It made no sense. People would see the old woman—frail and bent, her face lined with a thousand wrinkles. They would talk to her, look her in the eye, then walk away, invariably saying the same thing: “She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
Again, it made no sense. At least not by the standards of every major fashion magazine. The woman wasn’t long and lean. Her lips weren’t pouty and her eyelashes didn’t bat. She wasn’t hot. She wasn’t sexy. She wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow.
But she was beautiful. And everyone who met Blessed Teresa of Calcutta believed her to be so.
Because, as John Paul II wrote in The Theology of the Body, “the body expresses the person.”
In other words, through Mother Teresa’s body, people saw her soul, a soul alive with love and transformed by grace. In her eyes, they saw mercy. In her hands, they saw compassion. In her shoulders, stooped and bent, they saw humility.
And in her whole person, they saw God. Through her mercy, compassion, and humility, they saw his mercy, compassion, and humility. Through herlove, they saw his love. Through her strength, his strength.
They saw all that because, as I explain in These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body, that’s what the body does. It makes visible the truths of our invisible soul, and it makes visible the truths about our invisible God. It communicates who we are to the world as it images the Creator of that world. What makes it beautiful is how well it does that, how perfectly it images the God who formed it.
Which is to say, what makes a body beautiful is how well it loves.
That’s not pious claptrap. It’s the simple reason why people walked away from Mother Teresa fully convinced that they’d just met the most beautiful woman in the world.
Her love for God and man were written on her face. Her virtue—her compassion, her purity, her obedience, her respect for life—manifested itself in her every look and action. And that didn’t just make her soul beautiful. It made her body beautiful. It caused people to see her as lovely. They liked to look upon her.
The same holds true for us.
The Beauty of Us
We may not think we’re beautiful. We may look at the women and men gracing the pages of Glamour or Men’s Fitness and think we don’t measure up because our hair isn’t as thick or our abs as tight or skin as firm. We may not like what we see in the mirror: the wrinkles, the scars and stretch marks, the cellulite or gray hairs, the nose or eyes or lips that don’t resemble the models in the magazines.
But the people we love don’t see what we see.
They don’t see a collection of body parts; they see us. They see our love for them. They see sacrifices made and patience exercised. They see how many times we’ve forgiven them, listened to them, and encouraged them. They see our honesty, integrity, fidelity, and devotion. They also see our intelligence, humor, wit, and creativity—all gifts from God and all ways we image God.
And make no mistake, they see that in our bodies. They see that when they look at us. Even if we don’t see it.
When your two-year-old or mother or spouse tells you that you’re beautiful, they’re not lying or exaggerating or blowing smoke. They don’t have a vision problem. In a way you don’t, they see the reality of you, the beauty of you—a person created by God, loved by God, and who, in body and soul, images God.
That is, they see that beauty if there’s beauty to be seen.
For just as love of God and man makes a body beautiful, the absence of that love makes a body decidedly less so.
Hatred, vulgarity, cruelty, vanity, pride, self-pity, and insecurity—they work their way to the surface too. Youth might be able to hide them for a while, but by a certain age, most everyone has the face they deserve. And even if they have a better face than they deserve, only strangers usually see it that way. Those who know them best, look upon them and see the rot in their soul. They see the absence of beauty when there’s an absence of love.
Again, the body expresses the person. It can’t do otherwise.
A Beauty Plan
So, do you want to be beautiful?
Then love. Pray. Obey God. Get to know him so you can be like him.
Talk less of yourself and listen more to others. Open your home to friends and strangers. Pay more attention to them and less to the dishes piled up in your sink. Turn of the TV and visit the elderly neighbor across the street. Put down the iPhone and look the person you’re with in the eye. Write checks for widows and orphans. Look away from the half-naked woman walking down the street. Don’t flirt with the married co-worker in the office next door. Hold the complaining and tell God, “Thy will be done.” Forgive. Be frugal. Be merciful. Don’t gossip. Don’t shirk your responsibilities, and don’t make everything about yourself.
Also, laugh. Smile. Throw your arms around the people you love. Cook your kids’ favorite meal for dinner. Knit a scarf for a friend. Finish the project you’ve long promised your wife you’d finish. Give flowers for no reason.
