasses frame or any tiny detail that makes their sartorial choices positive. In years of helping clients with their image I learned that no matter the budget, every single person wears their clothes, shoes and accessories with at least a bit of pride. When you strike that particular chord, you create an invisible bond over something that both of you like. Now you have a foundation to build on. Simple. Make it strong.
Smart tip: Always find at least one element that you genuinely like about a person that you want to get on your side. Mean it when you say it. You will never regret it. For that person, you will forever be the one who said something really nice about their look. Perhaps, it was the only gratifying thing they heard all day.
10. Gentle humour solves more problems than all therapists in the world
Intelligent humour is just a turned around spyglass, a better perspective, an immediate and open minded solution to a tense situation. A survival mechanism for many, an immune system boost for all. The day you don’t laugh is the day you didn’t live ‘enough’. A good laugh should always be on your To do list.
Smart tip: When your sense of humour seem overbearing to the people in a room, saying “Awkward!” with an apologetic face breaks the barrier between you and those who don’t get it.
Photo credit: Gustavo Fring, Pexels.com
11. Heavenly Haircuts
Women often find a haircut they like, show it to the hairdresser and expect to look the same as the heavily edited and airbrushed 21 year old model sporting a few secret hair ‘additions’ while having her picture taken after a make-believe hair and makeup squad takes a well-deserved nap. Hairdresser, afraid to lose a client, agrees to it. While the short terms results can be satisfying for both sides, the long term bitterness starts right after the first washing.
There are three main factors and they are all equally consequential: your face shape, your hair quality, and your personality. I, for one, am so unbearably lazy when it comes to my hair maintenance that I cannot have any sort of haircut that requires applying anything but a hair mask before I wash it, a shampoo I wash it with and a few drops of oil to prevent the frizz storm afterwards. No heat tools will be voluntarily involved on a regular basis on my part. No rollers, no discomfort. That is the number one criteria for me – extremely low maintenance. Then my hair quality, (that gradually becomes ‘disquality’) and only then I consider my face shape, head shape and everything else relevant.
Smart tip: Be realistic, discuss your options with your stylist beforehand and follow their advice because more often than not they know more about people’s hair, and yours, than you do.
Photo credit: Skitterphoto, Pexels.com
12. When you stop learning, you die inside
Without advancing, life turns into mere existence with no other purpose but survival. The best, the easiest, and the cheapest way to learn to make any measurable progress in life is to read books. Most libraries around the world have a significant portion of their inventory accessible online. Most annual library memberships cost peanuts ($10 – $20), some are free.
Given that the average lending period to borrow any book or is 21 days (three weeks), you can easily read 17 books per year without paying a dime or a fine. It’s like meeting 17 different very clever people and learn from their experiences that they share in their books. Let’s say that an average self-help book with double lines has 300 pages. It makes 14 pages per day.
If reading is not your thing, you can listen to the books on the go – when you commute, fold laundry, clean up, exercise… The options are nearly unlimited, really. Even if you were a neglected child and stay uneducated in a Western society, it’s on you.
Smart tip: The first book you borrow should be about fast reading technique with the maximum information retention. Also, search for other options such as book summary apps. Try Blinkist.
Photo credit: Marc Louviere
13. Colour Matters
There is nothing than can compensate for wearing an unflattering colour, be it your clothes, hair or makeup. No amount of money you spend on any of it will ever counterbalance the visual damage you cause by your uninformed choices. Ignoring the influence of colour on your image results in you looking tired, sick, older, unwell, having more wrinkles, a double chin, and a bigger or smaller body than you actually have.
The carefully selected colour can utterly alter the way you look. When you wear the colours that your skin absorbs well, you can glow. You can look much younger, you can look lighter, and slimmer, and definitely well put-together. Colour based wardrobe is the only way to create any personal style. What else would you base your style on?
Smart tip: Get yourself educated on the matter of colour in your image and branding. Why don’t you start here: www.styleandchic.ca/join-colour-breakthrough
14. Style vs. Taste
There is significant difference between having taste and dressing with style. Some people have both taste and means to dress well, but the connection with their person is missing. When your outfits are great but they overpower you, you have taste, but no style. Personal style is personal for a reason.
The rare occurrence when everything seems to be in a complete alignment with the person wearing the outfit is always based on all five pillars of impeccable style. I call it Style Parthenon™ and I will teach it this summer in #SummerSchoolofStyle.
Smart tip: Sign up for a VIP list here: https://preeminent.style/vip
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
15. Think about the end at the beginning
It happens in your relationships when you don’t want to waste time with the wrong person. Yeah, follow your intuition as per #2 truth on this list
It happens in business when you think about being a popular author collecting royalties for the rest of your life even though you just registered your business and have only three email subscribers.
Smart tip: No matter what you do, what you buy, or who you spend time with, think about the potential future development and act accordingly. (I inserted the adjective ‘potential’ not to make God laugh.)
