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20 Secrets Smart Girls Know
Beef up your Life I.Q. and get the smarts that go beyond books and classrooms.
  1. Smart girls are beautiful. Beauty is only brain deep. You're given the skin (and body) you live in-fair, dark, tall, short, thin, curvy-but how you see yourself is all up to you. If you think you're beautiful, you are! You're one step ahead of beautiful girls who see only their physical flaws. And remember that a good mind is beautiful years after a pretty face is nothing but a memory.
  2. Smart girls don't know everything. It seems like smart girls know everything. They're the first to raise their hands in class, the ones with all the right answers. But they're also the first to ask questions. Smart girls know that what they know now is only a tiny part of what's out there to discover. Learning only stops when you think you've got nothing else to learn. Leaving school only means the formal part of your education is over. After that comes the exciting part-the school of life.
  3. Smart girls have beliefs and opinions. Are you for or against color-coding, eating meat, Britney Spears? Sooner or later you'll have to decide. The only wrong answer is not to have one. The older you grow, the more choices you'll have to make. You can't get by with just a sweet smile and a shoulder shrug. Everyone's trying to sell you their side, but what do you believe in? Smart girls know.
  4. Smart girls speak out. Here's reason to celebrate: girls the world over are being heard-in politics, in business, in the arts, in sports, in the classrooms. The right to speak up is a gift we don't appreciate often enough or take advantage of because we didn't have to live in the times when girls were seen and not heard. So go ahead-express yourself.
  5. Smart girls take smart risks. Life is a gamble-we make decisions that affect us in little and large ways. Decisions come hand-in-hand with risk, and some risks are worth taking more than others. Do you know the difference? Reaching out to a seemingly unfriendly (and unpopular) classmate-smart. An exciting, spur-of-the-moment trip to Boracay with your friends, on the weekend before your first big exam-well, not so smart. It's great to seize the day, but don't forget to consider what happens the day after that.
  6. Smart girls know the power of the positive. When you're starting to run the race to your goals, do you see yourself at the finish line or stumbling on your shoelaces halfway? Studies have shown that those who can visualize themselves achieving their goals are more likely to get what they want. They try harder. They don't give up. They do what it takes to make their imagined success a reality. Repeat after me, "I can do it!"
  7. Smart girls appreciate beautiful women. When you see a beautiful girl, are you the first to praise her or put her down? "She's so thin, she's probably anorexic." "She's so maarte, and I hear she's not that smart." Sound familiar? Remember, we gals should be on the same side! Smart girls know that there's enough beauty to go around. Calling your fellow girls "ugly" only lessens your inner beauty-and that's the beauty that counts!
  8. Smart girls know their value. Do bad-hair days get you down? Depressed because of a less-than-model-thin body? Time to reassess your value. You are more than your looks and more than your talents and achievements. Look at the total package and realize, "Hey, I've got a lot to offer!" When you come to see yourself as a valuable person with a lot to give-a sincere smile, a kind word, amazing mathematical abilities—you'll be ready to share yourself with the world, and your true value will shine through.
  9. Smart girls listen to others but decide for themselves.  Be true to yourself, but be careful not to shut yourself off to the wise words of others. People around you may see or know things you don't. From what shade to dye your hair to what course to take in college, a second (or third) opinion can be a big help. But let them tell you what they think, not tell you what to do. After all, it's your life (and your hair).
  10. Smart girls eat healthily. Here's some food for thought: "You are what you eat" isn't just a popular saying-it's the truth. What you put into your body affects the way you look, feel, and act. Running on the wrong fuel, or worse, on no fuel at all, will negatively affect your performance. So fill up on the good stuff and get revved up to be your best!
  11. Smart girls have role models. Who do you look up to? There are a lot of smart, beautiful women to choose from-public figures, fictional characters, your mom (yes, your mom!). Even the most successful women in the world were inspired by somebody, who in turn looked up to somebody else. Why? Because role models give you a road to follow until you're ready to blaze a trail of your own.
  12. Smart girls know how to celebrate success. Maybe you can't do everything right but when you do have your victories-big or small-celebrate! It is a big deal that you aced that test, or stuck with your gym habit, or got the courage to say hi to that cute but intimidating senior (even if he didn't say hi back—his loss!). It's not wrong to be proud of our accomplishments. Don't miss out on much-needed healthy emotional boosts by downplaying your successes. Congratulations, you did it!
  13. Smart girls know their strengths—and use them. Here's a body principle to apply to life: use it or lose it! The more you use your muscles, the stronger they grow. Don't use them and they atrophy. The same thing is true about your strengths and talents. Flex your brain muscles and tutor kids. Work those artistic muscles and get a poem or story published in your school paper. Move your heart (the biggest muscle of all!) and help a friend through a crisis.
  14. Smart girls accept that they have weaknesses and work on them. The first step to overcoming your shortcomings is realizing you have them and naming what they are. That's right, name them—procrastination, pride, perfectionism, popularity obsession-you know what they are. But don't stop there. Step two is working on making that list shorter. Ask your math-whiz big brother to help you study. Start your day with the promise to be more patient or forgiving. Accept that you have flaws but don't accept any excuses not to change. 
  15. Smart girls smile a lot. So much has been said about the smile, and with good reason. Skip the Swarovski crystals—a smile is your best accessory. Lose the self-help books—a smile is the easiest way to change your life (try it!). Skip the awkward introductions and coy lines—a smile is the easiest way to make friends (and meet guys). Save your makeup money-a smile is an instant facial pick-me-up. And like all the best things in life, it's free!
  16. Smart girls aren't driven by their emotions. Follow your heart but not your emotions. Your heart tells you what you want deep inside. Your emotions tell you what you want at a certain moment, in response to a specific circumstance. Your heart listens to reason. Your emotions block out reason-you can't think straight, you forget what you believe in and stand for. Cry it out, laugh it out, scream it out. Step back and breathe. Then act and decide.
  17. Smart girls know their roots. You've heard all about how your parents met, but what about all the other great stories? How did they get their first jobs? Where does your family name come from and what does it mean? Did your dad get down on one knee to propose? How did your mom celebrate her 18th birthday? Knowing where you come from-your family and personal history-helps you get to where you want to go. You'll learn just how unique your history is-and how special you are. And you'll get closer to your parents as a bonus!
  18. Smart girls know how to work a wardrobe. It's not about vanity, it's about being practical. Knowing what's in your closet will help you shop for items that will work with what you've got. Plus, knowing what looks good on you will save you from spending on unnecessary trendy buys—green clothes that make you look blue, five-inch platform heels, polka-dot leg warmers—and the frustration that follows. Save time, money, and closet space...and enjoy peace of mind!
  19. Smart girls like smart boys. He's tall, friendly, and a dead-ringer for Orlando Bloom, but is he smart? Think about this: Smart boys like girls for their brains, not just their bodies. Smart boys listen when girls talk. Smart boys treat all girls (not just their girlfriends) with respect. Smart boys aren't afraid of girls who can beat them at something (yes, even basketball). Smart boys think smart girls are beautiful. Smart girls think smart boys are beautiful, too.
  20. Smart girls help other girls become smart girls. So you've got it all figured out, huh? Then share the wealth! Spread some smarts around and do girlkind a huge favor. Your little sister, your best friend, the girl you see crying in the bathroom—they could be smart girls, too! We smart girls need to stick together and help each other find and become ourselves, only better!
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Shiloah Matic
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