While you’re at it, care for your body, but don’t obsess about your body. Spend less time looking in the mirror and more time looking at the Cross. Be patient with yourself as you’re patient with others.
Basically, pursue virtue, avoid vice, love truly, and use the body God gave you to express that love. Use it to give your love away every day in a thousand little ways. Be the gift of love that you are.
You may not see how beautiful that makes you. It may take a while to like what’s staring back at you in the mirror. Cultural voices are hard to silence, and old habits of seeing and judging die hard.
But others will see it. They will see you. And through you, they will see God. Which is exactly how God designed it to be.
"As the mother of two teenage girls, my cellular fears had been pretty much relegated to the panic over the dreaded texting while driving issue or that one day, one of the girls might think it a good idea to text naked photos of herself to a current crush. But that was about it. Never did it cross my mind that the seemingly normal act of texting an authentic boyfriend might actually warp or ruin a genuine romantic relationship.Hear me out. I have a theory.Recently a friend of my daughter’s told me that her boyfriend “wanted a break.” Since I write young adult novels for a living and aspire to be known as “The Cool Mom,” I said, “Sit down, honey. Have an iced tea and tell me what happened.”You see in the case of this particular girl, I was confused. She wasn’t one of those needy girls. She was strong and independent. Her boyfriend was too. This pair of lovebirds weren’t the stereotypical glued-at-the-hip kind of couple. Both had very active social lives, apart from their relationship, and both admitted to still being very much infatuated. So, if there wasn’t another girl in the picture, why the break?The girl had no idea.”Is he still texting you?” I asked.”Yes Ma’am.” (We live in the South.)”Like all the time?”“Yes Ma’am.”And then I asked the key question — one I thought I understood, but apparently did not. “Explain this texting thing to me.”“It’s like a tennis ball,” she replied. "He texts, and then I text back, and it goes on like this all the time. Back and forth. Back and forth.”“Can you elaborate?” Surely she couldn’t mean ALL the time. What the heck were they talking about?She shrugged. “Well, today he said something about his class. And then I sent him a pic from volleyball practice and then he asked me a question about it. And I replied.”“But then it should stop, right? After you answered his question?”“Well, no. Because then it’s his turn.”“But the conversation was over,” I pointed out.”The conversation is never over… ” she repeated, emphasis on “never.”The problem was becoming clear, and I jumped in with a diagnosis. “I can’t even fathom being forced to talk to my husband, my mother, or even my best friend every day like that! No wonder the guy needs a break. He’s sick of you."That might have been a little harsh, I admit. Tears began to fall.So I concurred that texting is fun and exciting at the start. Heck. Nothing ignites those butterflies better. And Lord knows those first few weeks of texts can turn a girl to mush. Oh, the nights of late night texting marathons where you tell each other everything under the sun. I get it."All the same,” I added, “I love pecan pie like the rest of the gals, but too much sugar will make you sick.”She winced.”That poor boy has no space,” I explained. “Think about it. You’re TOO available. He doesn’t have time to miss you or wonder what you’re doing or wish he could be with you because he already IS with you. You live in his pocket for Pete’s sake. This constant texting has burned out the relationship. Killed the allure. Why would he want to come to your house and watch a movie or hang out after school when he feels like he’s ‘with you’ all the time?”She got real quiet and I feared more tears, so I offered my prescription. “Look. Texting is an addictive behavior. I’ve googled it. So I know that you two are addicted to a bad habit. All you need to do is quit texting him for a few days, or even a few hours and he’ll be over this break real quick.”Tah dah! I was right. He was at her locker the next day before sixth period.But since I’m the hen in a house full of chicks, I can only speak about what I see from inside the coop, but I imagine the same is true from a male perspective. I’ve certainly seen it again and again on this side of the fence — the ruin of a perfectly good match due to the constant contact generated by texting. Even stranger is when these couples really DO break up but still can’t stop texting each other. Not to mention the problem of one or both of the parties preferring to discuss the more serious issues in their relationships via text instead of in person because it’s easier.Another mother told me about her teen whose courtship became almost “textophrenic.” There was the attraction the girl had to the sweet guy she dated in real life and then the not-so-attractive union she had with his snarky, impatient “twin” whose texts were almost brotherly and sometimes crude, an all day let’s-poke-fun-at-each-other kind of bond. Her attempt to manage the two sides of the relationship was confusing, not