Life throws a lot of curve balls, but what matters most is how we deal with them– and how we use our own experiences to shape and benefit those of others.
A shining example of this is Nick Abbott, a deaf man from Maine who just adopted a new dog, Emerson, a black lab mix, who is also deaf.
Emerson is a sweet little puppy but, though it was no fault of his own, he was put up for adoption after recovering from canine parvovirus and losing his hearing.
“Once we got him home from the vet’s office from Florida, we realized he had hearing difficulties,” Lindsay Powers of NRF Maine, a dog rescue organization, told Good Morning America. “He doesn’t let it bother him at all, though he’s a typical puppy.”
“He had such a rough start to life and he ended up with an absolute fairy tale ending,” Powers said.
Abbot read about the deaf puppy on Facebook and then reached out to Powers, asking if the dog was still available. The pair met and immediately hit it off – and now Abbott has taught the dog sign language!
Richelle Abbott, Nick’s mom, told GMA that the two are now using sign language to communicate with one another.
“If Nick reaches up and shakes his ear lobe, Emerson will bark — it’s so cute,” she said. The ASL sign for the letter S gets Emerson to sit and when Nick signs a straight line, Emerson will lie down.
Their bond and their ability to communicate prove that our differences are what bring us together.
The birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s first child is upon us, as is the first anniversary of the royal wedding. Consequentially, the world’s interest in the former actress known as Meghan Markle is at a fever pitch.
We all can’t get enough of the American actress turned British royal, but what is it about Meghan that has us all so obsessed? Are we just all fantasizing about escaping the doldrums of our lives by falling in love and joining the royal family? At some level, this is what psychologists call projective fantasy.
“If she could become a ‘princess’ then so could I.”
“People project their own unconscious (and conscious, though less so) fantasies onto those in the public eye (celebrities and certainly royals),” says Neil Schierholz, PsyD, a licensed psychologist.
To many, Meghan Markle is the modern-day Grace Kelly: an American-born actress whisked away to a foreign land by a prince to become his bride. Many little girls are taught to fantasize about exactly that.
We may covet this version of reality in our dreams, but they are just that: dreams. We don’t actually know these people, though we can interact with them in our fantasies as if we do. Dr. Schierholz says we “manipulate them in our minds according to our own wishes, dreams, and desires without fear of retribution (after all, they don’t know what we are thinking, right?).”
Royals allow us a safe place to put our fantasies and to live them out, experiencing the good feelings that we may not otherwise get in reality.
“In essence this allows us to ‘play with our dolls’ as adults, in our minds, without appearing childish and subject to ridicule, especially if others are engaged in the same,” says Dr. Schierholz.
But Meghan Markle is so much more than a royal princess for so many of us. At the surface level, yes, many people follow Meghan and the royals as a form of escapism and indulgence in the princess fantasy, but at a deeper level:
“It’s more about the ideas this bi-racial woman represents and how she’s bringing them to the forefront of a very old institution and helping to modernize it,” says Erika Martinez, Psy.D., CDWF, a licensed psychologist and founder of Miami Shrinks.
Meghan Markle is a woman of mixed race, divorced, and an actress – all factors that 50 years ago would have kept her out of the British royal family, and yet, today, she’s changing the world from within.
She’s also showed us how her grace extends to her personal trials in the public eye. “Personally, I very much admire her grace and fortitude as she’s coped with her father and paternal half-siblings’ behavior in the press,” says Dr. Martinez.
Meghan Markle has been an amazing woman who did incredible things for the world for years now. As an accomplished actress, she had a starring role in a hit TV for seven years. She was making waves with her humanitarian efforts through charity, women’s rights and equality, and animal rescue before she even met Prince Harry.
All of that is much more worthy of admiration than the way her life changed because of who she married.
Still, many of us also still want to be a princess in gowns and tiaras who gets married to a prince. We admit it. Is it escapism, then? Yes, but so are so many, many activities in life.
“Ritual and fantasy, the great spiritual teachers and indigenous peoples knew and know, are pathways to altered states, other realms, and healing,” says Dr. Schierholz.
If we can channel our fascination with the Duchess of Sussex into a focus on Meghan Markle‘s successful career and humanitarian efforts, then it’s fantasy time well-spent.
Ariana Grande has been very open with her fans about many of her struggles, including those with mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Grande is following in the tradition of her childhood hero, comedian Jim Carrey, who has been sharing his own struggles with depression for 15 years now. This past weekend, she shared a photo of Carrey, along with a quote he popularized about mental illness.
“Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me,’” the quote read. “You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.”
One of the greatest assets in fighting depression is supporting one another and not being afraid to start an open dialogue, which is just what happened between Carrey and Grande this week.
The singer says she’s looked up to for the actor for many years. “My first AIM username was jimcarreyfan42 when I was in like 4th grade,” she wrote on Instagram. In 2014, she shared an emotional video of her meeting with Carrey ahead of the MTV Movie Awards. Grande even cried as she met the man she referred to as her “childhood crush.”
This all makes it that much more meaningful that Carrey saw her posts and responded on Twitter to express his admiration for Grande’s openness.
“I read your lovely mention of me and things I’ve said about depression,” he wrote. “A brilliant teacher and friend, Jeff Foster was OG on the ‘Deep Rest’ concept. I admire your openness. I wish you freedom and peace. I feel blessed to have such a gifted admirer.”
Grande wrote back on Twitter, joking that she couldn’t wait to “tattoo this tweet on my forehead.”
She then thanked Carrey for his support and expressed her admiration and love for him, citing him as an inspiration in her life.
Grande’s open and refreshingly honest attitude toward her mental health struggles has made her a powerful role model for young people, and to see Carrey warmly and publicly empathize and express support for her sets a great example for older generations as well.
The more we talk openly about our struggles, the less we will feel shame and loneliness, and the sooner we can fight our way back to health.
Despite her young age, 17-year-old Billie Eilish is an artist with a lot of experience and talent. Her debut album album When We All Fall Asleep, Where do We Go? is already setting records, and she’s currently headlining her third tour. She’s also a role model for rocking out in the face of health struggles – but she doesn’t want that to be the whole story.
Eilish was recently a guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and while the two talked about her work and played some fun pranks, things got a bit more serious when she shared her experience of living with Tourette Syndrome.
Tourette’s, as the syndrome is known colloquially, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests through unvoluntary facial and/or vocal tics. Unlike the common stereotype of sufferers involuntarily shouting obscene words, most people with Tourette’s can briefly delay their brain’s urges to release tension by contorting their faces or making sudden sounds.
Eilish admitted to having the disorder in a story on Instagram back in November, after a video compilation of her facial tics caught on camera went viral. She explained that her tics are physical, rather than vocal, and said “My Tourette’s makes easy things a lot harder. Certain things increase and/or trigger the intensity of my tics.”
Eilish told Ellen that going public with her diagnosis could have been scary and uncomfortable but it actually led to her having a closer bond with her fans. The response went from jokes about her tics to expressions of support and gratitude for her bravery.
“It’s something I’ve lived with my whole life, and it’s not anything different,” Eilish said. “I just never said anything because I didn’t want that to define who I was. I didn’t want it to be ‘Billie Eilish the artist with Tourette’s.’”
Eilish has achieved her success at such a young age by being an authentically weird alternative to the more generic pop acts being directed at teenagers. Her unusual style and deep lyrics connected with fans before her diagnosis was ever revealed.
Eilish explained that those close to her have always known about her Tourette’s, as it affects her daily life. She went on to outline the strategies she’s developed for helping to deal with the disorder in public, such as timing her tics for when she won’t be on camera in interviews.
“I’ve also learned that a lot of my fans have it, which made me feel kind of more at home with saying it,” she said.
We never have to struggle in silence, and we never have to hide who we are, or what got us to where we are now. Eilish (and her fans!) have a lot of reasons to be proud!
We have a tendency to look at celebrities like their life is easier than ours, as if fate gives them all the luck and opportunity we want with none of the crises or hurdles we experience.
That’s not always true, though, and in fact, celebrities often have to face the hardest moments of their lives in the public eye.
On Tuesday’s Late Show, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke shared her experience with two terrifying brain hemorrhages but that having them – and surviving – changed her perspective on life.
She also shared how her art influenced her life: She used Dothraki lines from Game of Thrones to sharpen her memory on her road to recovery! Clarke has played Daenerys Targaryen, the leader of the Dothraki people, for all eight of Game of Thrones‘ seasons, filmed over the course of 10 years.
“I suffered two brain hemorrhages when I was filming, during those 10 years — right after we shot season one and then also after we shot season three,” Clarke recalled as she spoke with Stephen Colbert in advance of Game of Thrones‘ April 14 return.
