I've always wanted to make one of these lists and birthdays are always a good time to reflect on what your truths are. Here are mine. Do you relate or disagree? Comment and let me know.
1. You are your own worst enemy. Without a doubt, your ego creates false fears and stops you from being your best self.
2. Know your personal style. While they look good on some people, I'm never going to like pencil skirts, shift dresses, kitten heels, skirt suits or anything else that looks matronly or Mad Men-ny.
3. Unmanicured nails are the depths of misery. I can go no makeup, but I mean, I look down at my own hands all the time.
4. Fake people - also the depths of misery. Honest, to-the-point people are the best. I can't with pretence. Just say what you mean.
5. Female solidarity is a myth - think more in the terms of tribes. People react to your energy, not your gender.
6. Well-intentioned people will often give you the worst advice. This can include your parents and close friends. People can project their own stuff onto you without meaning to. Read my Marie Claire article for more on this.
7. Confidence doesn't magically come from within, it's a byproduct of your daily actions. You won't feel confident if you're not doing the right things.
8. The beauty industry is full of BS. Eat very well, take supplements, and ensure your digestion runs well, and you won't need "anti-aging" creams.
9. Money is also a by-product. Work harder, and add value. To succeed, you must do what most others aren't willing to do. That includes waking up at 5am and working weekends and holidays.
10. Considering the above, I owe a lot to coffee.
11. Balance is a myth - anything worth having unbalances your life. (Alain de Botton said this first.)
12. Grammar matters. Read it over.
13. If (and only if) you want to slim down, less-carbs-more-cardio really works.
14. But don't forget to eat for pleasure - eat a good reset meal when food becomes too functional. I'll take a truffle pasta or a good burger. Maybe some tiramisu.
15. You need closeness *and* separateness and if you want your relationship to work. The magic is in the tension. Read Esther Perel for more on this.
16. "Pick up the mirror" is the most useful advice I've ever heard in terms of relationships and dealing with others. We can't blame others for making us feel things. Read Susan Jeffers for more on this.
17. Chicken soup is the best comfort food, and even more therapeutic if you make it yourself.
18. Everything is interconnected. The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
19. It's really important to travel to find out who you are without the confines of where you grew up or have been living a long time. Travel as much as you can - especially in your twenties.
Save, borrow, steal (just kidding), but make sure you do it.
20. Travel alone at least once - spending time alone builds character and a solo trip is the ultimate key to learning to have your own back.
21. Don't chase people, but learn how to be vulnerable. It's a fine line. You'll know if it's worth it by the way it feels. Read Brene Brown's books on vulnerability for more on this.
22. When you're having a bad day, do the things you enjoyed doing when you were a kid. I swim or rollerblade.
23. Real friends don't compete with you. Friendships with an undercurrent of competition always crumble.
24. You end up where you're supposed to be.
25. All emotions boil down to two primary emotions - love and fear. Ask yourself what's motivating your choice when faced with a decision.
26. You get what you pay for.
27. A run or a walk in the park or near a body of water cures most anxieties.
28. Let go - that's when the magic happens. You must be able to let go of whatever you are afraid of losing. Grasping too tightly on something - goal, outcome, relationship, deal - sucks the flow and energy out of it.
29. Find your passion. Such a cliché, but so true. It's so important to have your own thing that makes you, you. Read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow for more on this.
30. If all else fails, go to Italy. Italy is the most good-vibes-only place in the world. If this isn't possible at the moment, go to a place that has good vibes for you more locally.
31. All bad things come from not being present, and all things can be fixed by being present. Most often, you are ruminating on the past or anxious about something in the future. Ask yourself: what actual problem do I have right now? Most likely, none. Read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now for more on this.
32. Never settle. "If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." Steve Jobs was right, obviously.