- why now is the time to stop breaking promises to yourself;
- why, when it comes to your dreams, you should never take no for an answer; and
- how the author’s motivation for success stemmed from a $1000 purse.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #1: It’s time to act on your goals and stop breaking promises to yourself.So many people make commitments to themselves, but fail to follow through in working toward their goals. Perhaps, you’ve decided to go for a daily jog after work, only to abandon the idea as soon as you’re invited to happy-hour cocktails with your coworkers. Or maybe you’ve decided to learn French, and even though you’re excited about this bilingual adventure, after only a few lessons, you find your study materials gathering dust on the shelf. It’s far too common to break the promises we make to ourselves. This can be incredibly damaging, and to understand why, let’s take a look at it from a different perspective. Consider that, hypothetically, you have a friend named Pam, and every time you make plans with Pam to do something important together, she cancels on you at the last moment. What makes it even worse, she follows up her cancelation with an excuse like, “I’d love to play tennis with you like we agreed, but this Netflix show I’m watching is sogood. I need to watch another episode.” Pam is also always saying she wants to start dieting, but a couple of days after making this claim, you find her washing down a pepperoni pizza with a large coke. More than likely, it would be easy to get irritated with Pam, right? This is exactly what you’re doing to yourself every time you break a promise to yourself. Blowing off an evening run, a French class, or stopping your efforts toward a diet might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it is. When you keep making and then breaking these would-be-productive promises to yourself, you are letting yourself down every single time. Therefore, it’s important to develop a habit of sticking to these promises. It’s definitely easier to do this if you keep the commitments realistic. For example, if you want to run your first half marathon, it might not be the most productive to just sign up right away and plan on running. A good place to start is small — promising yourself that you’ll run a mile a day, four days a week. This commitment is small, and therefore, is a promise you can probably keep. Once you’ve kept this promise, making it bigger by committing to two miles, four days a week, won’t seem like too big of a jump. Eventually, you’ll train your brain to keep your promises. You’ll have higher expectations for yourself, which will lead to future promises feeling easier and easier to keep. Hands down, this is better than being like Pam.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #2: Your dreams are your own, so learn not to take no for an answer.The author is asked a lot for her secret to success. She starts her day every morning at 5 a.m. to begin working, she isn’t afraid to ask for help, she’s happy to fail, over and over. However, there are a lot of people who live this type of lifestyle without the success the author has gained. So what’s her secret? The author is so successful because she never once took no for an answer when it came to progress toward her dreams. Of course it’s easy to give up on your dreams. It’s all too common to listen to what everyone else thinks of our goals. For example, maybe your parents told you that Harvard wasn’t worth applying for, further instilling the fear that you might get rejected, or maybe your first boss told you that you weren’t cut out for your dream job, leading to you settling for less. The author of the book had always dreamed of being a published author, however, when she started submitting her first novel about a sweet and innocent event planner finding her way in Los Angeles, she heard the same thing from every publisher. They told her that unless she put in some sex, no one would buy the book — it was far too innocent. The author didn’t want to make this drastic change, but also, the last thing she wanted was to give up on her dream of being published, just because she was told by so many experts that it was impossible. Eventually, she published the book herself, the way she wanted to, and today, Party Girl has sold more than one hundred thousand copies. Another thing that leads people to give up on their dreams is a lack of patience. The truth is, big accomplishments take time, so it’s important to not become discouraged by how long it takes to reach your goals. It took a decade for Julia Child, the classic culinary writer, to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Once it was finally published in 1961, the book became an instant bestseller so popular that it’s still in print today. It took director James Cameron 15 years to create Avatar, yet it still ended up becoming the most successful film of all time. Of course, plenty of people probably questioned Child and Cameron’s dreams. The important thing, though, is that they didn’t give off, despite how long it took to complete the project. It’s important to remember that if you really want to achieve your dreams, however long it takes and however many times people say it can’t be done, it’s important to learn not to take no for an answer.