to mention exhausting.And while we’re on the subject, let’s discuss Apple’s “Read Receipts.” This is a feature on the iPhone that allows the parties to be able to tell the exact minute their texts have been read. So, for a teenager, if he or she hasn’t received a reply in t-minus two seconds, something must be wrong. As a favor, I once held my daughter’s phone while a series of texts from a friend came in. Being the curious novelist that I am, I read, but didn’t reply because, well, I wasn’t my daughter. But I watched while the friend started to frantically text a string of paranoia that went something like this: Hello?! I know you’re reading this. So you’re not gonna answer?Nice. You suck.The friend could clearly see that I was reading her texts because my daughter’s phone was sending her “read receipts” telling her that the texts had been seen. But because I wasn’t replying, she thought that my daughter was mad at her. Needless to say I battened down the hatches and instigated an intervention STAT. Numero Uno? NO MORE READ RECEIPTS.These kids know where everyone is at every moment of the day. Remember when you used to wonder if the cute boy was going to be at the hangout and you got all dolled up and excited in anticipation? That’s a thing of the past. These kids know who’s there before they ever leave their house because they are actively participating in dozens of group conversations at the same time. It’s like standing in the center of seven cocktail parties at once!Bottom line: Our children need a break. But what should we do? And how do we convince them of the dangers of something that has become so central to their existence? I wasn’t sure. But then fate stepped in to help when I suddenly had cause to punish my eldest.”I’m taking your phone away,” I declared.Her face went ashen. “But I’m scared to drive without it. I mean what if I have an accident or run out of gas or something?”I felt my face warm. She had a point. I’m just as attached to her having the stupid thing as she is to having it.”You’ll be fine,” I assured her, but I wasn’t convinced.An hour later, she appeared at the kitchen door slumped in boredom and announced she was going to a neighbor boy’s house. “And after that, I might even go to another one’s.”I perked up. “Yes! Human interaction. You go, girl! Visit a bunch of the neighbors!”When she returned, she climbed up into my bed and told me she’d had a good afternoon chilling with her friends and one’s whole family. We decided to swing back by a little later and ended up being invited to stay for dinner.”I am so thankful you took your daughter’s phone away today!” the mother gushed, her children horrified. “Do you realize that we would have never gotten to hang out or have dinner like this if that sleek little rectangle had remained affixed to her palm?We laughed and realized it was true. Had my sweet girl had access to her phone, she wouldn’t have made time to be with this boy that day. And yet, here we all were together, interacting over a shared summer supper.Wake up, people. This needless incessant phone-to-phone contact is ruining relationships and not just romantic ones. As for the Anderson girls, we are at least talking about it. And that’s a good start. In fact, much to my delight, one of my daughter’s friends proofed this article, then shared a similar story.”The other day my boyfriend and I texted each other all class period long. But when we saw each other afterwards it was weirdly awkward because we had nothing to say.” She paused. “Like nothing.”“What if all of this texting stuff develops into some sort of cyber reality?’” We chuckled. “Like what if we lose the ability to talk apart from a cell phone?” she suggested.”Without human interaction life would get very boring,” I later concluded with my daughter. And this time, I knew she understood.By the way, when her phone was returned a mere 24 hours later, she had missed 306 texts… Lawsy. It’s going to take a village.”
Sometime life isn’t easy. Sometimes it is really hard. But what you make out of it is in your own hands. No one is always going to be there to push you in the right direction. You have to set good intentions initially to be able to successfully move through life. Yes, those good intentions can shift around a little, changing career paths, finding new friends, picking up a new hobby, or even a new boyfriend. However, those initially good intentions are what keep driving you to a final goal. A goal that is so predominant over your life that no little unfortunate experience will tread on you. Sometimes life throws difficult circumstances your way, but you need to learn how to be confident in yourself enough to overcome something that might only last a day to maybe a year. My first year of college, I had a difficult time socially. But I had a goal. My goal is basically to do whatever I want but mainly to have a successful life. To have a successful life, I not only know what I want, but how I am going to get there. If I want to be an engineer, doctor, dentist, mathematician, I have to keep my GPA high. If I want a true, holy, hot, intelligent boyfriend, I have to keep my morals, appearance, and attitude in check. If I want to have friends I have to be kind, giving, and helpful.
