We all know the drill. The clock strikes midnight, a kiss or maybe even a snore follows, and we charge right ahead into the New Year. While most look forward to the New Year in anticipation, others trudge along robotically. With resolutions stacked as high as a Downtown skyscraper, many have already started familiar promises of rapid weight loss, healthier eating alternatives, acts of generosity and kindness, and much more. Though judgment shall not be cast for those dusting off old resolutions, (I too have pressed the restart button on many of the same), a simpler vow for 2015 rests in the fate of two simple words: just be.
Desiring to be completely transparent, open, and insightful for today’s post, I kicked my feet up, took several deep breaths, and put on an old Beatles hit for #inspo, Let It Be. As 2015 revs up for action, old resolutions may or may not be forgot, but 5 simpler mantras (in my view) will make for both internal and external lifelong changes.
Be Present, Live in the Moment
The verdict is in, and we’re probably all guilty of living life on-the-go — believing that every opportunity might be the opportunity, every event is the must-attend event, and we can just sleep when we’re dead. Living this type of lifestyle (at least for me) has led to extreme hyper antics and the inability to focus on the present when casually lounging with family and friends. My concerns often lie with an overflowing social calendar and an endless desire to connect in the business realm, sometimes at the sake of intimate relationship developments.
For the few days I do set aside to decompress (which is not often), with what should be a day of bottomless margs and mounds of guac, I find myself unable to relax. My mind wanders aimlessly to the tasks that lie ahead, rather than focusing on the conversation in the present. Does any of this sound familiar?
Recently I was reading InStyle Magazine, totally enthralled in the juicy details of the minute-by-minute recap of a recent Donna Karan gala. I was quite intrigued by all of the celebrity sightings, the who-what-where’s, and most fascinating, a quote by model Angela Lindvall (pictured above) who was also at the party. Spotted by InStyle piling her plate at the Wolfgang Puck buffet station, she casually says, “Tonight I ate good old-fashioned pot pie. I usually eat organic, but you’ve got to live a little.”
This small statement, while meaningless to some, proves in the simplest of ways that sometimes the day-to-day routines can wait or be postponed. When living in the present, whether with family and friends or at a grandiose event, relax and soak it all in. Life is short folks, eat the pot pie!
There are a million quotes on humility but because I’m such a self-declared foodie, I was naturally drawn to one by an author unknown who claimed, “Swallow your pride occasionally, it’s non-fattening!” Most New Year’s resolutions often center around prosperity or professional growth, and I for one continuously aspire to ascend in my career. However, a quiet prayer for humility is one that I renew daily, for the true “greats” of the world recognize that learning is a lifelong process, mentorship is key, and credit for accomplishments is never the main focus.
Huffington Post put it best in a 2013 article detailing behaviors for successful people, that a display of humility attributes to success. Even further compounding the notion, Jim Collins’ legendary Good to Great text highlights: “…leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that…leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious — but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.”
All in all, a strategic practice in the lessons of humble living for 2015 may bridge the gap from being “good to great” for some. Whether it’s by listening more and talking less, finding a successful mentor or the like, the methods are tried and true. Slice of humble pie anyone?
Often I’m approached by aspiring bloggers, writers, or fashion industry hopefuls on how to break into the industry or make a name for themselves amongst the many. While the formula of success blends differently for all, the main characteristic I have found most effective is being genuine. Although networking is key for establishing business relationships and ongoing development, a simple step back into truly getting to know your counterparts will accomplish more than the monotonous exchange of business cards.
I’ve interviewed many celebs and designers as a writer, but none more profound than my interview with footwear aficionado Sam Edelman. As we reached the last question of my interview, I looked him in the eye and asked, “How are you doing, on a personal level?” The question was unwritten, it was not rehearsed, but one that I often ask my interview subjects — genuinely. I’ll never forget the moment, but Edelman went on to thank me for caring enough to ask about him as a person, rather than the routine questions of what he has done on a business level. This simple yet genuine connection opened the door for an honest conversation, and mutual levels of respect between the two of us.
For 2015, leave behind old networking routines and selfish foundations for relationships. Resolve to build genuine relationships — I guarantee the payoff is much greater.
If you are one of the many who go to bed every night with swirling dreams of entrepreneurship, starting a small business, or carrying out a passion — let 2015 be the year that you welcome the risk and resolve to be fearless. We’ve all been told that “life is all about taking risks,” but let this be the year that the adage rings true, what-if’s are dissolved, and miniature steps of action are put in place.
Peter Thiel said it best in his business and economics book Zero to One, “Life is a long journey; the road marked out by the steps of previous travelers has no end in sight. The road doesn’t have to be infinite after all. Take the hidden paths.”
Resolve to take risks and be fearless in 2015 by merging passion with purpose — now that’s what I call living!
Furthering the conversation on passionate pursuits is the wisdom that rapid progression rarely results in an overnight feat, unless you hit the lotto. Being patient with your dreams, with others, and for overall change is definitely a resolution worth keeping. Frustration is natural, especially if you’re like me and in constant search for immediate results. However, for the sake of sanity and healthy stress levels, taking things day by day and incorporating a more patient approach may just prove worth it for 2015. After all, if it is meant to be, it will be. As the Beatles so sensibly crooned, “Whisper words of wisdom…let it be.”
Fearless image by Thomas Garza, Feature image by C. Rene Designs & Photography.