*This article is a bit self indulgent. It’s my humble opinion on a variety of topics. I’ve been asked to share my views on these things along the way by a number of people, so I’m taking the time to share a little bit about what I think.

Divorce: It’s hard thing to do whether one or both people want out. There are many reasons why it happens and despite what experts and others try to say, there is no one way to prevent it. There is a lot more to being married than the wedding and the vision you’ve created for yourself. I read an article that said family and friends are better predictors of  you the success of a relationship than the people who are actually in it. I think this is true. I don’t believe in having your significant other “approved”; however they should be thoroughly vetted. I also believe that you have to know where you may be fooling yourself about what you’re compromising and what you are willing to give and give up. When you’re in it, everything is seen through the lens of the vision you have for your life, not necessarily the realities that exist. True friendship, complete and total honesty without judgment, a willingness to stretch and compromise to a degree, are all critical to preventing an early termination of your unity. Making yourself what  you think someone wants is the quickest way to unhappiness. Live your truth and see if they can handle it.

Parenting: This is a scary, rewarding, amazing, self reflective and selfless act. I am a firm believer in results. If you are not getting the results you want, i.e. a well adjusted, happy, developing and well mannered child, then your process is off. If you find that your child continues to misbehave after you’ve spoken to him or her, then maybe it’s time to take away a luxury item (tv, handheld games, play time, etc.) and stick to your guns. I believe children are born with PhDs (smile). They learn your style very quickly and adjust as needed to get what they want and/or need. Some disagree with me, but I do believe in giving my children respect. I’m not a “because I said so” mom. I don’t want them blindly following anyone and guess what? I’m not perfect. Sometimes in the midst of my thinking through why I may have made a certain decision on their behalf that they didn’t agree with, I find that it’s not as sound as I thought. So instead of sticking to my illogical answer, I actually change my decision. . .but only if warranted. This has created an amazing and respectful flow of communication between my sons and I. I understand that this is my process and I’m not judging yours.

Celebrities: Where do I begin. We’ve created a terrible cast system in these here United States by placing those in the public’s eye upon a pedestal because of a particular talent, notoriety and the appearance of a life much greater than there own. I respect and admire many people, famous and not. However, it is your choices separate you from these individuals, not your ability. You may not be able to sing like the multi-talented Beyonce or swing a racket like the Williams Sisters. However, you have a gift and that gift will make room for you in the way it was intended. Celebs have chosen a laser like focus on a particular thing and a public life. You may have chosen a life of balance and anonymity. The celebrities have the hearts of fans, the criticism of the media, an all access pass to quality goods, the magnifying glass that looks deep within their lives and an exclusive club to be a part of. There is no right or wrong, better or worse. You are just as valuable. Your gift to the world is not theirs. It’s yours. Own it. Respect.  them, admire them, but don’t idolize them.

Entrepreneurship: Is certainly one of the most amazing journeys I’ve ever been on. It’s not for everyone and you definitely have to know your strengths and areas for development. I believe owning your business takes: flexibility – no two days are the same and each is filled with new opportunities; you may have no idea where your next deal or paycheck is coming from. This either excites you or makes you reach for the pepto bismol. Discipline – if you don’t have a meeting, no one is going to tell you when to get up and get to work. You have to have a fire in your belly and an excitement about your work to get you up and at ‘em. Relationships – I can’t stress this enough. Without relationships, you may as well, get out of the game. It makes me laugh when people say “I’m going into business for myself because I’m sick of dealing with people”. Well, here’s a quick newsflash, it is all about people and your service to them. Failing – you have to know how to do this graciously and have the wherewithal to get back up and go again. Take responsibility for your actions and your missteps. Customers will respect it. Integrity – your name is the only thing you have. Keep your commitments and speak up when you’re going to miss one.

Always live your truth. For more information on any of these topics, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a brand & talent management firm.  Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.