When Colbert asked how she knew what was happening to her, Clarke confessed, “You absolutely know. The easy way of describing it is that it is the worst headache that a human could possibly experience.”
“I genuinely knew I was being brain damaged,” she recalled. “I don’t know how — you’ve got this incredibly horrific headache and being violently ill, and somewhere I knew that meant brain damage. So I just tried to keep as active as possible — moved my fingers, my toes, my hands, asked myself questions… Genuinely trying to remember my lines, trying to force my memory to work as much as I could to stay conscious.”
Clarke kept her brain hemorrhages, which occurred in 2011 and 2012, a secret until this year, when about her experience she wrote a moving op-ed for the New Yorkerabout her experience with brain damage, surgery, and recovery.
Clarke’s health scares inspired her to create the charity Same You, which supports the continued mental and physical rehabilitation of young people with brain injuries after they leave the hospital.
Of her charitable work, Clarke’s former Game of Thrones co-star Jason Momoa said: “She’s so brave in helping the world and trying to raise awareness. I’m very sad ’cause we almost almost lost her several times… She’s going to do great things with it and teach the world.”
When recalling her near-death experiences, Clarke said: “The mind is an extraordinary thing. I just knew — not today.” She channelled her fear, illness, and recovery into helping others.
How’s that for seeing the rainbow at the end of the road?
Zachary Levi may be lighting up movie screens as the delightfully childish superhero Shazam today, but just a few years ago, a divorce, the loss of his mother, and a missed Marvel role had driven him into darkness.
His journey back from that dark place became a vital part of how he earned the starring role in Shazam!
DC’s latest release, Shazam! tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Billy Batson, who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero whenever he says the word “Shazam!” The twist is that he retains his teenage mind while in an adult body. Zachary Levi, who was best known for his role as the titular character in NBC’s spy dramedy Chuck, plays the transformed, superheroic Billy, while Asher Angel portrays his teenage incarnation.
Levi told Men’s Journal about his struggles back in 2016, when he was one of two finalists for the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy — the other, of course, was Chris Pratt, who shot to superstardom after receiving the part. The disappointment of this missed opportunity combined with the pain in his personal life brought Levi to a place where he “didn’t understand why [he] wanted to live anymore.”
But Levi has always been a fighter, and he knew he had to treat his mind as carefully as he treats his body: “If we have a cavity, we go to the dentist. If our body hurts, we go to the doctor.” Levi went on a three-week intensive therapeutic retreat, where he was treated by mental health professionals, and did art therapy, yoga, and meditation. He also began working out regularly and consulted a nutritionist.
“It was an incredible one-on-one therapeutic, healing, spiritual deep dive into figuring out the pain and sadness,” which stemmed from his difficult upbringing by an alcoholic mother and an absent father, Levi recalled. He learned that “it’s OK to seek help. That’s… courageous—that’s brave.”
Taking the time to heal his mind brought Levi back to a brighter place, just in time for his video audition for Shazam!
Watching Levi as Shazam for the first time, director David F. Sandberg knew immediately that he was perfect for the role. Levi, who was still at the intensive retreat when he filmed his audition, heard back from his agent within a day and was officially cast within a week.
“He has this enthusiasm and excitement about things that feels very much like a kid,” Sandberg explained. Levi’s role as Shazam is a tricky one, as the hero is a 14-year-old boy in the body of a classic superhero.
With Levi’s renewed outlook on life, he perfectly embodied the duality of the character: the excitement and youthful optimism of a teenage boy who discovers he has superpowers and the maturity and bravery of a man who knows to ask for help when he needs it.
As adigital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each week, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
You know — and love — her as Hermione Granger, but actress, model, and activist Emma Watson has grown far past her Harry Potter roots. This 28-year-old feminist has not only achieved a myriad of professional accolades from the acting community, but she continues to be a voice for gender equality.
After her performance in all eight of the Harry Potter films, Watson went on to star in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beauty and the Beauty, and others. In addition to acting, she’s also a Brown University graduate, and a model for Lancome and Burberry. All before the age of the big 3-0, she’s been honored as the British Artist of the Year and appointed as an UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. How does this ambitious and powerful leader with an $80 million net worth lead her life? Here, a few of her habits and ethos to get inspired by.
She thrives on instinct.
In moments of indecision or when you aren’t sure of which route to take, the best advice is to listen to your gut. But when anxiety or self-doubt creep in, it becomes harder to follow the direction your inner voice is pointing.
