5 Life Lessons From Coco Chanel

I apologize in advance if any of the following has been incorrectly attributed.

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Conformity to a status quo is a road travelled by many. Many of us don’t like to proverbially “rock the boat,” whether it’s with our friends or at work or in anything else. But the reason why some people just seem to have so much more or be so much more is because they aren’t afraid to rock boat; to think differently, and to be different. If you want to be truly great or successful or acclaimed in whatever your ambitions are, you can’t be just like everyone else; you have to be one of  kind.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Thinking for one’s self is probably the greatest amount of continuous grunt work any person can ever achieve. Consuming what is popular to believe is much easier than doing the mentally and emotionally draining activity of authentic discernment. Moreover, having the courage to openly state what you have discerned which might not be so popular is not without repercussions. And this kind of bravery is oftentimes thankless and discouraging. But it is also an exemplary in a world where popular opinion is often the decider for what is right and wrong.

“There is no time for cut and dry monotony, there is time for work and time for love. That leaves no other time.”

I’ve often heard and I’m sure I’ve repeated it myself that life can be mundane. Most people’s lives consist of getting up, filling days with work, school, eating, maybe working out or meeting friends for a drink, and going back to sleep. And then getting up and doing it all over again. But if we think about how little we give life every day, we should be ashamed because life is truly miraculous. However you think we got here, we are here, and we don’t take advantage of it enough. We get far too caught in almost everything else in life but living. If we did live every day like it truly mattered, life could never be mundane.

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

We live in a consumer-driven society. We ingest daily messages of the all the things that will apparently make us feel successful and popular and cool. We are a society of people who by our words and actions, believe that it is the things that we own that will make us feel accomplished. But I think people who are actually great successes know otherwise. I think they know that to be accomplished in is to make a difference in some way to the lives of other people. I think beyond just accomplishing things, treating people how you would like to be treated, and always trying to be the person that you want to meet gives you more class than anything money can buy. And it’s Chanel saying this ladies and gentlemen.

“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.”

These are hard times for many people. Financially, there is fear. Socio-politically, there is uncertainty. In every corner and at every turn, it seems that things are changing and change is almost always very difficult. Yet despite these hard times, I cannot help but feel that there is a lot of greatness that is emerging from creative and inventive people. From people who see hard times not as an excuse to retreat from one’s dreams but as the perfect opportunity to use one’s imagination beyond the realities that we face. If hard times cause failure for many, they also cause great success for many others. TC mark

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