As much as you might have it together, you might think that you don't have much in common with actress-turned-humanitarian Angelina Jolie. The Hollywood It Girl and frankly, my all-time girl crush, has won an Oscar, has been married to Brad Pitt and has tackled some meaty roles, after all.
But as it turns out, you might be able to relate to Jolie more than you think. The mother of six is juggling her role as a new single parent, as a working actress and a volunteer. And apparently, she's really nice.
Here are seven things that one of the most sought-after actresses has to teach us:
1. Life is short--keep it full.
Jolie's life is bursting at the seams with acting, directing, humanitarian work, parenting and guest-lecturing on women's rights at the London School of Economics. Just when you don't think you can do any more, there's always more to pack it in.
Remember, life is short--make the most of it by taking on what you want to. Don't let life pass you by because others may think that your plate is too full. Listen to your heart.
2. Sometimes, you have to just do your best.
Jolie recently admitted to Vanity Fair magazine that life after Brad Pitt has been challenging for her entire family. She said she's just doing her best. When things are going tough, remember that everyone, even the most gorgeous and talented of actresses, have their own challenges and struggles. You are not alone.
3. Children are the future--raise them well.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's children would have access to travel, experiences, private tutors and material things that normal children wouldn't. Yet the six kids are reported to be polite, kind, and normal.
No matter what your background or your income is, don't spoil your children. Teach your children empathy, give them experiences instead of things and show them that good manners are always appropriate, no matter how wealthy you are.
4. It's possible to rebrand yourself.
Formerly dubbed a wild child, Jolie has spoken in the media about experimenting with drugs, and has been reported to have worn a vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck when she was married to the Bad Santa actor.
Yet she discovered humanitarian work in Cambodia, adopting her first son and kicking off a lifetime of helping others. The lesson here: It is possible to change your reputation and what you stand for if you work at it.
5. Take care of your health, because without it, you have nothing.
Jolie's mother lost her life to ovarian cancer when she was only 56 years old. After discovering that she was a carrier of the cancer gene BRCA1, she got a preventative double mastectomy and her ovaries removed. Jolie was applauded in the media for her brave decision of taking charge of her health.
She was also diagnosed with Bell's Palsy last year, and although it was successfully treated, it's a reminder that we all have to slow down and care for ourselves. You can work and have more money in the bank than you can count, but if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.
Remember that if you ignore your health for long enough, your body will retaliate.
6. Remember that everyone has doubts about themselves occasionally.
Have you ever questioned whether you're doing a good job as a worker/human being/business owner/parent/entrepreneur? Everyone has. Even Jolie, who has been touted as a super-mom, raising six well-behaved children, has had days when she has wondered whether she did a great job or an average one.
7. Be who you are.
Jolie has said in media interviews that she cannot sit still, and that she can't just lead a pedestrian life. She's spent most of the last year staying close to home, trying to be a good homemaker and spending more time with her kids. Still, adventure calls to her. She's said that she's all about making a difference and leading a bold life. Remember to stay true to yourself. You only have one life to live. Do it your way.