I have two people I want to examplify. The first is my cousin Carrie. Carrie is a beautiful, confident, intelligent, giving, holy individual who made her life perfect in my eyes. She was my biggest role model. She was everything that I wanted. She lived in a little house in New Jersey and worked at a large company, at the top of that company. She had an Australian husband who taught golf at the professional level. She went to hot yoga (my personal favorite) and traveled the world. She worked hard, and she played hard. She got what she wanted and never complained. Two years ago, Carrie was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She tried every medication, chemo, and treatment possible. She researched everything herself. The tumor kept getting larger. There was nothing in her power but her attitude. Her journey was hard, when finally she made the move to Hawaii. On November 4, 2013, she passed away from a brain tumor that spread to her other organs. Life doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Life is really hard. Life can get you down, but all that matters is what you make of your life. Carrie’s life was beautiful. She made it beautiful.
Everyone can make their life just as beautiful if they live in the moment. Enjoy what you have now, and make so you can enjoy the future as well, whatever life throws at you. The second person I would like to talk about is my best friend. She, however, is not making the most of a terrible situation. My best friend is having trouble in college. She doesn’t have that many friends, and doesn’t get along with her housemates. I try to help her and call her but she doesn’t answer. I tell her it will be all right and she believes me for a second, but then retreats back to her quite hub. I recently learned she sits in her room and cries. She doesn’t have good grades and she doesn’t get out much. I gave her a few resources, like another one of my best friends at her university, but she doesn’t use them. She was diagnosed with high anxiety and depression. Now, not everything is her fault, but there are a few things that could be worked on. With all this time to study, her grades could be higher. She could go to the gym more often to feel good about herself. She could develop a new hobby or skill. She could go visit her wonderful boyfriend. She could talk to her mom. She could call me. She could use the resources that I gave her. There are many things she could be doing. She needs to make the most of her college experience. Just because one thing doesn’t go your way, doesn’t give you the rights to spiral down into a deep, dark mess. Keeping spirits up and attitudes in check can mean a world of difference to what may seem like a tough spot in life. I am sure Carrie had rough spots that prepared her for what was the hardest time in her life. So take advantage of a few rough patches to define and perfect you.
This summer, I had the chance to define and perfect myself. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I didn’t have someone to hang out with everyday. Instead of moping around, I made the most of it, and I enjoyed it. I ran 3 miles a day, took a Calculus III summer course, practiced hot yoga, and spent quality time with my family and friends. I was down from the past year at college, and this alone time greatly restored my mood and motivation to what it was when I graduated high school. My new roommate did the exact same thing over the summer, and we felt we were more prepared for our sophomore year of college because we developed ourselves. And I think that is the most important step in growing up and becoming an adult. Through developing ourselves, we earn more respect from our families, our friends, and complete strangers. The number of compliments I receive about being a confident young woman who has a drive for knowledge and success are abundant. So think about how you will develop and perfect yourself. What steps are necessary to become a successful woman in your own eyes? Only you know the answer to that question because only you know what you want to achieve throughout life.
Picture of Carrie and her husband.
"Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.
Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.
I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.
Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.
Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.
But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.
I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.
To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.
And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.
Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”
A little strength for those struggling with self confidence.
At the John Mayer concert, there were girls that were like perfectly skinny with long blonde hair, showing off their midriff and their boobs and like everything else they own… and we both think they are like ‘so hot’ and ‘so perfect’ and just the pinnacle of the world. But I really have gotten over it and I want to share why I have gotten over it.
It is just a phase, its not forever.
