Don't miss the art in smart. Leticia Cavallaro

Creativity creates value. 

I have always loved art. Words have been mine, but I’m a huge admirer of all forms, especially painting and music. Both beautiful and cathartic.

In the less literal sense though, you’d be smart to see the value of adding a sprinkle of art to everything that you do. It will make you more creative and more memorable. The artistry of your actions and choices is what makes you unique, what sets you apart.

What do I mean? It could simply be your outlook or the way you respond to things. Both of which have the power to change the situation and set you apart.

At home, parents naturally do it all the time. Counting pegs to keep the kids happy while hanging clothes on the line. Berries in a pancake to make eyes so that they actually eat, or racing to see who can get dressed first when you’re struggling to get out the door.

In the office your art could be reading body language to make better choices, or creatively handing out tasks to keep your team aligned. Even more subtly there is an art to understanding how to make best use of individual strengths to achieve the best results.

In any situation, if you can, be smart and be brave.

Perspective is everything. Leticia Cavallaro

Perspective is everything. 

Sometimes life gets tricky and the last thing you want to do is think about the person making it hard.

Over time though, I have come to appreciate the merit of trying to react to any given situation based on the ‘full’ picture. Taking 5 seconds to ask myself ‘if I were them, what would I have done?’ helps me to frame my thinking in a more balanced and positive way.

Balance and perspective are less regrettable than rage and hurt. As often as you can, walk away with your head held high.

What passion really means. Leticia Cavallaro

What PERFECT really means. 

I really don’t believe in perfection, only versions of it. In some circumstances the words might shift, but when it comes to work, parenting and love this is what it looks like to me.

Perfect is an important concept that you need to define for yourself, because it is often our barometer for success. If you’re relying on someone else’s definition of what that looks like you might not cherish your own victories quite as much, which can be damaging and unproductive.

Go with the first word that comes to your mind for each of the letters and then think about what that looks like as a group of words. You might need to swap a few out, or maybe you will nail it the first time. Don’t be too quick to dismiss what does first enter your thoughts – often this can tell you one of two things; what you know to be true, or what you know needs to change.

If you come up with a word that you think doesn’t quite fit, ask yourself why it popped into mind. The answer may be that it was just the first word you could think of with that letter… but sometimes it tells you so much more.

In the end, your definition should be something you can own and work towards, so that when you evaluate that “perfect” moment, it truly reflects who you are and what you are aiming to achieve.

How does your acronym read?

Life is too short to blend in. Leticia Cavallaro

Be bold, and brave. 

For a really long time I did what I could to blend in. To not cause a scene or stand for anything too cray cray. And when it didn’t work and I ended up at the center of something silly I spent hours beating myself up about it, which was even sillier.

Now, I think life is too short. Kids and time have helped me to realise that owning who you are and what you have to offer is the best foot you can put forward in life.

Last night I got dressed for an event. I felt good. My husband walked in and asked if I was sure I wanted to wear what I was wearing, because “most women wear dresses” to this particular fancy pants dinner. I told him I was sure that my tight black jeans and silk top were the perfect platform for bold red lips. And, that I didn’t mind if everyone else was wearing a dress.

Cherry red lips. Leticia Cavallaro

He was right. Everyone was in a dress.

I was right. It was better to stand out.

Light a fire under your spirit. Leticia Cavallaro

Find something that makes you tick!

You will know when you have found it because it doesn’t feel like work. Ideally, you can find this one thing and turn it into money. That way you get the holy grail of passion and profit.

But, let’s be real… that’s not always realistic. If this is the case, don’t focus on the fact that you can’t make money doing that one thing. Instead, find ways to spread the joy and energy it brings to your life to the things that do.

Not sure how? Ask yourself these three questions: what could do all day, every day? What’s your greatest strength? And, where do you want to be in one year?

Somewhere in there should lie the answer. Go after it.

Look into your kids eyes and really listen when they tell you a story. It changes their world. Leticia Cavallaro

Too busy to really listen to the kids? Don’t be.

There is nothing quite like the joy in kids eyes when they have something to share. You have to really be looking though to see the difference it makes when they know they have 100% of your attention. You can see a little piece of their tender soul glowing. It is truly magical. Don’t ever underestimate what this means to them.

Sometimes I forget to really listen, hurried by the business of life and the next task on the list. It’s times like this though that I realise how sacrilegious that is, and how detrimental it can be to the little people who see us as thier everything.

As often as you can, kneel down (if you still have to) and really look into their eyes. It truly change the way they look at you, how excited they are about what they have to say and reminds them that they are your everything as well.

Seize the moment. In an instant it can be gone. Leticia Cavallaro

Don’t wait for tomorrow… it may never come!

Today I read an incredible tribute from Sheryl Sandberg to her late husband, Dave. It was inspirational, sad, enlightening, raw and life affirming all at once. I have long respected what she is about and even more so now. She is an inspiration to humanity and has sent a timely reminder to the world to… live.

She mentions a childhood friend who told her the most powerful one line prayer he had ever read was: let me not die while I am still alive. If you haven’t read her touching tribute, you should read it here now.