Author Archives: Make Up the Life You Love

About Make Up the Life You Love

Hi, my name is Meli and I am the creator of Make Up the Life You Love!

Authenticity Can Create Success If You Take the Time to Develop It

When people think about what qualities are needed to be successful in life, I can think of many words that are associated with success. The first words that come to my mind are hardworking, passionate, determined, disciplined, and proactive. There is no denying that these are effective qualities that will propel someone to advance and achieve many amazing things in a lifetime.

However, I want to share a quality that is often underestimated and not really talked about all too often. I strongly believe that being authentic is a driving force behind becoming a highly successful individual. What exactly is authenticity? I would describe authenticity simply as being true to yourself. One might wonder, well how is “being true to yourself” ever going to provide success? The problem is, most people do not take the time to dig deep and discover what being true to self means to them. In addition, many people are too heavily impacted by society, social media, and the outside world to the point where they go through the motions of life doing what they think they are “supposed to do” or what is expected of them. These same people tend to be too busy looking at what everyone else is doing rather than staying focused on their individual path and living a life of authenticity. For example, society tends to promote professional success to equate to this life equation: Go to college, obtain a degree, find a career, and voila–you can then live happily ever after with financial security and the ability to make lots of money. Let’s be real, this path is NOT for everyone. Did you know that there are plenty of successful people who did NOT go to college or they advanced in something that did not even require a college degree? My point is, life should not be pursued with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality as what works for one person might not be the right path for someone else. It is for this reason that you need to determine what being authentic means to you.

Everyone is born with special gifts and various interests and it is up to you to thoroughly explore them. You would be amazed at what hobbies can actually turn into a business and/or career. Think about the things you most naturally gravitated towards as a young child or adult. Something to also think about: What brings you intrinsic happiness and what do you value most in life? In order to be authentic, you will need to do the work and focus on your own self development. From there, expand on these talents and interests by mastering them and then actually find a way to utilize them. Do not be so concerned on whether or not it will bring you immediate wealth because I do believe that the money will naturally be manifested over time if you just keep doing what you’re doing and put your energy towards being amazing at something that you truly love and care about. Even if society or those around you do not fully support your aspirations, still stay true to yourself as you can always prove them otherwise later (after you become successful that is). 😉

Going Back to An Ex Immediately After a Breakup – Why It Is a Major Red Flag on Multiple Levels

Although I do not follow much celebrity gossip these days, it is hard to escape the current headlines that are surfacing that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reconnected and planned a getaway in Montana. Despite the fact that they were together over 15 years ago, I actually predicted that they would “get together” in some way. I was not expecting it to be this soon after her recent broken engagement with Alex Rodriguez; however, at the same time, human nature never fails to surprise me. Certain outcomes are so incredibly predictable when you take the time to understand people’s behaviors and often times, many of these same situations are portrayed on a television show, movie, or in real life. You do not need to be a celebrity to experience these things because everyday people fall in love along with going through breakups. The only major difference is that their lives are out for public display and can easily be googled if you are looking for an update on their personal status.

Every relationship is different and without much information, I am not here to judge people for their decisions and how they go about living life after a breakup. I can provide my honest feedback, general analysis, and opinion of the situation but that is the extent of it. On a fundamental level, not knowing too many details, I strongly believe going back to any ex (doesn’t matter how long ago they were dating, when they broke up, why it ended, etc.) soon after a current relationship ended is not only a red flag but I want to emphasize, a MAJOR red flag–yes, on multiple levels. I not only find it outright distasteful but it really reveals a lot about a person’s true character; specifically one’s character flaws which I will go into in further detail.

Trouble Letting Go of Their Past – I would say that most people have a really hard time letting go of their past. Their past life has a stronger impact on their present life than their actual present and future which is why you see people constantly making the same mistakes because they simply never learned the first time. It is acceptable to make mistakes in life but failing to learn from them is when it becomes a reoccurring problem. It is also troublesome dating someone who holds onto their past as you never really know if they have fully moved on and are ready to turn the page onto a new chapter.

