Tag Archive | wisdom

Fight Battles You Can Win

A big mistake, dear reader, that many women (and men, for that matter) make in their lives, is that they waste copious amounts of time and energy in fighting battles that they can’t win, either because they haven’t really prepared themselves properly to win, or because what they are in is simply a no-win situation.

Sharon Stone photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair US March 2007:

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” – Sun Tzu

“Thus it is in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” – Sun Tzu

“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.” – Sun Tzu

This is what is meant when it is said to go after realistic goals.  It doesn’t mean to dull down your ultimate vision and to settle, but in order to get to that ultimate finish line you can’t waste too much time in situations where you are guaranteed not to win.

One example is when people tend to over-reach and put themselves in positions for which they are unprepared, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  They simply are not ready.  They haven’t done the work, they haven’t trained.  It would be like Roger Bannister expecting he could break the 4 minute mile barrier simply sitting on his couch without countless hours on the track and in the gym and rehearsing the act over and over again in his mind.  It is of course absurd yet countless women (and men) engage in this sort of thinking all the time.

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“Average people seem to have a strategy of ‘Ready, fire, aim!’  In other words, most people fail to do the necessary preparation and planning it takes to succeed.  Middle-class performers have a fondness for winging it.  Amateur performers are always looking for the easy road, yet appear to be confounded by their lack of success.”

Another way people tend to put themselves in a no-win situation is out of fear – they simply use the situation as an excuse as to why they didn’t go after what they wanted or couldn’t face something difficult – they deplete their energy and capability in distraction.

“For some of us, fighting losing battles is a form of distraction or compulsion, like OCD or an irrational need to check your email and Twitter account every 30 seconds.  Others simply don’t know any better.”

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – It’s All Small Stuff”

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, has perspective in life.  She has matured to the point at which she no longer sweats the “small stuff” and she doesn’t get too worked up over things.

“If I make a fool of myself, who cares?  I’m not frightened by anyone’s perception of me.” – Angelina Jolie

She understands that nothing is really as big of a deal as it seems to be.  Sure, she celebrates her successes and still feels the pain of loss when things don’t go her way, but she doesn’t magnify those things to the point where they stop her from progressing and cloud her vision.

 

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“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same … Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a [Woman], my [dear]!”

To be really successful in life, dear reader, a woman must have the emotional fortitude and maturity to handle both adversity and success without vacillating too much emotionally.   Again, this doesn’t mean that she’s not capable of feeling both intense happiness and intense sorrow – after all, these deep emotions are what make her human, and a woman – but she doesn’t allow them to control her.  She is able to separate from them without dissociating.

Realizing that no matter what happens, that it simply isn’t as big of a deal as you are making it out to be in your mind will set you free.  It will take away the self-created pressure that makes it hard for you to take any constructive action.

 

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“Amateur performers often crack under pressure because they lose their perspective.  Their fear of losing overwhelms them to the point of physical, emotional, and spiritual breakdown.  The champion knows that the secret to performing well under pressure has more to do with their perception of the event than the event itself.  While an amateur is telling himself that he must win, the pro is reminding herself that it’s only a game.  Both performers want to win, but the pro always outperforms the amateur under pressure because she has learned how to calm her nerves by putting things into perspective.  Some people claim that champions perform better than any other group under pressure.  This is not true.  There is an inverse relationship between pressure and performance, no matter who you are or what you do.  As pressure increases, performance decreases.  This occurs whether you’re Donald Trump or Donald Duck.  The reason champions get better results is because they have trained themselves how to perceive the so-called pressure situation.  The amateur perceives it as a threat, which triggers a fight or flight response from the mind and body.  Physiologically speaking, the performer believes he is literally fighting for his life.  Meanwhile, the pro has convinced herself that this situation is just a game, and nobody dies from losing a game.”

 

 

Handling Rejection, Becoming a Brand

Many women, dear reader, are generic imitations rather than their own brand.  This is the reason why so many have difficulty handling rejection emotionally, because they are unsure of themselves and who they are, and therefore will take rejection from someone else personally.

 

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The woman who has made herself her own unique brand, however, and has the courage to stand by it, will not have to place so much importance into what another thinks of her – she will be more centered and sure of herself.