First, those girls were 12 or if they are not 12, then they are like the blonde girl sitting in front of us, they smoke, drink, and have sex. Doing the wrong thing. I have been sheltered for the most part, and I see it most when I am at college. College was a wake up call, and a culture shock. At college, drinking and the above are COMPLETELY normal, and practically going naked to parties was completely normal, and then to put that on Facebook was completely normal. It is tempting to be like them, to want to be perfect. but let me tell you they are not perfect. They show off their stomachs because they are insecure. They want guys to ADORE them, and to take advantage of them. Most of those girls go WAY overboard. They want attention. They smoke and drink for the same reasons they dye their hair blonde and become anorexic. They want boys and other girls to think like you think about yourself and what I used to think about myself.
The thing that made me get over it is the fact that they are not very classy. They do not attract the right men. You are beautiful in a unique way. No, you may not have blonde hair. No, you may not be model tall. No, you don’t have a stick body like 12 year olds and anorexic and bulimics. No, you don’t go sit for hours in a tanning booth. But, that is the beauty of your body. You are you and you are beautiful. No one has a perfect hollywood body (and those are entirely photoshopped anyways).
So don’t feel like you need to dress to impress. Your face impresses and your body should not need to. Your personality and your interests and your holiness should attract men and other friends. Not what you look like. So don’t get hung up on what other girls have. Tan skin is not going to matter in the next 20 years (the ones that obsessively tan). Because, they will have saggy skin with saggy boobs. And when skinny girls become pregnant, they will not know how to work out. They will be lazy, like always. The girls that have to work hard to be skinny are going to be the ones that succeed. Naturally skinny girls do not know how to maintain their weight. They also won’t have the faith base because they fell into bad habits early on and cannot get out of the hole that easily. Smoking and drinking become habits (addicts) and their lifestyle plummets, because the guys pressured them early on and they gave in. They are not respected by guys, and especially not by older men. Hold your values, for you will be worth SOOOO much more when it comes time to actually find a man who you will love and practically worship. Don’t settle for less.
So I challenge you to put away the Facebook stalking, and whatnot. It’ll do you good. Unfollow a bunch of meaningless girls on instagram and unfriend them on Facebook.
So overall, we both hold the female power, because we didn’t give into men by dressing sexual, smoking or drinking. We didn’t give in to the pressures of the world. We are going to marry the doctors and army generals and achieve more as women because we are stronger. This is why men are stupid. They come to realize the real women are not the ones who gave everything when they were 16. They realize this between the ages of 25 and 30. So like 25 year olds come out come out wherever you are!!!! Remember Chris (the winner of the bachelorette) CHRIS CHRIS
You get what you need, not what you want.
The universe will never give you anything you can’t handle.
There is so much love within every single one of us, it’s difficult to grasp. So much love. Love is always here. It can never be lost.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Risk getting your heart broken. It’s worth it.
The earth is part of us, as much as we are a part of it. Caring for nature means caring for ourselves.
Move past your fears. They are here for you to learn. Let go, and only love remains.
Surround yourself with people that give you energy. You’ll know when you have a valuable person in your life; the relationship will be effortless. A real connection requires no struggle. Let go of people that are holding you back. Don’t judge, don’t fight. Just let them go. Life is far too important to focus on anything but love.
Here is a great article I found ironically on Pinterest. However, it hits home about social media. Even the Today Show (today) talked about how social media is changing our lives for the worse. Are we not enjoying the moment just as the moment is? The Today Show and Louis CK talked about how parents just hold up their phone to take a video of their daughter dancing. Those parents are never going to get the actual moment back. They are watching their child once removed through a video they will probably watch a thousand more times through that exact same phone. Watch your child, and buy the video the dance studio sells. And at concerts, take one picture of Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, or Dave Matthews and set the camera down and take in the moment. Life becomes so much fuller.
On second thought, we don’t need to document our every event, and every meal on Instagram and Facebook (maybe just the big ones). We don’t need to document every feeling on Twitter, because to be honest, no one really cares. Have you ever seen those people who post Facebook status’ like, “Why does everyone hate me? Men are stupid. UGH I hate all people.”? I have. Yes, people care, but only tell the people who honestly know and care about you. Do you honestly want to tell that random guy you went to camp with five years ago that you had a crush on that you are insecure. Or just Facebook that you are insecure about your situation. Society today puts people with confidence on a pedestal. If you really feel inclined to post every little move you make on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, just to show other people you are not a boring person and actually have friends, that’s sad. You are a person. You are important. If you keep your life secret, people will wonder what you are doing these days, and ACTUALLY ask you what you are up to, and be interested. Be confident in who you are.
