The Modern Lady’s Guide to a Life Well-Crafted
“Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age, but being a lady is a matter of choice.”
But what makes a lady?
Well, gone are the days when the art of being a lady came down to how to set the table properly or cook a three-course meal for eight people or more.
And just because you might not have read as much about women doing great things in history, it doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. It just means they weren’t the ones writing the history books.
What is it that amazing women like Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Reese Witherspoon, Malala Yousafzai and Jacinda Ardern have in common?
They have made a place for themselves in this crazy world where they stand out as capable ladies of integrity wherever they go. And we can, too.
We’ve compiled the updated guide to what a young woman needs to implement in this day and age in order to consider herself a lady. Read on to craft your life like a true modern lady.
- Be open to new experiences. It is in continuous growth that we can find our true potential. And while a comfort zone is a beautiful place; nothing ever grows there.
- Educate yourself. If you don’t know something, ask someone. If there is no one to ask, look it up. The internet is at our disposal from Google searches and YouTube tutorials to online courses and communities.
- Learn how to manage your money. Money can be daunting, but taking control of it from an early age is the most empowering thing you can do for your future. You don’t need to become an accountant to know how to manage your money and there are countless professionals out there to guide you (such as financial planners). It is your responsibility to know where your money is going, how you are spending it, what you are saving for, and what your financial goals are.
- Work towards impeccable work ethic. The modern lady doesn’t shy away from hard work. However, she understands the bigger picture, too – so she also knows how to delegate and divide work and when to say no in order to ensure that she and others are not taken advantage of.
- Be punctual. Punctuality is a symbol of respect. Use it as a tool to show those around you that you do not think your time is any more valuable than theirs. Show up on time, every time, and you will be seen as more than punctual – you will be seen as reliable.
- Value your own time. Do not confuse your free time with your availability. No one is entitled to your time and you are in charge of who you give your time to.
- Never forget your manners. Express your gratitude, apologise when warranted, give credit where it’s due and always say please.
- Stop apologising and justifying yourself unnecessarily. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for turning down an invitation, taking a personal day, being happy or sad, wanting what you want, needing time to think, or being yourself.
- Listen more than your talk. This does not mean that you have nothing to say. But by listening first and fully understanding what others are meaning, you will filter out what you absolutely have to say and what has no worth in being said.
- Stand up. Stand up – for yourself and for others. Stand up for other women and men. Stand up for what you believe in. When we root for others rather than seeing them as competition, everyone wins. Success isn’t a pizza with a limited amount of slices; it’s a swimming pool with enough water and space for everyone to have a good time.
- Don’t judge others. We don’t know what anyone else is going through and others certainly don’t know what we are going through. This is why we avoid gossip and never say anything that we wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
- Practise kindness and empathy, but do so while drawing boundaries. You can be kind without being a doormat and you can say your point, assertively, without being rude. And while your base response should always be kindness, you must also know when to stop giving, stop accepting, stop excusing, and stop saying yes.
- Be authentic. In being yourself, you are showing those around you that you respect them by honouring them with the truth and with your truth. So say what you feel, admit when you don’t know something, and never bother with trying to be like someone else.
- Eat – what you want, when you want, as per your taste. Do not listen to anyone who tries to body shame you, but also, never body shame anyone else – men, women or children.
- Take care of your body, for yourself. Don’t work out to lose weight and get thin. Exercise to become fit and healthy for a bright future in which you are capable of anything. In the same way, don’t work on your posture because someone said you look bad slouching; work on it to protect your muscles for a strong future.
- Dress for you. If you like makeup and manicures, go for it! If not, don’t! But always take pride in yourself and your appearance by staying well-groomed and neat. Shave or don’t shave; straighten your hair or keep it natural. And always wear what makes you happy, like a good pair of Sebago boat shoes made from the finest-quality leather to keep you comfortable throughout the day and to remain durable for as long as you need them. But whatever you do, do it for you and for no one else.
- Practise grace with confidence. Grace is not learning to walk with an elegant swish and sweep. Grace is learning how to take a compliment. As a modern day lady, you know your strengths and are proud of them. Don’t go around denying your strengths and achievements; accept them and do so with genuine sincerity.
- Learn to laugh at yourself, too. In learning not to take everything too seriously, you are liberating yourself and freeing up thoughts spent on worrying for better use. Believe it or not, when you think everyone is thinking and talking about you, they’re actually worried that everyone is thinking and talking about them.
If we were to summarise this guide into just a few words, it would be this:
The modern lady knows that it’s okay to be multi-faceted – that she can be both soft and strong, or either of the two. Either way, she is always true to herself. She does what makes her happy while always considering those around her, but never being dictated to by others.
The modern lady is a part of all of us who want to make a difference in the world by crafting our life into what we want it to be.