Never Really Over the Person to Begin With – When I see someone going back to an ex on a romantic level at any given point, I always question if this person ever really got over this person at the time of the breakup. It can often show that the person never fully recovered and as a result has unresolved feelings towards someone they were previously dating.

Cannot Handle Being Single for Long Periods of Time – There are going to be times in life when you are single and when you are in a relationship. Unfortunately, you will find there are many people who feel uncomfortable when they are single and are always looking for a replacement soon after a relationship ended. I do not view this as healthy as one should be able to live a happy life with or without a significant other.

Reconnecting Just Out of Convenience – Sometimes there are no true feelings left for their ex but pursuing an ex provides stability, comfort, intimacy, and/or convenience. People should not be keeping the door open for their exes just so they can serve as “comfort objects.” (If one is looking for such a thing, stop choosing people for this purpose and maybe consider buying a cozy blanket).

Inability to Accept Change – Many people are a creature of habit which does not always have to be labeled as a bad thing but I do view it as a bad thing when one is unable to cope with a breakup (the change) and feel the need to have someone (in this case an ex) as they cannot deal with the change in its entirety so the only solution is to keep an ex around for the sake of it.

Revenge Tactic – I would say this is probably the worst reason as to why someone goes back to an ex–to make their most recent ex jealous, display a lack of empathy, and/or to show that they never really got over an ex in the first place. Sadly, I do see people do this out of revenge and no matter what the inner motive behind it is, revenge is never seen as a positive thing.

I want to point out, I do believe that organically (by that I mean by chance), it is possible for two people who once dated can cross paths later in their lives and perhaps rekindle their love again if the time apart was needed for their lives to become more aligned later as anything is possible in one’s lifetime. However, when you see someone proactively pursuing an ex RIGHT AFTER they got out of a relationship or their ex pursued them and they go for it, this is when the situation becomes problematic and one in which you want to stay far away from. At the end of the day, people are going to do what they want and are always showing you who they are as a person. When you come across a red flag, the good thing is that this actually makes it much easier to move on with your life and focus on your future. So despite red flags being a negative thing, consider them as a positive thing when they are guiding you away from someone else.

Never Take the First Offer On the Table – Why You Should Be More Selective

I was recently talking to a friend who had lost a job and she initially was going to take a little bit of time to herself before jumping into a new job; however, she decided to start the job hunting process rather quickly. She ended up landing a job which she was unsure if it really met all of her criteria but accepted the offer anyway. Before she had taken the job, I had advised that she take some time to interview for other positions. Why? I believe it is always wise to have create multiple options before settling on anything. I guess she figured that getting an offer right away is better than no offer and this also would save time from having to set up multiple interviews with other companies. After a few weeks, she said she will keep the new job but will keep her eyes open for a better job. (She decided she wanted a job that was fully remote at this stage of her life for the convenience and enhanced quality of life as opposed to commuting a few days a week). If she had taken the extra time at the start of the job search to to set up more than one interview, she could then choose what would be her very best option rather than settling.

This perfectly exemplifies the importance of being selective and as I like to point out, why you should never take the first offer on the table. I guess I should never say never as there are certain instances in which you might take the first offer when it is a time sensitive issue or something that is chosen on a first come, first serve basis. Of course there are always going to be exceptions but generally speaking, when you are in control of making an important life decision, have options and critically weigh them all out. People often complain that they never have many options to begin with so they just take what they can get. This is a very weak mentality to possess and one that needs to be shifted from scarcity to ABUNDANCE. If you believe you don’t have options, then you will lack the ability to generate them and never really be presented with any. If you switch your mind to believe that you can attract plenty of options, heck–let’s make that UNLIMITED options, then you’d be amazed at what your life will begin to attract and have to offer to you.

When given more than one option, there is nothing wrong with being selective as one should be thoroughly examining each option before impulsively taking the first one or just settling for anything that comes their way. This applies to just about anything from choosing a job, a life partner, place to live, college to attend, etc. Life is all about making the right choices and living your very best possible outcomes. Always keep your options open and take your time when making your final selection as being selective will often work in your favor in the long run.