“It takes guts to be a brand.  It takes guts to stand for what you believe in, even if it’s not popular.  You can’t be all things to all people if you want to be a brand.”

Women who have not yet developed themselves into a brand are the ones who are out trying too hard to fit into what others deem as cool, what a man wants in a relationship, and are slaves to outside opinion.

Not everyone likes Coca-Cola.  In fact, some despise everything it stands for.  However, because Coca-Cola developed itself into a centralized brand with clear distinctions that make it unmistakably what it is, virtually everyone knows what it is and is not, and it is the reason why it is currently a successful multi-billion dollar company.

 

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Coca-cola isn’t concerned over the fact that some dislike and won’t buy their product.  That rejection has no power over them and it isn’t taken personally because it is simply a fundamental truth that brands are not designed for universal consumption in the way that something generic is.

Companies, people, and especially women simply cannot be all things to all people and should never try to be!

Many bad relationships, dear reader, are the result of a woman not understanding her brand and standing by it.  Kris Humphries disliked Kim Kardashian’s materialism, extravagance, obsession with makeup, and other qualities that were simply part of who she was as a woman and as a brand.  Not understanding that those qualities were part of her brand and that whoever was going to be her life-partner needed to accept them rather than continuously neg them, she didn’t stand up for those aspects of herself and as a result ended up in an extremely unhappy, destructive, and unhealthy marriage.  This wasn’t some fundamental failing on either of their parts, it was simply a case of a die-hard health nut being forced to partner with McDonalds.

The woman who can turn herself into a brand is the woman who is above the emotional sting of taking rejection, in any form, personally.  Kim didn’t need to sit and beat herself up over the fact that she wasn’t everything Humphries wanted, she went out and found Kanye!  The woman who develops her unique brand and fully embraces it rejects those who reject her.  She doesn’t have to try so hard to be something she’s not, but instead she’s at ease and relaxed.  She has more control over who she is and what she does, and she is firmly in the driver’s seat of her own life and relationships.

 

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How to Be a High Value Woman

There is one key feature of the high value woman, dear reader – one trait that instantly determines whether or not she is “high value” or “high status.”

 

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And that one trait is that she gives value to whomever she comes into contact with.

The low-value woman (or person) is immediately identifiable in by the reverse trait.  She takes from those she comes into contact with.  This is because this is all she is capable of – she hasn’t evolved, matured, and developed herself to the point of being capable of giving to others.

She is concerned and focused on what she is receiving in her relationships, rather than on what she is giving and how she is making another’s life and experience better.

The high-value woman understand the importance of contribution.  She contributes with her professional work, her family, her relationships, and her community.

 

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She looks for ways she can make things better, and because she is constantly looking, she finds them everywhere (:

She cares about and lives for more than just herself.  And this is where her high sense of self-worth and self-esteem come from also.  It is impossible, dear reader, to feel great about yourself unless you can feel that you are contributing in some way to people and causes that are outside of and larger than yourself.

 

“What I know is, that you have to take responsibility for the space you hold, here” – Oprah Winfrey

 

In personal relationships, the high value woman does not complain or gossip or behave in petty or immature ways because she understands that these behaviors are all draining and take value from whoever she is interacting with.

 

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When she has been hurt or is tired and stressed, she does not falsely pretend that she doesn’t feel those emotions, but she is also mature enough not to act out on them destructively or to complain.

Instead, she adds value to those she comes into contact through through her humanity, her generosity, her concern, her femininity, her deep emotion, and her compassion.

Her smile and her tears have the power to move the world because she is that influential and high value.  (:

 

 

Living from the Inside, Out

Many women, dear reader, will react to a problem in their life by attempting to directly change the external factors that are involved.

 

Long ago in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia women understood the importance of our feminine soul.:

 

For example, if a child, friend, lover, or coworker isn’t behaving the way she desires them to, she reacts by either ordering the person involved to change or by complaining and arguing about the undesired behavior.

While simply suppressing one’s feelings and saying or doing nothing doesn’t work, neither does this.

And the reason it doesn’t work is because such a reaction comes out of not understanding that your world is simply a reflection of who you are, and that the only thing you can control  directly is yourself, never the world outside of you.

