Why You Need To Be Well-Rounded (And How To Do It) ❃
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A lot of us have heard the oft spoken phrase, “Knowledge is power” but you should know and understand that, one: not all/every type of knowledge is for your benefit, particularly what’s considered common/widely accepted knowledge (e.g., going to college without guarantee of a well-paying job at completion to ensure a positive ROI and falling into crushing debt as a result), and, two: possessing knowledge without the ability or understanding of how to implement it to your benefit is what I’ll refer to as “hoarding information”. It’s important to distinguish between information and knowledge, especially in practice.
We often think of the word “pretty” strictly in terms of physical beauty/allure/appeal, however, as you may have experienced in practice, physical looks are only part of the equation, not the whole thing. This does not mean that looking pretty isn’t important. It is. Whether or not you think that’s fair, it’s true. Out of all our five senses (for those of us who currently have all five), our body dedicates the most sensory cells to sight, and so we rely heavily on visuals, for better or worse. And, contrary to popular belief, you do have a substantial amount of control and say in what you look like (transforming your body through fitness/exercise, how you choose to dress/groom yourself/wear your hair/nails/makeup, accessories like jewelry, etc.) But there’s no real, substantial power in being just eye candy. You need to be mind candy, too :). This is the basis of wielding power.
Power is simply the influence, both direct and indirect (and degree/type of said influence) you have over someone else.
We’re going to be focusing on three types of knowledge and, consequently, power that are complementary to each other and work synergistically. They are:
Elegance encompasses your mannerisms, movements, body language and appearance. It’s also about the way you animate yourself, your poise, the way you walk, the gestures you make, and choosing to present yourself in an overall graceful, soft, and appealing package. It’s not just about looks but about mannerisms and attitude. It has everything to do with your presentation, both internal and external.
Eloquence has more to do with your communication, specifically verbal communication. The way you speak, have conversations with people, the subjects about which you speak, your enunciation, your tone, the actual sound of your voice and your word choice (diction), and feeling confident in what you say (with accompanying gestures like maintaining eye-contact, smiling/smirking and controlled blinking as opposed to looking down/away, fidgeting with your hands/hair/clothes, etc.). The manner in which you verbally communicate has an insanely significant effect on how people treat you because of how they receive/perceive what you’re saying. Remember, delivery is just as important as the message, and sometimes more. You don’t have to roll like a newscaster to speak intelligibly and be relatable. It’s important to still speak like you’re relatable and not so formal, at the same time. That does not mean that slang/street talk/pop speak does not have its place or is even inherently “unrefined” as it is often referred to as. But it does mean that you need to be well-rounded and understand propriety and where/when it’s important, necessary and/or appropriate to use certain words (like cursing) and styles of communication.
Excellence is the end product of being good/great at what you do and confident in how you do it. And not just in your career or major life areas like relationships and business, but also with things we think of as trivial and mundane like house chores and everyday errands we’re generally expected to do and perform. Part of excellence is being well-rounded but having specific strong points and really riding them all the way home (as well as to the bank, lol). This is one of the reasons why it is so important to focus on doing things you naturally gravitate toward/have an edge in as well as genuinely love, enjoy, and have a lasting passion for, whether that is in your career(s), various aspects of your personal life like health and fitness, hair and makeup, hobbies like art and writing, etc. It is much, much easier to be and feel confident about something you enjoy, even when you are a newbie or amateur. It’s very easy to not have high levels of self-assuredness and confidence when participating in and/or dealing with topics and subjects that you aren’t very good at/understand well, or simply don’t give two shits about. Excelling at something comes with practicing that thing intentionally and investing your time, energy and effort into it consistently. It is almost impossible to do that with something you really dislike, or simply don’t care (enough) about. Plus, it feels like an uphill battle, where conversely, practicing the things you genuinely enjoy consistently is more like an avalanche when your snowball is something you genuinely like, care about, and makes you really happy.
Having all three of these qualities will give you a major edge in every area of your life. You can see how all three of these powers are interconnected and linked to one another. One typically bleeds into the next and vice versa. These are not qualities any of us is born with. We all have to learn these skills. And it’s important to remember that they are skills, even if we may believe or think that some people inherently have/are born with them and others aren’t. Elegance is something that can be learned. Eloquence is something that can be learned. Excellence, by default, is something that is learned because in order to excel at something, you have to practice it.
Ways in which you can learn to be (or be more) elegant than you already are:1. Take an etiquette class. Learning about propriety, polite manners, and other social skills is fundamental and so empowering because they allow you to move through life and navigate spaces with a lot more confidence and know-how to interact with and handle people at various points and places.