Take Your Life to the Next Level – Embrace Challenges to Promote Positive Change

The majority of the time, we strive for security in most areas of our lives which provide us a high level of comfort. Being in a comfortable state is definitely a reassuring feeling but at the same, we need to be conscientious as to when we become too comfortable. There is such a thing as being too comfortable which hinders spiritual growth and prevents people from living life at their full potential. Think about when you go to play a video game. How boring would it be to keep playing level one constantly when you already mastered it? People like to play for the challenge and strive to move up to higher levels as opposed to just staying at the same level the entire time. Life should be approached in the same way. You start at the first level but you level up by taking on the challenges that come along the way and by setting goals that you want to achieve over time. There will be times where you might feel as though you are stuck at a certain level for quite some time before you reach the next big milestone but that is okay as long as you are looking towards your future and you are making the effort to move up which will provide progression over time.

Even though challenges can easily take you out of your comfort zone, you should consider this to be a very positive thing as it promotes change–usually for the better. When you are not challenging yourself, you are staying stagnant. If you are staying stagnant, you are just coasting through life when you should always be looking forward towards what’s next and how you can make your life even better than the current state that you are living today. In addition, adding challenges to your life can build character, mental strength, and confidence. There truly is much more to be gained by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone which is why it is beneficial to not stay there for long periods of time.

Take a moment to think about where you are right now. Are you continuing to set goals for yourself? Are you looking at the bigger picture of your life and creating challenges so you do not stay stagnant? Are you laser focused on where you want to be tomorrow or a few years from now? It is okay if you are not where you want to be at the present moment as long as you have an end goal set in your mind as knowing what you want and being specific about it is the first major step. From there, you can plan ahead by taking the action steps needed which often includes embracing new challenges and removing yourself from your comfort zone. Ultimately, this will elevate your future to great heights.

The Art of Aging Significantly Well – 3 Things You Need to Do Today for a More Youthful Tomorrow

People often rely on “good genetics” as their key to aging well or are under the impression that we cannot control the aging process. Of course genetics plays a huge role and certain aspects are out of our hands in terms of the way in which we age. However, it is great knowing that we can actually control the aging process based on our everyday life decisions. It order to slow it down, we as individuals need to take personal responsibility and accountability of ourselves throughout the course of our lives. I always say, “Self care is the best health care.” By that I mean, by proactively taking the time to make your health a top priority today, you are creating a better tomorrow.

Another advantage of making healthy life choices each day is that this will preserve your youth. There are many things you can do to increase your vitality and physically look much younger than your physical age that come down to focusing on these three components:

Take Care of Your Skin – A person often likes to determine a person’s age based on their skin, specifically their face but this can also include the entire body. No matter what your gender is (*yes, I am talking to men too), you need to apply face moisturizer every day (at least once a day but twice if you can) and do not forget to bring it all the way down to your neck. Ideally, look for one with sun protection for the day time and something more rich for the evening with anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid. If you add other things to your skincare routine such as a toner and face serum, you are even more ahead of the skincare game. It might go without saying to stay out of the sun but I do like to point this out as well as it is important to avoid extended sun exposure as much as you can. I am a runner but I make sure to wear a hat and load up on SPF when I know I will be out in the sun or I try to go very late or super early in the morning to avoid the sun in its entirety.

[* I find that many men are not socialized to use skincare and take care of their skin the way that women are told to do so at a young age. That is why I want to point out, men should equally be taking care of their skin too. Although there aren’t as many male skincare products out on the market, they do very well exist and most skincare products are unisex anyhow so there is actually a lot to choose from].

Eat Clean and Healthy Foods – As they say, “You are what you eat.” I couldn’t agree more! For those of you who are gifted with skinny genes in which you do not gain much weight or any weight at all, that does not give you a pass to neglect your health altogether and just sit back and eat pints of ice cream everyday. Trust me, it all catches up later. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen who were naturally super skinny in their youth and you look at them years later–aged and heavy. One has to wonder, what the heck happened? I know what happened, the person relied too heavily (quite literally–pardon the pun) on their good genes and put their dieting habits to the wayside. It happens and people let themselves go but anyone can consciously make the effort to eat a healthier diet. It is also never too late to get back on a healthy track or to start but the sooner you invest in yourself and the more consistent over time, the better!

