Nine ways to win at life

Advice. We all seek it until we don’t want it (which is when we actually need it). Its always changing too, both our needs of the advice and the actual advice. As we grow, or refuse to grow, the advice pool is always there. Here are some pieces of advice, that will help you win at life.

  • Worry. This is a must. Do it daily, because when you don’t worry, things don’t get done, or people get hurt, or life changing or threatening things happen. Worry fixes everything, and takes up very minimal brainwaves. So please, make sure to worry every day. Constantly, if possible.
  • Be Impatient. There is nothing that makes other people more happy to help you as when you are completely irrational and impatient—they know you have a schedule, and they know that you are the most important person/thing/happening in their life, so if you keep reminding them with your impatience, this will help you get what you need done.
  • Do everything at once. People who can’t do, multitask. If you try to do everything at once, you have the perfect excuse when you can’t finish anything. And if you get everything done while trying to do it at once, well, that is just a double win, now isn’t it?
  • Perfect perfection. Always focus on being the absolute best. Never settle for anything less. Ever. Never forgive yourself or others if perfection isn’t achieved daily.
  • Rudeness rules. Everyone else is so much less important than you are, and they just don’t understand your life, your needs or your time limits. So why not use rudeness, and pepper it with a LOT of sarcasm, so they understand who you are and will get out of your way so you can be that amazing person, and live your amazing life.
  • Focus on yourself. When you focus just on you, you understand yourself. You will always have to live with yourself, unlike everyone else. No one else has to live with you every day, so you’re the only one who knows what you need and when. Even if you don’t know. You can just sit there and focus on it and commiserate with yourself. Eventually everyone will realize that this is the best way to make yourself the best.
  • Throw everyone under the bus. Remember to get to number one, you have to get there first. If that means you have to pave the way with bodies, do it.
  • Know you’re perfect. Never try to learn anything new, make yourself better, understand others, grow, change, or delineate from your original self or plan. It only leads to destruction.
  • Never, ever, ever stop to breathe or take a moment. Woo-woo people who light candles and believe in things bigger than themselves take time to stop and breathe. You are on your way to winning at life, and your body does those things naturally, so why stop and take the time to do them?

If you’ve read this far, and stayed with me the entire way, I hope you are laughing. This was all sarcasm… To live a great life, do the OPPOSITE of all of these things. There is NO winning life. There is just LIVING life. Mistakes happen. We all get broken and bruised—but you just have to keep getting back up and trying again. Breathe. Be kind. Do the best you can. No one is perfect and we should STOP SEEKING perfection–it doesn’t exist.  Live your life for YOU, but don’t knock everyone down on your way. You’ll be much happier.

Xoxo–Clare

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Perfect for someone

This morning while running around UCLA I was listening to this weeks episode of the “Being Boss” podcast.  They were interviewing artist Brenda Mangalore about her transition from working in the corporate world as a web designer to living as an artist. An artist who gets paid to do what she loves. She would pray that she wouldn’t have to go into work each day. One day this made her wonder. Why do I not want to go to work? It’s a perfectly good job. Great job really. That’s when she realized that this perfectly good job was perfectly good for someone else but not her.

Perfection is very attractive. We tend to all be striving to do something or multiple things perfectly. It’s easy to want to be the best. Perfection is a bright shiny object. It’s like a moth to a flame. But we usually fall for perfection on paper. Because as we know “Perfect” just doesn’t exist.

This all got me thinking. I remember setting my goals about 5ish years ago. I had some great goals about work that I wanted and can now look back and see I have achieved. But some of my personal and health goals. Well they were perfectly good goals. Goals many people would have understood and even supported me on or joined in with me. But, they didn’t really light my fire. I actually kept postponing them, making excuses of why I shouldn’t do them. Which got me wondering…why someone who loves achieving goals is literally shoving goals in a corner. Oh, because these goals were perfectly good for someone but not for me.

Here are a couple of other “perfect” journeys:

Perfect Job: As you know if you have been reading our blog for awhile I have twice left salaried jobs for something else. Something my heart was yearning for. Something bigger than what I was doing. Both times I was expecting people to be as excited as I was for this next adventure. What I found when I told people I was quitting my job was shock, concern and worry. Most people said “Are you sure?” There were only a couple people who were supportive in a way that didn’t feel like they were waiting for the bottom to drop. I even felt like some people thought I would change my mind. Both jobs on paper were pretty awesome. Decent work schedules, good pay, room for growth and the ability to lead others. But both had run their course. Both jobs were perfect for someone else but not for me.

Perfect Mate: Just like in my jobs situation when I left my ex I had more people as me “if I was sure?” Plenty of people reminding me I could always go back. Most people just didn’t understand how I could leave a relationship that was “working.” My ex was a lot of things that many people would want. He has even recently married. He was perfect on paper, a great person but just not the right mate for me.