2. Developing your own personal sense of style is crucial. Your visual identity is a huge part of your identity umbrella and it’s how you present yourself to everyone else in the world. The way you look is what people see first and foremost and so you always want to present yourself in a way that gives you the most advantage as often as possible. Developing your sense of style does not have to be expensive or labor-intensive and will typically evolve over time like a lot of other things and change with age and where you are specifically in life. A great starting point is simply looking at inspiration for the type of style you enjoy and a great resource for that is Pinterest. Allocate a budget for your clothing and grooming items to step up/improve your appearance. It does not have to be expensive at all. The last thing you want to do is make poor money decisions and put yourself in a worse financial position in an attempt to upgrade an aspect of your life. If your budget is quite limited, going with classic and timeless pieces is a really good bet as well as items that are of higher quality even if they are a little bit pricier but will last much longer and can even be passed down. Thrift stores are a great place to find vintage finds at a bargain. Even simply window shopping around to see what catches your eye and piques your interest is a good way to continuously develop your style and learn what you like and what you don’t like. Investing in clothing items that will have a fundamental impact in your life is always a good idea, like trainers and athletic wear (because staying fit and healthy is a huge part of your life and huge part of being elegant), a really good and comfortable, well-made pair of black/nude pumps and/or flats, a quality overcoat, a sturdy handbag, etc.
In learning to be more eloquent:
1. Much like elegance, etiquette classes, again, can help a great deal with that.
2. Taking an acting or improv class can also tremendously with eloquence because it will force you to practice interacting and speaking with other people on the spot which will teach you to be quick on your feet as well as develop charm and wit which are huge part of positive communication.
3. Another really easy way to develop your eloquence is to actually speak to yourself out loud and record yourself. It’s important to know what you actually sound like to other people. We hear our voices all the time and so we’re used to the way we sound to our own ears and, consequently, develop a sort of “tone deafness” but are sometimes surprised to find that we sound quite different to other people. Practicing your enunciations, your breathing, and even being aware of your vocal range will have a huge impact on your awareness of your speech patterns, inflections, tone, pitch, and other qualities of your Younique voice.
4. Another really important way to develop and enhance your eloquence is to read. A lot.Broadening your knowledge base, vocabulary, word choice, and diction allows you to become more confident when you speak because you are much more likely to know more of the words a wide range of people tend to use and not end up lost in conversations or unaware of/miss out on tone, context or even puns, etc. If this isn’t reason enough, remember that reading is one of the top 10 habits of wildly successful people. Reading a lot of books, articles, blogs, etc. are a surefire way of enriching your vocabulary, learning/discovering more, and upgrading your overall knowledge base. This is one of the things that continues to be reiterated throughout this entire platform because it truly does affect every aspect of your life. The more you know (and know how to implement), generally speaking, the better equipped you are.
5. Eloquence, in a nutshell, is basically knowing what to say and how best to say it. It’s quite difficult to do when you don’t know what to say because your vocabulary is limited. A good starting point is to use a thesaurus and look up variations and alternatives of words you already know and use. This a lot easier than trying to learn new words you’ve never used and aren’t quite sure yet when you will have the opportunity to use them. 6. Another effective thing to do is, if you ever hear or read someone say a word you’ve never heard before, record/write it down in your phone (using apps like Google Keep and Evernote) and look it up as soon as possible so that the next time you see or hear it, you understand what it means and it becomes reinforced in your mind and you gain more clarity on what is being referenced/talked about. Understand that every word a person knows, they learned it. So, if you’re going to be eloquent, you’re going to have to learnto be.
Finally: there is a reason you find it encouraging/appealing to see someone who knows what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. This is why people look to experts for information, advice, and help. Because there’s a level of confidence and, therefore, trust in place when you feel someone has experience and expertise on a topic, subject, or area. That is excellence; the art of excelling at something. This word is generally used in a positive light so that’s how we’re going to, as well.
Like stated above, it’s so much easier to excel at something you enjoy because it’s easier to keep doing it. You don’t have to do everything in the world to feel like you represent excellence. In fact, you shouldn’t. You also don’t have to feel like you need to do one specific thing or a particular set of things in order to excel or be seen as an excellent person. If you find value or passion in something, chances are, someone else out there does, too. You don’t have to excel in something mainstream or popular to practice excellence (remember, everything that’s mainstream started out as a much smaller niche). Go with the things you genuinely and truly enjoy and pick and choose the ones you want to focus on and make it a point to excel at those.
Excelling at something is also not a competition, and certainly not one against other people who also enjoy and have an affinity for that thing. A lot of us fall into the rabbit hole of enjoying something and then getting caught up in feeling like we have to compete and end up losing the fun and initial passion we had for it because we get overwhelmed and anxious. The only person you are competing with is the person you were yesterday. No one else. So, no one else should make you lose interest or feel more anxious about something that brings you joy and happiness and you should not psych yourself out of an activity, career, or aspect of life you enjoy thoroughly because you are comparing yourself to someone else (other than yourself). The key to excellence is…you guessed it, consistency. You cannot excel at something that you don’t practice and practice consistently. You have to do something a lot of times in order to create a habit out of it and develop a high level of confidence from simply knowing what you’re doing. When you practice something consistently over time, you become an expert at it because you have the firsthand experience doing it (and not simply because you have a piece of paper saying you’re an expert/guru).
When you learn, practice, and harness these three powers, your life will change in ways that you can currently only dream of because you will change in ways you can currently only dream of. But it takes intention. It takes action. And it takes consistency. So, do it. Consistently.