Exercise Everyday – I know realistically, not everyone is capable of exercising every day but I advise setting the goal to at least try to add some activity in your day each day. A light day can mean just going for a walk after dinner or lifting a few weights in your living room. When people hear exercise, they tend to shy away from it as they think this means long hours at the gym. Although I believe exercise should be somewhat challenging to optimize your results, you can still find physical activities that are fun and keep you physically fit in the process that do not even require a gym membership. I look at exercise as an everyday ritual and compare it to brushing and flossing your teeth. If you can make time to take care of your teeth daily, then why would you even consider not taking care of your body everyday? I know people will respond, “Oh taking care of my teeth only takes a few minutes whereas with exercise, I have to commit at least 30 minutes for it to count and I don’t have the time for that.” My response to that is, if you truly care about your health and overall well being, then there are zero excuses! You can plan ahead by assigning time out of your day to add some exercise–a minimum of 3-5 days at the very least. If one actually took the time to work out the body EACH AND EVERY DAY (skinny, fat, healthy weight–my point is, it doesn’t matter), then one can still look extremely young and fit at any age. Someone with a healthy weight and nicely shaped body is not only the epitome of excellent health but are signs of youth and vitality. Needless to say, the benefits of exercise are endless!

How to Know If An Extrovert Likes You (It’s Not What You Think)

I was thinking the other day, how often times extroverts can be misinterpreted simply due to their natural friendliness and outgoing nature. They can walk into a room with ease and approach just about anyone–which is one of their many gifts. However, as a result, I think people make false assumptions that if a person is extra chatty and personable, then this person must like you. If the person is an extrovert, keep in mind that they act this way towards just about everyone because they are most energized from their social interactions. They thrive on being at social gatherings, meeting new people, and having extended conversations. Since this is their natural personality, one should not assume that their social engagement and focused attention towards someone is a form of flirtation or as a way to show a heightened interest–they are probably just being friendly (not flirty). As an extrovert myself, I never want people to mistake my social warmth as anything more than that. This is just who I am at the core and I believe other extroverts can relate that they genuinely like to connect with all types of people.

So one might wonder, “Well if extroverts are pretty much nice to everyone who they encounter, then how are you supposed to know when an extrovert actually likes you in particular?” That is a great question and I agree, it can be extra tricky to decipher their intentions when they can talk to anyone. One has to realize, that people tend to act differently around those who they desire. Usually it is not even a conscious choice, it is subconscious. Personally, if I encounter someone I like, I am actually at a loss for words. I might not have too much to say at the moment of the encounter or just become a little more withdrawn. So in other words, my personality will shift to the opposite of who I truly am and in this case, I become a little more shy. Even though normally I am very talkative, I tend to become more quiet. Again, I am not doing this intentionally, this is just my natural reaction. That is not to say I will stay mute, I will probably warm up to the other person but it might take me a little more extra time than usual.

As I pointed out above, no matter if a person is an extrovert or not, an observation to really look for is if the person’s behavior is true to who they are or if it is different. Chances are, if it is different then there is a higher chance there is some level of interest. The reason being that often times attraction and love are not rational as they stem heavily from your emotions as opposed to your head. When people say that “love is blind,” it is because it is often an irrational choice. Another example of this is, why do you think people play hard to get? It doesn’t make any sense on a rational level–why would you ignore someone who you like? In addition, people tend to also throw all their rules out the window when they like someone or in this case, react rather differently than their normal self when presented with someone who is of interest. Again, rationality and love don’t always go hand in hand. It is for this reason that you should pay closer attention when you notice a pattern is broken or there is a change in behavior. These factors can easily be overlooked but are important to look for when you are trying to figure out if someone likes you or not. The signs are often there but beneath the surface in which you just need to dig a little deeper in order to find them.