My father looks at Facebook, Linked-in and other social media sites to evaluated the value his potential new employee may be able to afford his company. Do you really want your employer to view your nineteen year old drunken concert, or college scandalous halloween party? I wouldn’t (even though I would never let that happen in the first place). I would not put that as my main picture on my resume. Even your feelings could have an effect on your potential employers opinion. They don’t want an insecure employee.
Okay finally! Here’s the article I mentioned in the beginning.
"If Pinterest were a lady, I would never go to her dinner parties. Let me set it up for you: I walk in through her door (where a handmade wreath of sapling branches is neatly hung) to find a table set with votives, decorative napkins and placemats made of burlap, and mason jars. Mason jars everywhere. As I sit down, already trapped in my own private inadequacy tornado, I start to second-guess every decision I have ever made—how have I lived my life thus far without repurposed vases and coasters made of Scrabble tiles? How expensive are mason jars? I should absolutely build my own bookshelf made of oak.
The other guests comment on her lovely printed chairs, Pinterest responds humbly that she upholstered them herself with her grandmother’s vintage tablecloths. Of course she did. The rest of the meal would be a nightmare as I look feverishly around the room only to find I am surrounded by evidence of my own shortcomings.
Long story short, dinner parties at Pinterest’s would be the worst.
I admit to being slightly more than obsessed with Social Media. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, I’ve got it covered. All day, every day. While social media is connecting people around the world like never before, it also enables serious lifestyle comparison. We are no longer just keeping up with the Joneses—we are trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Smiths, and the Fredricksons and every one of our 512 Facebook friends. Did you see on Facebook that the Howards are building a pool? They are. They’re building a pool.
Pinterest is enabling a new level of lifestyle comparison—the ability to compare your own life to the lives of thousands of complete strangers. I admit to following bloggers and coveting their home décor and feeling a strange sense of emptiness as I looked at my own life. Why don’t I have wildflowers drenched in natural light on my cedar kitchen table?
Because I don’t need that. No one needs that.
So everyone (myself included), it’s time to calm down. It’s time to take a break from Pinterest and turn off your cellphone—maybe try not to Instagram your coffee and croissant this time. It’s time to enjoy the pleasures of your life without examining them, documenting them, and then comparing them to the pleasures of the lives of others. The value of your life is not measured in the number of mason jar vases you have, but instead the joyful memory nuggets that can’t be captured by an iPhone camera.”
This is a Christian magazine that gives ideas and advice!
I get my some of my inspiration from this magazine. My advice is just more personal.
Take a look! [http://verilymag.com/]
Girls, be strong.
Today, tabloids, magazines, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking sites create this aura of a society that isn’t good enough.
This is a blog to eliminate insecurities and uplift girls in a healthy way to fight the world that is crumbling around us. Stay confident in yourself. You are lucky to continue your strength or have the time to start being strong today. Being successful is hard because of media and peer pressure, but beating worldly pressures makes a beautiful life so worth it.
Commit yourself to making a lot of mistakes. Mistakes teach you important lessons. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. So don’t hesitate—don’t doubt yourself. In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100 percent sure it will work, but you can always be 100 percent sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win. Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.
Find hard work you love doing. If I could offer my eighteen-year-old self some real career advice, I’d tell myself not to base my career choice on other people’s ideas, goals, and recommendations. I’d tell myself not to pick a major because it’s popular, or statistically creates graduates who make the most money. I’d tell myself that the right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing. As long as you remain true to yourself, and follow your own interests and values, you can find success through passion. Perhaps more importantly, you won’t wake up several years later working in a career field you despise, wondering “How the heck am I going to do this for the next 30 years?” So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re on to something big. Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
Invest time, energy, and money in yourself every day. When you invest in yourself, you can never lose, and over time, you will change the trajectory of your life. You are simply the product of what you know. The more time, energy, and money you spend acquiring pertinent knowledge, the more control you have over your life.Explore new ideas and opportunities often. Your natural human fears of failure and embarrassment will sometimes stop you from trying new things. But you must rise above these fears, for your life’s story is simply the culmination many small, unique experiences. And the more unique experiences you have, the more interesting your story gets. So seek as many new life experiences as possible and be sure to share them with the people you care about. Not doing so is not living.