I think it’s important for us all to take time to do inventory in our lives and see where we are keeping things because they are perfect on paper or because they are “perfect” for you.

Do you wake up and dreading doing something you used to love?

Do you find yourself wishing you would wake up sick so you don’t have to work?

Do you sometimes wish your significant other would break up with you?

Are you making excuses for not doing something you say you want?

It’s not easy to give up with “perfect on paper” situation. But, what if you could? What would it take to give it up? Do you have to save up money, take a class or classes, move somewhere? Vision your life doing what’s right for you instead of doing what’s right for someone else. Then take that leap of faith! I promise from our end you’ll get lots of high-fives.

I left that perfect job and perfect mate and am thousands times happier. Life would have been fine if I stayed. Life is so much fuller because I did me. I through out that perfect paper and just trusted my vision. It’s so worth it.

I highly recommend listening to the full podcast episode. It’s always incredible to hear how someone went from the 9-5 job to rocking their bliss. We all have our own journey. I’ll repeat that, we all have our own journey. Enjoy yours!

xx~LL

6 steps to NOT achieve perfection. 

Perfection–We continually strive for it, reach for it, hope for it, sacrifice for it, and sometimes even die still in pursuit of perfection.

It’s one of those words that has a definition, but everyone defines perfection in a different, personal way. Everyone strives for a bar, for that ever dangling carrot–but why? If perfection is a continually receding horizon, why do we chase after it?

Maybe we continually search for it because we had it for a short while, and it felt so good and we felt so complete. Not because it’s expected or the bar set by others, but because we know the possibility of what we can be.
I’m not saying that we should stop striving for perfection, instead we shouldn’t let it cripple us.


LL and I just read and did our first Book Club podcast on Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert–in a section of the book she talks about writing and rewriting her book The Shape of All Things, and how there is a flaw in it, but that if she went back and fixed it, the entire book would change. So she just left it. The book wasn’t perfect, but she would hope in her next project she would achieve something better. She didn’t let it stop her from publishing. Liz Gilbert didn’t let perfection cripple her.

Perfection is irritating because it is so illusive, and once achieved its fleeting. It is either only a moment, or once your own personal perfection is achieved, people look at you and ask what you’re doing next–so a new goal with a new level of perfection is set. My dad models trains. He has had several different layouts–to his defense, he has lived in several different houses. But he continues to build and paint and model…and then after a few years, reconstructs. He achieved an end, and it was perfect or not, but either way he got bored with it and rebuilt. It’s like the pursuit of the perfect train layout is more important–and in a way it is. Dad continues to hone his hobby. His painting skills and details keep getting better, because he is learning new skills or he is finding better products to make perfection.


This scenario makes me wonder if we actually like chasing perfection. We set a goal to reach so we have a reason to keep doing something. We want to become better, have better results. But more importantly we want to fill our lives with something in between the goal setting and the goal achieving. Reaching the goal is great because once there, we realize that we could reach the goal, so we enjoy our moment of perfection and then realize we are capable, or we like the feeling of perfect, and we set another goal.


I work for an event planner and my goal is always to have a “perfect” event. Although, honestly I don’t know what that means. I guess I mean “smoothly run and enjoyed by guests.” Which, in the 11 months I’ve been on the job seems to be the general consensus after each event. However, I always want to do better the next time. I want to have a better script to run by. I want to have more answers to more questions, in case they arise. No matter how perfect an event goes, I want to be better at running them.
This is part of my personality. I do the same thing in acting. When I perform a show, I’m rarely satisfied. Sometimes I when I’m really upset with a performance, I don’t hear the applause at the end, and I feel like I’ve failed. This used to be crippling. I used to think that I couldn’t go do something else until I got this project correct, or figured out everything that didn’t work. But that was stupid–it kept me from continuing my actual growth that I got by DOING.
Life is the pursuit of perfection. No…wait. Life is the pursuit of HAPPINESS. Perfection doesn’t always equate to happiness. So why are we all constantly struggling for perfection?!? Trying to reach a goal is one thing; being perfect is another.

Going back to Liz Gilbert–she just continued through her book and put it out in the world. I do each play, each performance as best I can in the moment and move on to the next. The work, the passion, the filler to get to the goal is the good part, the life, the achievement.
Here are some steps to let go of your need to be perfect:
1) Breathe. Yeah. This is my go to step one, but a really good deep cleansing breath is healing and will assist in refocusing.
2) Ask yourself if you’re trying to achieve a better you or perfection. If it’s perfection, you’ll never get there. Tell yourself perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. Let go of your need to be perfect.
3) Focus on the steps to achieve the goal–how can you do each one brilliantly or to the best of your ability now. With the knowledge you currently have. With the abilities you currently have. With the time and resources you currently have.