When Love Becomes a Game – Game OVER

Many aspects of life become a game but I don’t believe your love life should ever become one. Mind you, with pursuing love or any type of relationship, there are going to be challenges along the way and no relationship is ever perfect. Even when things seem “perfect,” especially during the early stages of a relationship or during the honeymoon phase as they call it, do not fall into the illusion that everything will remain that way at all times. However, at the very least, things should be very easy in the beginning, especially when two people mutually want to be with each other and explore where their love can go.

Keep in mind, that the early stages of dating someone are always very telling. When I hear someone tell me about the complications, the mixed signals, the emotional letdowns, drama, etc. at the very beginning, my immediate thought is: Don’t just walk but run away from these situations as they should be avoided in its entirety. Why do you want to start a relationship or even invest your time in someone who is playing games with your heart? I do not care how attractive they are. I do not care how much you have in common. I do not care how much money they have. I do not care how much you like them. I do not care how much you think that they like you in return–because guess what, if the person liked you, why would they cause tension, agony, frustration, and grief? The focus would be on TOGETHERNESS and making that effort to not only BE WITH YOU but also to MAKE YOU HAPPY. Why would a person who genuinely likes you go days without contact? If they liked you, they would never want to go even a single day out of touch. Also be careful when you notice a person message you constantly but yet they never make the time to actually see you in-person, spend any quality time, or they make plans but constantly are canceling. (FYI, I call that a glorified pen pal or perhaps a waste of time–you can be the judge).

It is crucial to pay close attention as to when love becomes a game and to pick up on the red flags before the jump to prevent developing any sort of attachment to this person. It is a game you never want to play and one in which you need to withdraw from as soon as you are aware that this is all it is.

Besides the beginning, it is possible that love can turn into a game later during the course of the relationship and the same rule applies here, once you notice this–you are up and OUT. Remember: Game over. An example of this is when a person is incredibly devoted and locked into the relationship but over time, you notice communication becomes less frequent or the person is showing signs they are ghosting you. Do everyone a favor and just end it if that begins to happen. Why settle on someone who appears to be less interested or who is slacking on providing you with the love you deserve? Even if the other person is not intentionally trying to play games with your emotions, it does not matter what the INTENT is, what matters is the OUTCOME. If the outcome is not in your favor, you just have to make it a point to remove yourself as soon as possible. Although it might take time, please know that you will get over them as soon as you make the firm decision to move forward with your life and let the person go. Be patient with the process and true love (not some “love game” nonsense) will actually come knocking on your door when you are ready for it. Trust me, love is on the way so make sure you create the space in your life for it to arrive when the time is right. 😉 ❤

Why Michael Jordan Says “Never Say Never”

People often hear the expression, “Never say never.” This can be interpreted in different ways but essentially you should not limit yourself and say you cannot do something or achieve anything that you truly want. More specifically, Michael Jordan took it a step further by saying in his Hall of Fame induction address:

“Never say never. Because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

Think about it, the biggest setbacks originate from your own mind. Perhaps other people have the power to create doubts in your head but that does NOT mean you have to listen to them. There is no need to waste your energy on people who try to put you down. It is for this reason, you need to be aware of your inner most thoughts by proactively developing a mindset that is strong and unstoppable along with blocking any negativity from evolving in the first place. It is natural to experience fears from time to time but as Michael Jordan states, they are often just an illusion.

At the end of the day, your reality starts with YOU. Anything is possible and becomes a high possibility if you actually believe in your full potential. Learn to actually “never say never” and achieve what you can, even if that means you have to start small or from absolutely nothing. I will also leave you with another great Michael Jordan quote that I also recently discovered: You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” This is incredibly accurate and correlates with what I like to preach within my blog the importance of setting the bar high in all areas of your life. Even if there are some failures along the way or you do not reach your target at all times, it is still better than settling for less than what you are capable of.

Life’s Greatest Gifts to Give to Your Children – My Top 3

When it comes to raising children, ultimately parents want to be able to give their children the best upbringing and experience. There is no such thing as perfect parenting but we can all strive to be good care givers and role models. When I think about what is most important, although I can probably come up with a much longer list, I wanted to truly think about what my top three gifts would be and this is what I think matters most.