For Watson, everything is about instinct, according to a profile of her in Interview magazine. “It usually comes down to two things: the person I’m working with—the director is really important to me—and a line in a script. There’s usually one line that I read and I’m like, ‘Okay. I have to say this line. I have to tell this story.’ It’s an instant click. And if there isn’t that line, even if the story is great, I’m always a bit meh. Whenever I’ve gone against my instincts, it’s been a bit of a disaster.”
She draws the line at her personal life.
Do you know who she is dating? Or perhaps, who she used to date? Have you seen images of her home — or her day-to-day? Probably not, since for Watson, privacy is of utmost importance. Though not everyone is a celebrity with a crowd of photographers following them around, drawing a line between work and home will create healthy, needed boundaries.
“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not. If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data,” she told Vanity Fair.
The same goes with a fan asking to take a photo with her: “I’ll say, ‘I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have but I just can’t do a picture’ —and much of the time people don’t bother. I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact. When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example.”
She welcomes criticism.
The only way to really improve in your craft — no matter if you’re a manager, a doctor, an artist, or something else entirely — is to grow from your mistakes. This usually means digesting and taking constructive criticism to heart. Not everyone has a thick skin for review, but Watson does.
In fact, she told Elle that her career has toughened her up. “There is a level of criticism that comes with being an actress and a public figure, which I expect, but once you take a stance on something like feminism, that’s a completely different ball game. There were a couple of days when I just didn’t want to come out from under the duvet,” she shared.
“At first I wasn’t sure if I should be upset by it, but then I realized I needed to give myself 24 hours to sulk and then move forward. I got a lot of support from other feminist voices too. Laura Bates [of The Everyday Sexism Project] sent me a care package with sequins and glitter, notes of encouragement and chocolate, which more or less said ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down.’ I had to remind myself that the criticism wasn’t personal and it was par for the course.”
She gives herself time to grow.
Remember when Watson took time off of acting? During this period, she hyper-focused on self-growth and development. With room to breathe and explore, prioritizing this type of self-care is essential for happiness and professional development.
“My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I’m doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own,” she told PAPER magazine. “I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I’m on. I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.”
She gives herself permission to be who she is.
It’s a moment everyone has eventually — if they’re brave enough to get there, that is. Finally being at a point where you accept who you are, share it with the world and release any upset feelings on how anyone responds.
In an interview with PAPER, she shared that playing Hermione got her there. “The character of Hermione gave me permission to be who I was, ie, ‘the girl in school whose hand shot up to answer the questions,’ she shared. “At first I was really trying to say, ‘I’m not like Hermione. I’m into fashion and I’m much cooler than she is,’ and then I came to a place of acceptance. Actually, we do have a lot in common. There are obviously differences, but there are a lot of ways that I’m very similar. And I stopped fighting that!”
The majority of guilt experienced by human beings is not actually the result of horrible things said humans have done. Most of it takes the form of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-punishment. Granted, sure, some of us do bad things. Killing another person would be one prime example, as would cheating, lying, stealing, etc. But of course, each and every one of those actions is mired in a unique context that serves to dictate the already highly subjective notions of good and bad.
Plus, remorse over having harmed someone and guilt are not the same, because while remorse may indeed be a marker of humanity, guilt is essentially a worthless emotion. Most of our guilt is self-directed, such as when we fail to live up to our own or another’s expectations (a fine line). This might be related to work, love, family, or anything else.
When you’re relaxing, do you feel guilty for not working? When you’re working, do you feel guilty for not being home with your family? When you’re with your partner, do you feel guilty for not being with your friends more, or vice versa? Most of us are riddled with guilt in subtle ways we’re barely aware of. No matter what the source, guilt can become a constraining emotional backdrop, coloring everything we do. It may even seem that one’s sense of guilt (often conflated with one’s sense of duty) is what stirs one to action, makes one a better person. Indeed, research shows that people prone to guilt work harder and are seen as better leaders. And they’re also seen as better friends, lovers and employees.
The thing is, no matter what it looks like on the outside, over time, guilt becomes debilitating and toxic. While it may feel like guilt is an important reminder of our responsibilities, in reality it’s accomplishing just the opposite — it’s a deadweight that keeps us from stepping into our full power and potential. Worried about holding yourself accountable? Forgiving yourself helps you move on and increase personal accountability, while guilt doesn’t accomplish much of anything.