It’s as though you are looking at the events of life through a mirror, and when you don’t like what you see, you attempt to change what is in the reflection, rather than the source, which will in turn change the reflection.

 

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This is all a bit abstract, but try it for yourself – the next time there is something in your world you aren’t happy with, stop and figure out what is inside of you that is causing that to show up, and once you identify it, you’ll have the power to change both it and the reflection in your world.

There is a common parable that captures this phenomenon well:

A man who was traveling came upon a farmer working in his field and asked him what the people in the next village were like. The farmer asked “What were the people like in the last village you visited?” The man responded “They were kind, friendly, generous, great people.” “You’ll find the people in the next village are the same,” said the farmer.
Another man who was traveling to the same village came up to the same farmer somewhat later and asked him what the people in the next village were like. Again the farmer asked “What were the people like in the last village you visited?” The second man responded, “They were rude, unfriendly, dishonest people.” “You’ll find the people in the next village are the same,” said the farmer.

Best of luck, dear reader! (:

 

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How to Make Mistakes

Why should you learn how to make mistakes, dear reader?

Because there is absolutely no avoiding them in life.  You will, without a doubt make many of them, no matter how successful you become.  Trying to dodge them is a waste of your time and energy – it is better to simply learn how to handle them gracefully.

 

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

 

Making mistakes or not making them isn’t the point, however.  It really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you understand how to use them, how to not get stuck on them, and how to respond to them in the best way possible.

 

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First of all, realize that absolutely everyone makes mistakes and if someone is judging you harshly for being imperfect that is more about them than it is about you.  It’s important to admit our mistakes without getting defensive, and sincerely apologize to people for the consequences of them if necessary, but beyond that excessive blame and dwelling is not helpful.

In a turning point of the movie The Shawshank Redemption, one prisoner, Red comes to this point where he is able to admit his mistakes and find the inner strength to realize that while yes, he made those mistakes, he will never be able to go back and change the past:

 

RED
I know what you think it means. Me,
I think it’s a made-up word, a poli-
tician’s word. A word so young fellas
like you can wear a suit and tie and
have a job. What do you really want
to know? Am I sorry for what I did?

– —–

MAN
Well…are you?

RED
Not a day goes by I don’t feel
regret, and not because I’m in here
or because you think I should. I
look back on myself the way I
was…stupid kid who did that
terrible crime…wish I could talk
sense to him. Tell him how things
are. But I can’t. That kid’s long
gone, this old man is all that’s
left, and I have to live with that.
(beat)
Rehabilitated? That’s a bullshit
word, so you just go on ahead and
stamp that form there, sonny, and
stop wasting my damn time. Truth
is, I don’t give a shit.

 

Of course, your mistakes are probably not that extreme, but the point remains.  A lot of times, the mistakes people can’t move on from are the mistakes they knew were mistakes when they made them.  It doesn’t matter.  You regain your independence from the mistake when you stop trying to hide from it, when you stop denying it.  Plainly admitting it and really understanding that there is nothing to feel self-conscious or lesser about once you do that is what sets you free.

 

French bathroom.:

 

Second, it’s important to not use your mistakes as an excuse to why you can’t accomplish what you want and be who you want in life.  And no matter what sort of mistake you may have made, it is exactly that – an excuse.

You need to switch your frame of mind to understand that mistakes are normal.

They are normal because you do not know everything, and you never will know everything.  Sometimes people are wrongly influenced by those around them and become blind to the fact that the direction they are going isn’t a good one.  As long as there is something you don’t yet understand, there’s a good chance that you will try and experiment and sometimes choose incorrectly.  The key is to be honest with yourself and admit when it is you’ve done so, so that you aren’t stuck in the same pattern indefinitely.

 

 

 

 

How to Focus on Yourself

Not focusing on yourself is a major roadblock for many women, dear reader, and it comes in several forms.

First, to clarify what is meant by this – it’s not being self-centered or egocentric or losing your empathy and concern for others.  It’s focusing on your own path, your own work, your own unique mission in this world, rather than giving your time, attention and energy to other people or sources.