When sharpening your career skills, focus more on less. Think in terms of Karate: A black belt seems far more impressive than a brown belt. But does a brown belt really seem any more impressive than a red belt? Probably not to most people. Remember that society elevates experts high onto a pedestal. Hard work matters, but not if it’s scattered in diverse directions. So narrow your focus on learning fewer career related skills and master them all.
People are not mind readers. Tell them what you’re thinking. People will never know how you feel unless you tell them. Your boss? Yeah, he doesn’t know you’re hoping for a promotion because you haven’t told him yet. That cute girl you haven’t talked to because you’re too shy? Yeah, you guessed it; she hasn’t given you the time of day simply because you haven’t given her the time of day either. In life, you have to communicate with others. And often, you have to open your vocal cords and speak the first words. You have to tell people what you’re thinking. It’s as simple as that.
Make swift decisions and take immediate action. Either you’re going to take action and seize new opportunities, or someone else will first. You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. Remember, there’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge is basically useless without action.
Accept and embrace change. However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So embrace change, and realize that change happens for a reason. It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
Don’t worry too much about what other people think about you. For the most part, what other people think and say about you doesn’t matter. When I was eighteen, I let the opinions of my high school and early college peers influence my decisions. And, at times, they steered me away from ideas and goals I strongly believed in. I realize now, ten years later, that this was a foolish way to live, especially when I consider that nearly all of these people whose opinions I cared so much about are no longer a part of my life. Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way. What they think and say about you isn’t important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.
Always be honest with yourself and others. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period.
Talk to lots of people in college and early on in your career. Bosses. Colleagues. Professors. Classmates. Social club members. Other students outside of your major or social circle. Teaching assistants. Career advisors. College deans. Friends of friends. Everyone! Why? Professional networking. I have worked for three employers since I graduated from college (I left my first two employers by choice on good terms), but I only interviewed with the first employer. The other two employers offered me a job before I even had a formal interview, based strictly on the recommendation of a hiring manager (someone I had networked with over the years). When employers look to fill a position, the first thing they do is ask the people they know and trust if they know someone who would do well in the position. If you start building your professional network early, you’ll be set. Over time, you’ll continue talking to new people you meet through your current network and your network’s reach and the associated opportunities will continue to snowball for the duration of your career.
Sit alone in silence for at least ten minutes every day. Use this time to think, plan, reflect, and dream. Creative and productive thinking flourish in solitude and silence. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, and you can focus on mapping out the next logical, productive step in your life.
Ask a lot of questions. The greatest adventure is the ability to inquire, to ask questions. Sometimes in the process of inquiry, the search is more significant than the answers. Answers come from other people, from the universe of knowledge and history, and from the intuition and deep wisdom inside yourself. These answers will never surface if you never ask the right questions. Thus, the simple act of asking the right questions is the answer.
Exploit the resources you do have access to. The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has twenty-five Grammy Awards to prove it.
Live below your means. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means.
Be respectful of others and make them feel good. In life and business, it’s not so much what you say that counts, it’ how you make people feel. So respect your elders, minors, and everyone in between. There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. Supporting, guiding, and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards. In order to get, you have to give.
Excel at what you do. There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right. Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies. Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
Be who you were born to be. You must follow your heart, and be who you were born to be. Some of us were born to be musicians—to communicate intricate thoughts and rousing feelings with the strings of a guitar. Some of us were born to be poets—to touch people’s hearts with exquisite prose. Some of us were born to be—to create growth and opportunity where others saw rubbish. And still, some of us were born to be or do whatever it is, specifically, that moves you. Regardless of what you decide to do in your lifetime, you better feel it in every fiber of your being. You better be born to do it! Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.
But above all, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Life is short, yet amazing. Enjoy the ride.