We read dozens of other great books like Girl, Wash Your Face, and summarised their ideas in this article called Life purpose
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Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #3: It’s important to get past the lie that you should settle for a boring sex life, no matter who you are.When the author and her husband first met, she had as much experience having sex as she had hunting big game in Africa – none. Like in many marriages, for a while, the experience of having sex was terrible for her. She was out of touch with her own sexuality since she’d never been educated about it, and therefore, would agree to sex, but wouldn’t embrace it. Because he could tell she wasn’t enthusiastic about it, her husband wasn’t having much fun either. However, now, her sex life is exceptional. She has more sex than she ever would’ve expected as a mother of four children. How did she manage to accomplish this? She started by embracing her body. If you have low self esteem about your body, it can make it really difficult to enjoy sex. It’s also ridiculous. While she was worried about her tummy being too soft or her butt too big as she undressed, what did she think her husband was thinking? He was most likely just excited that they were getting naked together and looking forward to having sex. He didn’t care about the parts of herself she was most self conscious of. If you’re in the same boat, and question how your own body looks, try positive self-talk: telling yourself how great your legs look, or how sexy you are. If, like the author, you do it for long enough, you’ll start to believe it. So many women believe that an orgasm is just cherry on top. Well, here’s the truth. The female orgasm isn’t a just nice side effect or an added bonus. It’s the whole reason for sex! Another thing the author did to better her sex life was to commit to her orgasm, meaning that she would never have sex if she didn’t orgasm. Her husband also loved this idea, because, after all, your partner should love giving you pleasure. If both partners are committed to making sure the woman orgasms from the start, it’s more likely to happen. A final way to better your sex life, if you need further encouragement, is to commit to having sex every day for a month. No excuses. When the author tried this, she found that it lead to the opportunity to experiment and try new things. And surprisingly, it also led her to figure out that having more sex made her and her husband want to have … well, even more sex. So why not try out a sexy September or naughty November? It might just lead to a lasting habit that continues well past the end of the month.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #4: Since you can’t control the chaos that might be happening at home, you might as well embrace it.If you are a mom with kids and a job – or even just the kids – then you’re used to experiencing chaos. This could mean anything from an unexpected hospital visit with a five-year-old at the same time you need to pick up your oldest from school, to the washing machine breaking on laundry day. People often break down in the face of chaos. This often comes from the idea that we should be in control of everything — it leads us to see chaos as a sign of failure. But in reality, it’s impossible to control everything; you can only control yourself. So it’s important to learn to embrace chaos, rather than trying to control it. It’s easier to swim with, instead of against the tide. The same goes for your home life. A great first step to learning to embrace this chaos is to laugh at it. The author and her husband were once trying to become foster parents, and so a social worker had to come and interview her children. All was smoothly until her son, Ford, said he’d gotten upset when Daddy came into his room at night and was mad with him. The author got very upset and anxious at this point, thinking not only, “there goes our chances of fostering,” but also, “maybe they’ll take our existing kids away.” Eventually though, it became clear that Ford was talking about how his dad had gotten upset that Ford didn’t want to sleep in his own bed, and nothing about what Ford had said ended up affecting their chances to be foster parents. While, at the time, it was stressful, it’s something they can laugh at now. The more ridiculous the chaotic situation is, the more humor you can get from it. Another way to have a smoother home life is to accept any offers of help. Remember that story about the guy who prays to God because he’s drowning and needs help? Three different people come to him with their boats, offering help but each time, he insists, “No thanks, God will save me.” The man drowns in the end, and once he gets to heaven, God says, “What were you doing? I sent you three life rafts!” God is sending you metaphorical life rafts all the time. Some might be bigger than others – like your mother-in-law offering to visit for a week to help with the kids, but some are smaller – like your husband offering to help with the laundry. It’s important to say yes to all of them, even if you don’t like how your husband folds the towels.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #5: Don’t allow yourself to become defined by your weight.If you don’t have any grievances with your body, any complaints about your weight, or issues with your relationship with food, then lucky you! But, if you, like many women today, are concerned about your weight and body image, that’s not a surprise. In such an aspirational and social-media based society, it’s hard not to struggle with these things. It’s important to note that, according to the author, if your weight is unhealthy, then this isn’t actually a part of your life where you should be working on acceptance. Now, are you an amazing human being, just as you are? Yes! Does God love you, just as you are right now? Also yes! But it’s also important to remember that God gave you a body as a gift, with all its strengths and capabilities. It wouldn’t be right to treat this gift with disrespect, so if you are unhappy with how your body looks and feels, and you truly want to learn self love, you should start the hard work of changing things. If that sounds harsh, don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you should be striving for perfection. Nothing says you need to be thin, or to look super hot in a bikini. But you shouldbe able to jog a little or walk up the stairs without needing to stop to catch your breath. When it comes down to it, you need to consume fewer calories each day than the calories you burn, and if you do that, you will lose weight. Making the transition to a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Here are two great tips that will help. To start, edit your social media. When you log into Instagram and are instantly greeted by size zero models, then you are likely to get depressed, anxious, or both. The goal of a healthier lifestyle is self-improvement, not reaching some unrealistic beauty standard. So, unfollow these models on Instagram. While there’s a time and a place to follow these girls, that time isn’t now. Secondly, prepare, prepare, prepare. Want to ensure that when mid-day hunger strikes, you reach for a healthy snack instead of one of your kids’ cookies? At the start of the week, set aside some time to prep an abundance of healthy snacks. Want to get in a workout tomorrow morning? Organize your workout gear before you go to bed, so you’re more motivated to get up and go at 6 a.m. instead of hitting snooze.