 

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This can be one of the toughest practices to master – being selfish in the sense that you feed your own spirit and soul by refusing to give away your time, energy, and attention to anything that doesn’t serve that.  In contrast, being “selfish” in the negative sense is feeding your ego – it’s pouring attention and energy into your persona.  This is always a mistake.  Your persona is simply a conduit for your purpose and spirit, it is never the end goal and any energy that ends up feeding it will have an ugly end and turn people off.  This comes off in any number of forms, including arrogance, “bitchiness”, and even body image insecurities.

Many women half-learn this and glorify the image of themselves as the “bitch” but if they were fully honest with themselves, they’d know that something still feels off.  Focusing on yourself, this sort of selfishness, once you master it, will never result in any sort of “bitchy” or harsh confrontations, because you will be acting out of your soul and spirit, not your ego.

 

happy.healthy.hot:

 

What’s important to remember is that your personality, your body, etc. are there to serve your purpose in life, not to get in the way.

And for the record, (though this issue has nothing to do directly with attracting men), men do not love bitches, counter to what impressions that best-selling title might have given you.  They love the boundaries and the ability of these women to say no to others when it doesn’t serve the best interests of their life purpose, soul, and who they are as a woman.  They see that the woman knows how to value her own unique self, and the divine within herself.   They may tolerate it until they find someone better and more evolved, but they don’t love the abrasive or nasty tendencies of the “bitch.”  And, yes, you can achieve one without the other with a bit of practice and by becoming aware of the problem (:

 

We listen to other people’s ideas of what is self-destructive without ever looking at whether their self and our self have similar needs.  Caught in the Virtue Trap, we refuse to ask ourselves, ‘What are my needs? What would I do if it weren’t too selfish?

There are powerful payoffs to be found in staying stuck and deferring nurturing your sense of self.  For many, the belief that they must be nice and worry about what will happen with their friends, family, mate if they dare to do what they really want will happen with their friends, family, mate, if they dare to do what they really want to constitutes a powerful reason for non-action.  Many sabotage themselves most frequently by making nice.  There is a tremendous cost to such ersatz virtue.  Many of us have made a virtue out of deprivation.  We have embraced a long-suffering anorexia as a martyr’s cross.  We have used it to feed a false sense of spirituality grounded in being good, meaning superior.

We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish.  We want to be generous, of service, of the world.  But what we really want is to be left alone.  When we can’t get others to leave us alone, we eventually abandon ourselves.  We have checked out.  Afraid to appear selfish, we lose our self.  We become self-destructive.

 

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What will be tough about this dear reader, is that saying ‘yes’ to yourself and what you really want will first involve you first being honest with yourself about what you really want, and then require you to say ‘no’ to others, over and over again, with no apology.

If you are not used to this, the people around you will likely give you some difficulty:

 

Mary knows the same thing as she agrees to round five of baby-sitting for her sister so she can go out.  Saying no to her sister would be saying yes to herself, and that is a responsibility that Mary just can’t handle.  Free on a Friday night?  What would she do with herself?  That’s a good question, and one of many that Mary has used her virtue to ignore.

 

If you are in such a habit, to break it is going to require time and courage.  Be gentle on yourself.  You will fail in certain instances after you make this resolution, go back on your intentions, and then want to get angry at yourself.  To make the matter even harder, you need to fight not only yourself, but the protests and resistances of the people whom you have been giving your power away to.  However, once you gain clarity and fully see the problem, it will become natural.  You will get there.

 

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Another form of this comes in putting your attention into others you do not even know,  perhaps sports personalities or celebrities, whether that be admiration or jealousy.  This is unnatural and misplaced.  These people are simply entertainment and professionals that have mastered their craft.

Instead of pouring your own unique energy and talents into your dreams and life purpose, you pour them into these figures and make them otherworldly gods and goddesses in your own mind.  This sort of idol worship needs to go if you are to reach your full potential – see them for what they are, other human beings who have worked very hard to get where they are, but nothing more and certainly not greater or less than you or any other human being on the planet.

 

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Any feelings of competitive jealousy need to go as well.  Their vast success isn’t stopping you from achieving your potential – what’s stopping you is that you aren’t focused on yourself and getting to where you are supposed to be, who you are meant to be.

“The world needs you!  It needs your heart, ideas, and most importantly, your unique perspective.” – Jetaun Davis