Welcome to my column…

You Can Be…!

First, some background about me to help you understand the foundation of this new column.

When I was growing up there were three words that were spoken often in my home, “you can be.” I was raised in a positive environment where I had the good fortune and encouragement that allowed me “to be.” My dreams had no limits and I grew up believing that if I was ambitious, determined, hard working, loyal to my goals and focused, that my dreams would come true. I understood that luck had a lot to do with it, as did help from God. I also realized two other important things that played an equally important part: one is honesty, the other is self-respect. Honesty is important because it means that you have taken a realistic look at your goals and believe them attainable. Self-respect is important because it comes from liking yourself and being honest with yourself and giving yourself the encouragement to believe that you can be… anything you want to be!

Let’s start with the concept of self-presentation and how you see yourself.

The mind, the body and the spirit. These three very important elements make you who you are. In total, they are you! Realize the specialness of these gifts and treasure them. Use them wisely and treat them well.

The mind… think positive and act positive.

The body… take good care of it and respect it.

The spirit… nurture it and cherish it. 

Here is something to think about…

The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Are you challenging yourself and keeping yourself sharp. Are you ever-growing as a person?

Remember it’s 2017, a new year and a new you! It’s never too late to grow and expand your knowledge and yourself, as a person. You have so much worth and so much to offer. Respect and like yourself. Doing this, will help others to do the same when it comes to you and the way they see you and ultimately the way you see yourself and present yourself to the world.

Try this… stand in front of the mirror. Are you happy with what you see? Do you like the image and the person staring back at you? If so, that’s wonderful. If not, change it! But, be realistic.

The body is an amazing thing. Did you gain some weight over the holidays? Then, you need to think of how you are going to loose it and get back to you. Find the best, most efficient way of achieving your goal of a healthier you in the New Year. Start with a new, healthier diet and exercise. If you are dealing with extremes, I’d suggest talking to your doctor first.

If you are just trying to shed a few of those holiday pounds, then start by doing a little research and planning. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? So start there. You may also want to go back to the basics. In the day, we used a nutritional educational tool as a guideline, called the Food Guide Pyramid. Then it was updated to MyPyramid and is now MyPlate. Your healthy diet is just one part. Exercise is another. And there are so many options in that department.

Think about joining a gym, a class, working out at home, using an exercise video, hiring a personal trainer, to name a few. The most important thing is to get up and get moving!!!

A lot of our physical well-being can be attributed to the way we care about, and for, ourselves. It seems like these days, everyone has so much going on. Remember, try to take time for you. I know, easier said then done. BUT, one very important thing to keep in mind is, without your health you really have nothing. All the money in the world can’t buy better health or reverse devastating health issues. Having hundreds of friends means nothing if you’re not on this earth to enjoy their company. All the love you can muster or receive is spent on no one if you’re not here to enjoy it or share it.

So what do you have that will take you day to day, sustain you and allow you to share with those around you? You in your healthiest possible state, of course! Your body is a temple and what you get out of it, is what you put into it; another cliché to heed.

Holiday time especially, can wreak havoc on our schedules, our diets, our sleep patterns, our stress levels and our feelings about ourselves. Try to get a grip. Take control. No one knows you better than you. Be realistic to start. Take baby steps if you need to. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like, or go the way you want right away. Celebrate small successes. Most importantly, stay positive!

The spirit is a huge part of you. It’s that inner light that shines and radiates from within you. It’s the smile on your face, the twinkle in your eye, the pep in your step. It’s you and your essence. It’s what makes you, you. Cherish it, nurture it, develop it, celebrate it and share it!

There are many ways to be the best that you can be. It can be in the way you take care of yourself or the way that you care for others. It can be reflected in your thoughtful and caring nature and extended out there to reach the many who may look up to you and want to emulate you. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to contribute. It’s a gift to be role model. Think about it, by showing kindness, consideration, thoughtfulness and good manners, you are one.

Try these things to put you a step closer to being the best that you can be:

  • Be true to your word.
  • Do the right thing.
  • Admit if you’ve made a mistake.
  • Apologize if you hurt someone’s feelings.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Be trustworthy.
  • Share with others and treat others well.
  • Respect yourself and others.
  • Don’t make excuses.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Be appreciative, patient and caring.
  • Give 100%.
  • Be positive.
  • Most of all, be a good person.

Always remember that you can be… the best that you can be!

Mary Therese Friel is a Former Miss USA, Ford Model and Founder/CEO of The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency. She is a National Spokesperson, Goodwill Ambassador, Philanthropist and Author.