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #6: Embracing diversity can lead to a richer, and more interesting life of productivity.The author had grown up in a conservative, white, and religious Southern California small town. So, as a teenager, when she went on a trip to Disneyland with her symphonic band, she was so surprised by the diversity of other guests. For the first time in her life, she was surrounded by men holding hands, friends of different races, and people covered in crazy tattoos. She didn’t know how to react to such diversity, and ended up staring at them as if she was visiting a zoo. Since this trip, she’s realized how important it is to be a part of a community of people who don’t look like you, vote like you, believe like you, or love like you. Diversifying your community is a great way to better your character and become the best version of yourself. Now, one of the author’s best friends is an African and Mexican American gay woman. Because she became friends with her, the author has now been able to grow as a person in her understanding of other people’s narratives. She’s learned that some of the things she may have said or asked before would have been hurtful and that, even though it might come with some discomfort, it’s important to process her lifelong unconscious biases. And, equally as important as these lessons, the two have also had tremendous fun together just simply being friends: talking late into the night, taking vacations, and even seeing Britney Spears in concert. They might not have had these experiences had the author not stepped out of the comfort zone in which she grew up. So it’s important to ask yourself the same question: are you only surrounded by people who look and think like you? How would your life be enriched by immersing yourself a more diverse community? There are so many easy steps to making this change. For the author, her first step was changing churches. She and her husband made the realization that their church in Bel Air was 99.9 percent white. They didn’t think this represented what the community of Christ looked like, so they worked to find a multicultural church nearby. Whatever aspects of your life you do want to work to change, the important thing is to avoid living your life only surrounded by people who look and think like you. Embrace something different. Your life is like a book, and the story would be so boring if all the characters were the same.
Girl, Wash Your Face Key Idea #7: Visualizing your dreams can help you to stay motivated and moving forward.As a teenager, the author fell in love with the actor Matt Damon. She watched Good Will Hunting over and over again and convinced herself that one day she would marry him. She imagined what their wedding would be like and even what their kids would look like. A few years later, she moved to Los Angeles. While she was working as an events manager for a Miramax event, she was approached from across the room by none other than Matt Damon. She began to think that her fantasy was really destined to be! When he reached her, he spoke. It’s really happening, she thought! And then he said, “Can you tell me where I’m sitting, please?” Well, even though her Matt Damon dream didn’t work out, having a clear goal that you can visualize is a great way to work toward the things you really want. When the author was just starting out as a business person, the author dreamed of being able to buy a Louis Vuitton Speedy purse, which cost over $1000. The author was basically broke at the time, but it represented everything she fanaticized about: glamor, style, and success. So she made the decision to finally buy herself the bag once she first billed someone $10,000 in consulting fees. This took years of charging clients $700, then $1,500, and increasing the amount slowly. The Louis Vuitton bag was what kept her going through meetings, business proposals, and terrible events. When she finally received her first $10,000 check, she went straight to the store, and when she walked out with the bag on her arm, she’d never felt more proud of herself. Focusing on something so concrete made her dream of success feel achievable. If she had simply fantasized about being rich and successful, she might have gotten overwhelmed by the means to get there. The goal of buying the purse, linked to a specific amount of money meant that this fantasy really helped drive her forward. So, with any goal you might have for yourself, it’s important to make it as tangible as possible. Write it down in detail. Focus on it. Visualize it. What will it feel like when you can finally fit into your favorite dress again after years of trying to lose weight? What will your first day in your dream job feel like? When things get tough, focus on it. It’ll remind you to keep going. In Review: Girl, Wash Your Face Book Summary The key message in this book summary: You only get one shot at life, so if you feel like life is passing you by, then stop and take a step back. It’s time to stop tolerating less than you truly deserve and thinking that if you just had a different job, man, house or car, you could be the person you’ve always dreamed of being. It’s time to get ahold of your life and take control of the next steps. You’re the only person who can control your own life. Actionable advice: Stop comparing yourself to others. One of the best ways to improve your life is to simply stop comparing yourself to other people. The only person you should be trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday, so don’t worry about doing what would make other people happy: from cocktails, to designer clothes, to a business career. It’s most important to decide what would actually make you happy, and then focus on that.
Suggested further reading: Find more great ideas like those contained in this summary in this article we wrote on Life purpose