Here’s how to stop feeling guilty (easier said than done, yes, but we have to start somewhere):
Don’t blow things out of proportion
If you were on the outside, looking in, would your all-encompassing feelings of guilt, shame, or other paralyzing emotions fit the alleged crime? Probably not.
Don’t self-identify based on something you’ve done
You’re responsible for your actions, sure, but even if you’ve done something bad, that doesn’t make you a qualitatively bad person. It just makes you human.
Counterintuitive though it may feel to the anxiety-ridden among us, forgiving yourself actually makes you a better person. Thinking you’re shit makes you kinda shit, a la self-fulfilling prophecy.
Apologize…if an apology is called for
If indeed your guilt is directed at a human other than you, say you’re sorry for whatever it is you’re sorry for. Saying it once is enough if you mean it. And if you say it, be sure you mean it.
Learn the lessons
Life is punctuated with endless disharmonies so that we might glean little morsels of helpful self-knowledge and be on our merry way, all the wiser. Make a list of any proactive thing you can do to improve the situation and stop bearing the unnecessary, deeply counterproductive emotional burden known as guilt.
Laughter transcends all the crap that we, human inhabitants of the earth, must endure by virtue of, well, being human. Indeed, a good, strong sense of humour can turn almost any situation around. A good chortle happens to be free of charge, and the glaring bonus is that it’s an in-built capacity, so no special equipment is required! Having a rough go of it this week/month/year? Chances are you need a hilarious change of perspective. The seriousness of life has its limits, after all.
So consider the following 6 benefits of laughter.
1. It stops stress and anxiety in its tracks.
In today’s nonstop modern world, stress hormones run amuck. Naturally, reducing your stress hormones sends anxiety and stress a running, lessening their impact on your body. So even though you had a fight with your significant other, stubbed your toe getting out of bed, and burned the bake sale cookies, your coworker’s sudden yet ultra on-point joke quickly altered your chemistry and made you feel better by sending you into an explosive giggle fit.
2. It’s part of your daily fitness plan.
This just in: laughter can help you tone your abs. When you laugh, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to what happens when you sweat through a set of crunches. Most would agree that laughing > ab exercises, but hey, they’re not mutually exclusive now are they? Laughing also raises your heart rate and you’ll burn anywhere from 10-40 calories over 15 minutes of laughter, according to the International Journal of Obesity.
3. It’s good for your heart.
Laughter is great cardio, particularly for people incapable of withstanding other physical activity due to injury or illness. When you get your heart pumping you burn a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow or moderate pace. It also lowers your blood pressure and improves blood flow, reducing your odds of having a stroke or heart attack.
4. It’ll grant you immunity.
Feel like you’re coming down with something? It might be time to hit a comedy show. When you laugh, you activate T-cells in your body designed to help you ward off illness. While chronic stress and anxiety causes chemical reactions in your body that can send your immunity plummeting, a nice ol’ laugh supercharges you with disease-fighting prowess, helping you stay healthy and energized.
5. It’s a natural painkiller
Endorphins are your body’s natural painkiller hormones, and when we laugh, we release them, which can help ease chronic pain and/or make us feel all warm and fuzzy, increasing overall wellbeing. Doctors have found that people with a generally positive outlook tend to fight off diseases more effectively than people who dwell on the negative. So yuk it up — it may just extend your life! Not to mention, it’ll most definitely make said life more fun.
6. It facilitates bonding
Going on a hot first date? Or entering into a social situation with new people? Doing something that will elicit a laugh is an epic way to take the edge off, relieve your nerves, and increase your likelihood of bonding. Inspiring ideas include but are not limited to: funny movies, amusement parks, and good old-fashioned clowning around.
Bottom line: being able to laugh at ourselves in particular is nothing short of a superpower capable of overriding the sometimes terrible decisions we make or the less than glamorous moments of life. Why not keep stress and sickness at bay by choosing to get happy?
As a digital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each week, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
It all started with E.T. for Drew Barrymore, who has been dazzling audiences since she was a child star. As the granddaughter of John Barrymore, the ability to captivate and portray characters runs in her genes.
Often considered one of Hollywood’s sweethearts, Barrymore is known for her portrayal in iconic romantic comedies including Ever After, Never Been Kissed, 50 First Dates, The Wedding Singer and many more. Her dramatic roles have earned plenty of accolades, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA nomination.