Photo credit: Edward Eyer
16. Manifesting works
My husband is a living proof. I have never in my entire life manifested anything or anyone in so much detail as I did him. Ever since I was 15 I wanted a tall, handsome, sports-oriented, well-educated man with dark wavy hair, a beautiful face, bright eyes, full lips and a heart of gold. Just about everything I am not. About a decade of intensive thinking about him and some side trials and tribulations with a couple of unworthy idiots later, I finally met him one early evening.
Long story short – we have two daughters who look just like him – thank God. The number of days we couldn’t spend together in over 20 years amounted to 20 in total. We have no current plans to change it.
Smart tip: You can have the things and people you want in your life, when you imagine the idea of having them daily. Talk to them as if they existed or were already in your life, create stories in your mind and keep them alive until they come into your life.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
17. Parenting is the hardest job I have ever had
You don’t go to school for that, there is no firm unchangeable structure that you can follow, no days off, no adjustment period or a test drive. You just do what you think is best at any given time knowing that you will regret some of your decisions, actions, and definitely some of your words.
Raising a child is always an experiment. The outcome is never certain. Hopes are typically high and prayers don’t always help. You just wait and see how the fruit of your love will turn out. Some will become fallen apples; some will take the role of the apple on the top of the tree, while others mature into all-healing-and-every-problem-solving apple cider. Even if you don’t share DNA with your children you are still proud of them and you will never stop loving them.
Smart tip: Don’t give up your life, your hobbies, your career or your business because you have children. Instead, be a role model who, in order to keep her sanity, takes me-time whenever needed and has something that is her own, aside from the family.
Photo credit: Harrison Haines
18. Change the room
When you are the smartest person in a room, you are in a wrong room. (This quote was attributed to many wise men but I will stick with Confucius because no one can easily prove it.) You may have experienced that feeling that you wish not to be associated with people you are with. You feel that soul draining pull that alters your mental state. You feel like screaming and perhaps flipping a table or two as you storm out. This is a clear signal that you are bored, unmotivated and that your goals are too high for these people. Applicable at any age, I might add.
Smart tip: Leave the room, the city, the country or even the continent for a better environment so you can grow.
Photo credit: Harrison Haines
19. Abundance vs. Greed vs. Ambition
It goes without saying that there is a huge difference between enough and a lot. I believe that there is a certain level of ‘enough’ that is universal for everyone: Living in a safe place, having enough to eat and feed those that you are responsible for, having a reliable stream of income to cover all your necessity comfortably, having access to other people’s wisdom to feed your mind. Somewhere there, I draw the line of ‘enough’ and the beginning of happiness. One who doesn’t have their basic needs covered cannot be as happy as the one who does.
Unlike many entitled communists, socialists, and other Marxists, I believe that there is nothing wrong with having a fortune. Quite the contrary. As long as the fortunate ones provide employment or other source of income for those who contribute to their well-being and they themselves have their ‘enough’ fulfilled. Greed, in my book starts where the acquiring-a-fortune process is based on disadvantaging others. When the only goal becomes receiving at the expense of others without giving them anything in return. No product, no service, no benefit. No balance in the energy flow.
Greed is sometimes interchangeably (and insidiously) used for ambition. While ambition is bold and inspiring, greed is suffocating. Greed is taking other people’s ‘enough’ away from them without any compensation whatsoever, only to add to the pile of excess. Greed is not good, Gordon. Greed is a parasite.
Smart tip: Check your moral compass and align it with your virtue from time to time, especially when your ambition allowed you to pass through the Alley of Abundance and reach the threshold of Greed.
20. The untouchable, unquestionable, unchallengeable
Find something that is and always will be sacred to you. Something that no mortal will break in you under no circumstances. Make it yours, own it. Turn it into your trade mark. Choose wisely. You have a plethora of options but I will mention a few from the list of virtues: integrity, loyalty, reliability, trust, courage, charity, patience, kindness, humility…
Smart tip: Start with one but add a few as you go through life. Practice it daily in small immeasurable amounts to see if a synonym suits you.
Photo credit: Skitterphoto
21. How many?
This one ties in with #15 Think about the end at the beginning. It answers a simple question: What do you want to do with your life?
To help you find the right answer I added a few more (or less) specific questions:
How many souls do you want to uplift?
How many lives do you want to transform?
How many people do you want to build?
How many bodies do you want to heal?
How many unheard do you want to listen to?
How many sad beings do you want to hug?
How many tears do you want to wipe away?
How many smiles do you want to make happen?
Try to think about the trajectory that will bring you and others abundance. And remember, always strive to leave the world a better place than you found it. Otherwise, you did it all wrong and you may have to write the recipe for living a good life down on a piece of paper 100 times to remember it forever and do better next time.
Smart tip: Ooops! There is no next time. So behave.
Image mentor Karolina Chic doesn’t see the world in black & white. She’s the secret weapon of ambitious public figures, touring authors and public speakers ready to move from coffin chic to custom chic in the blink of her highly-trained colour-focused eye – so they can gain trust and persuade the right audience with their awe-inspiring image.