Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Do the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently?

Have you ever wondered what happy and successful women do differently?  Author Marcus Buckingham wrote a book titled "Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently" ($8.98 at Amazon) that was specifically written to chronicle what women do to live a stronger life, their best life...the life they deserve and thus, have it all! But what does "having it all" mean?

"If "having it all" means drawing enough strength from life to feel fulfilled, loved, successful, and in control, then that is something every single one of us should aim for and every single one of us can attain." - Mark Buckingham

Have you given up on "having it all"? Or maybe you're so busy having it all that you can't figure out how to enjoy it?  Maybe, you don't even know what "all" you're supposed to have anymore?

You are not alone.

Women today are working, juggling, achieving, succeeding, and beating expectations at every turn--and they are less happy than ever.

Watch this amazing 5 minute video of real women sharing their fork in the road of life and how they define "finding their strongest life".

Is it even possible for women to have it all?  On the surface, it would seem so.  Trying to be all things to all people all of the time is a fool's game that will, in the end, drain mind, body and spirit.  But if you dig a little deeper and you have to ask yourself, "What's the alternative?".  An approach to life that begins with the question, "Which parts of myself must I cut out?" inevitably leads to a laundry list of unhealthy emotions: panic that you can't cut out enough, confusion over which parts to cut out, fear that you've cut out the wrong parts, guilt about that fear, and resentment about all of it.  It's the wrong question.

The right question is, "What do I mean by "having it all"?  Because if having it all means drawing enough strength from life to feel fulfilled, loved, successful, and in control, then that is something every single one of us should aim for an every single one of us can attain.

"Having it all" doesn't mean having everything, all at once, all the time.  "Having it all" means taking yourself seriously.  It means knowing yourself well enough to find your purpose in life.  It means knowing what needs to change when you sense that you've lost that means having the faith to believe that change is possible and having the courage to make those changes.  It means drawing strength from the relationships in your life, and, if there's no strength to be drawn, knowing when to cut those relationships out of your life.

It means mastering the skill of using life to fill you up.  That is all you can do, and it is everything you need to do.  The aim of the book is to teach you this life skill.

So what's holding you back from your strongest life?  Take the Strong Life Test and get on your path to finding your happiest life!

Curva-Lish Team

Friday, March 7, 2014

Can Smart Women Be Stylish?

This was the question posed in the March issue of ELLE magazine for it's Style Essay written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The author recounts her childhood of watching her mother dress for Mass and what her dressing routine and wardrobe was like as a university administrator.

Her mother always wore color: skirt suits, feminine swingy dresses belted at the waist, medium-high heels. She was stylish, but she was not unusual.  Other middle-class Igbo women also invested in gold jewelry, in good shoes, in appearance.  They searched for the best tailors to make the clothes for them and their children. They spoke of grooming almost in moral terms.  The rare woman who did not appear welld ressed and well lotioned was frowned upon, as though appearance were a character failing.

When I left home to attend university in America, the insistent casualness of dress alarmed me.  I was used to a casualness with care--T-shirts ironed crisp, jeans altered for the best fit--but it seemed that these students had rolled our of bed in their pajamas and come straight to class.  

Once, an American friend told me, "You're overdressed." But I was not uncomfortable.  I felt like myself.

(When I became a writer) life changed that.  Once, at a workshop, I sat with other unpublished writers...watching the faculty.  A fellow aspiring writer said of one of the faculty members, "Look at that dress and makeup!  You can't take her seriously."  I thought the woman looked attractive, and I admired the grace with which she walked in her heels.

I had learned a lesson about Western culture:  Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance.

Check out Lord & Taylor's Art of Spring lookbook & save 15% on the newest fashion, dresses, handbagsI am now a 36 year old author and during my most recent book tour, I wore, for the first time, clothes that made me happy.  My favorite outfit was a pair ankara-print shorts, a damask top and yellow high-heel shoes.  Perhaps it is the confidence that comes with being older.  Perhaps it is the good fortune of being published and read seriously, but I no longer pretend not to care about clothes.  Because I do care.

The way society compartmentalizes people, there has been a long standing stereotype that to be serious about your career as a woman requires you to dress like a man and appear "serious".  Thankfully, times have changed and stylish women are enveloped regardless of their position or career focus.

Be Smart. Be Stylish. And most importantly, be YOU!

Beyonce sampled Adichie's 2012 TEDxEuston talk on her track ***Flawless.

See Adichie's Americanah, voted by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best books of the Year.

Curva-Lish Team