4) Research. What did you do differently last time that worked? What didn’t work? If this is your first time, ask around or Google! What products are out there that can help you do better/grow more/ get more done? Knowledge is power. It allows you to face any challenge better. The more you know, the better.
5) Fail. One of my FAVORITE quotes is Samuel Beckett: Ever Tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

In other words, we get so much out of failure. We understand what can’t be, what isn’t right, what doesn’t work so much better when we fail than when we succeed. Thomas Edison…blah blah, 10,000 tries to make a light bulb, blah blah. Yeah, I’ve heard that one ad nauseam as well. But there is a reason for that: it’s true.
6) Give up the the need to be perfect. Life is messy. Dive into it. Realize perfection isn’t what matters. Because it’s fleeting. Because it’s an ever receding horizon. Because it doesn’t matter.

At the end, there may be a ribbon or trophy or certificate to award your achievements, but those things don’t matter. It’s who you’ve become that matters. Beautiful, snowflake, imperfect you.

Clare

First Kisses or The Search for Perfect Moments

Yesterday, one of my dearest clients excitedly told me about running into a friend she’s known for 50 years. The reason it was so exciting was the guy was her first kiss. As a total romantic at heart I live for these stories. Hers went like this: she was thirteen and playing spin the bottle. It landed on this man (well boy at the time), and they went into the closet and counted until 10 so it would seem they were in the closet longer. After counting, they kissed. So cute!

It’s not the most romantic story in the world—or at least it isn’t how Hollywood or fictional authors would paint it. Was it the boy she wanted the bottle to land on? Nope. But, is it ever?

Her story sent me on a trip down memory lane. My first kiss was unexpected and not at all whom I wanted it to be from. Laughing at the memory, I decided to share with you, as it is not only a testament to me, but also a story about striving for perfection. I was at a track tournament and was hanging out in the team tent after I had just finished my events. I am flirt by nature and was chatting up the guys. I was being myself—which by the way we believe is a LiveClareLesley trait you should always live by. I jokingly was reaching across this guy on my team to coyishly reach for something. Our faces so close, millimeters from each other. He, being a hormonal young man, jumped at the opportunity I didn’t realize I was offering him. He leaned forward to broach that nominal gap I had just created and kissed me. Smack on the lips. Of course, it lasted barely a second but it felt like time had stood still. My brain was working a mile a second. I pulled back, smiled, and ran out of the tent. Ironically, I realize now that at a track tournament, I ran away from my first kiss.
Later, on the bus my thoughts were going in so many different directions, my head was spinning. My 15-year-old brain was trying to take this all in. The scene I had been a part of was NOT how I envisioned my first kiss. It certainly wasn’t how Julia Roberts was kissed in Pretty Woman on the balcony. Wasn’t after a first date on my porch. It was in a tent with others around. From a boy I liked, but wasn’t completely attracted to him, and wasn’t desirous to date him.
When we arrived back at school, I got off the bus and saw the hottest most popular senior at school. He, true to stereotype, was just leaving detention. He saw me too and we struck up a conversation. My heart started to race a bit: a true hot bad boy and we were talking!! This was who I actually wanted to be my first kiss!
Determined to rewrite history (it was the same day, and Bad Boy and Track Runner have the same name) I grabbed his hand, took him behind the science building and I kissed him. Yes, it was great! Yes, it lasted longer than a second. Yes, as am adult I’m aware I kissed two boys in one day and that probably wasn’t a good road to begin my romantic/sexual behaviors. However, I wanted to take back what I thought was mine! My first kiss shouldn’t it be mine to decide to give out?
At the time, it was a big deal to me.   Now, literally double my years later I realize it was just a moment; an experience and not something to be so worked up about. One that I hadn’t really thought about until my client told me her story.

There are many times in life, and many goals we set out to accomplish, that I think we build up to be this amazing, PERFECT moment. One thing, or one moment, that will determine all others. However, you are only in charge of you. Or, at least you should be so, check on that today. Things, life, kisses… don’t always happen the way you dream or plan. In the moment, they are incredibly important. At the time I thought the most important thing was that kiss. I can’t even remember how I did at the track tournament—and I’m a personal trainer, I should care more about the fitness aspect of that day!! But, 16 years later, those kisses, those boys, that LACK OF A MOMENT OF PERFECTION didn’t determine the route I’m on today. I did! I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I love it and I’m going to live it.
So, when was a moment you wanted perfection but felt it didn’t go as you planned? Looking back, was it the big deal you thought?

–LL