In addition to acting, she’s also a producer and director, and the co-owner of a production company, Flower Films. In 2013, she also dipped into the entrepreneur scene, with her cosmetic company, Flower. Today she sells everything from makeup and perfume to eyewear and beyond. Did we also mention she’s written two memoirs? All of her diligence, expertise and hustle has created an astounding networth of $125 million.
To fight through drugs and alcohol abuse as a child and grow to become an influential celebrity, personality and mom of two, Barrymore adopts certain mindset and habits. Here, a few to inspire you.
Her work fuels her – but not entirely.
Or more so, she understand the value of a work and life balance. While many artists are fueled by their passion, Barrymore is careful to not let it be all encompassing as it once was. In an interview with The Guardian, she shared at one point, her approach to work was more fed out of desperation. “…I felt that everything I did in film mattered. It was my whole world,” she continued. “Now it’s kids, friends, marriage, work, health. I don’t want my girls to grow up saying, ‘Oh wow, yeah, she really worked hard, but I didn’t see her.’ I want them to be like, ‘I don’t know how the hell she was there for all those things, and she still worked!’”
In fact, her level-headed approach to her work life is something she’s proud of — and one she wishes she could apply to every aspect of her lifestyle. “I’ve always been a woman in the boardroom. My personal life was never as advanced as my [career]. I’d think, Why can’t I be in my relationships like I am in a business meeting? I’m direct, I’m clear, I’m articulate,” Drew says with a wry smile. “[My personal life] always had a lot of catching up to do,” she shared with Women’s Health.
She ‘marches in an army of optimism.’
Of those people who are able to live their life fully, wholeheartedly and often, with ease, remaining positive is their superpower. For Barrymore, choosing the lighter path and seeing that infamous glass as half-full has made a difference in her success, her mindset and of course, her attitude. “I always say that I march in the army of optimism ….. you have to …. I also don’t ever want my kids to see me being affected by mean people. I want them to see me rise above it and face things with grace and class. Putting positivity out in the world is extremely important to me,” she told Marie Claire.
As she’s picking roles, she’s careful to consider what audiences will feel as they watch her performance. If it isn’t excitement and if they aren’t smiling, she reconsiders. “I’m very conscious about the way people feel. When I was making movies, I just didn’t want to tell a depressing story; I wanted to tell one about some type of self-improvement. I thought, ‘There’s enough shit in life. I want optimism and joy.’ At the same time, I don’t like magic-wand happy endings — and now I don’t like magic-wand makeup or magic-wand clothes,” she shared with InStyle.
She says “no” – even when it’s hard.
When you’re Googling around on ways to transform your life and shake up your negativity, you’ll likely find plenty of push to say ‘yes.’ To travel, to adventure, to quitting your job and trying your own thing, to breaking up with that awful, toxic partner you should have kicked to the curb months ago. But there is also an undeniable strength in shaking your head, and saying ‘nope, not for me.’
When Barrymore was a kid, Steven Spielberg, the director of E.T. gave her this advice when she was given countless endorsement offers. “He said it was OK to say ‘no.’ Basically, don’t sell out just because you can. I remember that so well, and he was right, companies did come knocking and it was tempting. It was just me and my mom and we didn’t have any money, but you have to make decisions that will have the best long-term outcome, which isn’t always easy,” she shared with Marie Claire.
She focuses on growth.
It isn’t always easy to address areas in your life where you’re lacking. But becoming self-aware is an essential part of blooming into the person you knew you were destined to become. Considering flower power is at the core of Barrymore’s ethos, it makes sense why she isn’t afraid of a little change.
“Well, I wouldn’t have listened. I’ve grown and changed and evolved throughout the years, but I’m not, in spirit, that different from the kid in the pictures wearing giant poofy dresses. I just had a lot of rebellion that had to calm down. But it did,” she told InStyle.
She thinks nice girls do get the corner office.
Confidence is cool. So is the ability to stand in front of a boardroom and conquer the room. The same goes for standing up for yourself and demanding respect. However, in Barrymore’s mind, there’s also success to be found in being, well, a good person. “Just behaving. Being as nice as I can. Not being a total A-hole. Just being in a good mood at work, not losing my cool when my kids lose their cool. Not sweating the small stuff. I’ve realized that even when the little things aggravate you and seem really big and monumental, or even very public within your own circle and you just wish you could hide your problems, you just can’t lose your cool,” she told New Beauty.
“Be nice through all of it. That’s always when I feel the best, no matter what. Go put it out in some private corner and then show up and just be good to everyone.”