Good Memories – I truly believe experiencing quality and meaningful memories will always be more valuable than material objects. Children are very impressionable and creating memories for them that are positive is beneficial for their overall development. When I look back at my own childhood, I am thankful my parents made an effort to provide me experiences to travel and always threw me fun birthday parties that I still remember today.

Tough Love – Many parents try to become friends with their children without serving as a strong authority figure and setting healthy boundaries. It is for this reason why I want to point out the importance of giving tough love. It does not sound like a very positive gift but ultimately you are setting up your children to succeed, increasing their self value, and building their character. Children might be resentful towards you but know that you are really doing them a huge favor in the long run.

Emotional Support – In order for kids to trust you and feel comfortable coming to you for guidance, I firmly believe that emotional support is a necessity. By emotional support, I mean actually taking the time to build a spiritual connection with your children while also supporting them every step of the way throughout their lives. Especially during the teenage years which can bring upon many challenges, parents need to really put in the extra effort to provide emotional support to ensure that their children are making good life decisions and know that their parents are there for them when they need them most.

Every parent has their own unique parenting style and not all children are created equal. What approach works on one child might not work as effectively on another. However, when it comes to life’s greatest gifts to give to your children, I do strongly believe all children can greatly benefit from these three gifts: Good memories, tough love, and emotional support.

My Thoughts on Casual Relationships – Can They Work?

People often question what the rules are when it comes to casual relationships and if they are worth pursuing. When I refer to a casual relationship, I am NOT referring to a one night stand but more specifically, a relationship that is not serious with any true commitment attached to it but at the same time, it is an on going relationship. This might include quality time spent and/or intimacy as well. Every situation is different and can vary. I honestly have nothing wrong with casual relationships as sometimes it is the right choice for someone who might not be looking to get married or perhaps for someone who just got out of a relationship and are not really looking to get too emotionally invested within their next relationship. So who am I to judge? It is a personal choice and sometimes more beneficial to be in a casual relationship than a serious one because it tends to be low stress and less maintenance. I do believe it can work but only under a few conditions:

Zero Attachment to the Outcome – Unfortunately, people get caught up in casual relationships with the hope that it can lead to a serious relationship and feelings to develop over time. You cannot go into a casual relationship with any hope for something more than what it currently is. Sometimes the outcome can change over time but the majority of the time, it does not and that is the reason why it is labeled casual to begin with. So if you are going to choose to have a casual relationship, accept it for what it is–it is CASUAL which means you should not hold onto any false hope that it can lead to a deeper connection, love, or anything all too meaningful to the other person.

No Romantic Feelings – It is never wise to go into a casual relationship if you have some sort of feelings towards the other person, especially if they made it clear to you that they do not feel the same way. Reason being that you are emotionally investing in someone with not much of a return other than having their time and company. It goes both ways and if you know the other person has feelings for you, you should not pursue the casual relationship as they will probably be resentful towards you as time goes on and it is not right to mislead someone who likes you more than you like them. It is much better to let a person go completely than to selfishly stay with someone for the sake of it, convenience, and/or to pass time when you know this person wants more than you can give.

100% Mutual Between Two PeopleThe only way it can truly work out is if both people want the same thing which in this case means a relationship that isn’t all too serious. If two people genuinely want that, then it is a win/win situation and can be successful.

The biggest problem with casual relationships is that many people tend to go into them having some expectation that it can lead to more or there are already feelings of attachment. The only way it can work is if two people are okay with not putting too much emphasis on building anything substantial from it. Bottom line: Take casual at face value and enjoy it as an easy going relationship without trying to establish a secure future. If this is not what you are looking for, then do not even bother getting yourself involved and hold out for a relationship that provides more value and meaning. There is no need to settle for anything less than what you truly want. Be crystal clear in what you want from the Universe and be comfortable with saying no to people who are not willing to give you what you want because you are only clearing the path for the right person to come into your life to give you everything (and much more 😉 ).