How much do I want to read more? 6/10

Simplicity is what comes to mind when reading this book.
We may be surprised how much importance a model gave to "discipline" in her life.

Her philosophy of life is nice to read, as it is more about being responsible, taking action, being positive, thankful…
Then we realize her "success" in modeling was not by chance. But attitude, as other successful people usually state.

Her 4 steps to success: Clarity, focus, dedication, humility.

She did write this book as she would give advice to her children, or to her younger self.
I think we all should do.


INTRODUCTION

"Do you want to be a model?"
Everything was happening fast, fast.
In the past twenty years I’ve appeared on 1,200 magazine covers, 450 fashion editorials, and walked in nearly 500 fashion shows.

But the life I’ve lived in public has very little connection to who I really am, or what matters most to me, or what I believe in and want to give back to the world.
The irony is that though I’m known for my work as a model, I’ve never felt that the person on the runway or in magazines and TV commercials was me.

Modeling was a way for me to explore all the colors of my personality, including ones I didn’t know I had. As she or her, I could act out any emotion, any attitude. It was as if by detaching myself I could be free, while keeping the real me hidden and safe.

I’ve learned to pay attention to my inner voice, which has given me many important insights even when I didn’t want to listen. I’ve learned that our thoughts, words, and actions are all connected, and why we need to be careful with them.

I began believing that all of us live in a world ruled by illusions, and that my—our—job is to find out who we truly are, and discover our individual purpose. Everything we experience, good and bad, has a meaning, even if we may not understand it right away. It’s all happening for us to learn.

My goal now is to continue learning, and developing my talents in order to use whatever gifts I have to help serve the greater good. I believe many people are preoccupied and distracted by information overload and bad news, and my hope is that this book can serve as an inspiration tool that focuses instead on internal, spiritual values.

If we make choices more consciously, and with greater self-awareness, we will find ourselves more closely aligned to our purpose in life, whatever it may be.

trying to be a good mom, a perfect wife, a star at work, or all three, they spend almost no time alone. They’ve lost a connection to nature and to themselves. They’re looking for answers outside themselves, not realizing that the answers that matter most are on the inside.

The lessons contained in this book are the ones I most want my own children to learn and remember as guiding lights in their own lives.

After all, changes only come about when we are willing to stand for what we believe.

As someone who has always questioned the status quo, I certainly don’t want to become anyone’s status quo. Some of these lessons may come across as common sense or familiar.

Still, if you walk away with just one message from this book, I hope it’s the importance of living your life with love. Loving yourself. Loving other people. Loving the world in which we all live. Throw away everything else, but please, please don’t ever live your life without love.


1 - It All Starts with Discipline

Discipline can sometimes seem like the enemy of fun or happiness, a grown-up plot designed to drown out joy and inspiration.
It’s really not that at all. Discipline is also more than just hard work, but that’s where the process starts. Ever since I can remember, I have been extremely organized and hardworking, whether I was helping my sisters clean the house, playing sports, doing well in school, modeling, or, even today, being a wife and working mother. Which is why I feel such a strong connection with this first lesson: It all starts with discipline.
I believe that whatever success I’ve achieved in my life is the result of focus, hard work, dedication, being on time, doing what is necessary, what was asked of me, and always giving 100 percent to everything I did.

Each of us was given a cleaning assignment before we were allowed to go outside and play.
I was usually in charge of cleaning the bathroom and often I spent a long time scrubbing between the tiles with a toothbrush until you could have eaten a meal off the floor.
If my surroundings are messy, I can’t even think properly.

But even when things didn’t go according to plan, my mom and dad always made us feel we’d done the best we could if we applied ourselves and worked hard.
Good girl was a big compliment. It always made me feel proud of the effort I’d put in.

Whether I was scrubbing bathroom tiles, studying hard to do well in school, or playing sports, I always brought an intense focus and motivation to everything I did.
If I wanted to succeed at something, I wouldn’t just envision what I wanted, or wait for it to show up, or expect someone to hand it to me.
I knew I had to do the work to make it happen.
Yet underlying my sense of discipline was the strong feeling that whatever it was I set out to accomplish, I could do it if I worked hard enough.

I felt so appreciative for every opportunity I was given. Why wouldn’t anyone doing what I was doing feel like the luckiest person alive, even when pressed up against a glacier?

I believe if you want to succeed, there are four fundamental steps — or at least this has been true for me. Clarity comes first.
Everything in life starts with a dream. But first the dream needs to be clearly defined and, more important, you need to understand why you want it.
my emphasis was to be the best at what I do, which means giving my best.
Not the best compared with others, but the best version of myself.
In my experience, clearly defining what you want gives you direction and the inner fire that can motivate you.
How will reaching your goals serve a larger purpose? Why does it matter to you? What are you willing to do to come closer to achieving your goals? What do you need to get there?

Once you’re clear about what you want to achieve, next is focus — taking the many small actions to propel yourself forward. This is where the hard-work part comes in. What will it take for you to reach that goal? Do you need to change your daily routine or eliminate certain behaviors, or even some people, from your life?

The third step is dedication. This means staying on track over the long haul, and giving yourself credit for what you’ve done well, but also concentrating on those areas where you need improvement. How are you practicing? How are you measuring your own progress? Are you focusing on what you already do well, or are you also stretching yourself by targeting the things you may be less good at, and then trying some problem-solving? In my experience, hard work and dedication aren’t the same thing. Dedication includes a commitment to a specific goal or ideal. A lot of people work incredibly hard, but some don’t stick with the steps needed to achieve what it is they really want. You may set a number of goals for yourself, but without dedication they won’t become realized.
Dedication means putting in the time towards what you want, and love, the areas where you want to achieve excellence. Dedication says, I’m going to keep on going, no matter what. Without dedication, you’re less likely to see the benefits of all your hard work. If focus means saying yes to hard work, dedication means saying no to distraction—to the activities and even the people pulling you in different directions or pushing you to give up.
Be honest with yourself: What do you accomplish in a day? Is your time consumed by answering texts and emails? Are you making progress or just getting caught up?

The fourth step, humility, is especially important to me. If you’re clear, focused, and dedicated, and you end up succeeding at what you set out to do, you might believe you deserve special treatment. Well, you don’t! Most people don’t have an easy road to the top of any profession. We all face challenges along the way that force us to grow and learn. I know I am no exception. When any level of success is reached, that’s the time to reflect on all your challenges. Yes, you may be unusual. Your skills and talents may make you stand out. You may work, as I do, in a public profession. Good for you! But, to my mind, the moment you start thinking you’re better than anyone else, your achievements don’t matter very much. You fall to the bottom rung of the ladder. But if you have humility, you achieve something more important than worldly success: you become a lifelong learner. Humility allows you to grow from your mistakes, to know that everyone and every experience can teach you something. In my experience, it opens the doors to a bigger, more meaningful life.
At the end of the day, how different are we from one another?

Today I do my best to bring the positive energy I feel during my meditation practice into my everyday life, to be present and aware of each moment and passing thought.