As a digital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each week, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
A Disney channel star, a mega-successful musician, a producer and often regarded as one of the most influential voices of this generation, 26-year-old Selena Gomez might be young—but she’s just getting started. Vocal about her views, open about her medical issues and standing firm as the number two most followed account on Instagram, there is seemingly nothing Gomez can’t do.
To date, she’s sold more than seven million albums and 22 million singles worldwide, her fans follow her not only because of her voice, but for what she says when she isn’t singing. A major UNICEF supporter and activist for human rights and diversity across the planet, she’s doing more with her fame than just raking in the cash. And it’s quite the pile she has, considering her net worth is an astounding $60 million. With an ALMA, American Music, MTV Video Music, People’s Choice, two Billboard Women in Music and 18 Teen Choice Awards—watching Gomez grow in the years to come will surely surprise (and inspire) us all. Here, a few of the mantras she abides by and her daily habits for success, prosperity and happiness.
She focuses on quality, not quantity.
Millennials might be given a bad rep for certain attitudes and mentalities, but one way they’re winning across all generations is in their approach to investing in memories—not items. Gomez is supportive of this trend, explaining she’s far from a materialistic person, and prioritizes quality over quantity.
This doesn’t just extend to actual goods—but people within her life and her approach to music-making. “I think everything in my life is being majorly downsized, in a very good way,” she says. “I’m going back to simplicity. That’s always who I’ve been. It’s not me saying, ‘I feel the best I’ve ever felt It’s me saying, ‘I’m exactly where I am. And I’m so happy I’m in this place.’ It’s a lot of self-discovery. From 20 to 26? Oh my gosh. I feel like a totally different person,” she told Elle.
For Gomez, it’s about being focused and aligned, allowing life to lead her instead of dictating every move. “My next album has been forever in the making. When people ask me why, I’m honest about it: It’s because I haven’t been ready. I mean, point-blank, I don’t feel confident enough in where my music is yet. If that takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years. I don’t care. Right now I just want to be super intentional with all of the things I’m doing,” she shared with Harper’s Bazaar.
She takes a break when it’s necessary.
Though becoming a major force within the entertainment industry isn’t for the weary, sometimes pausing from the hustle can be impactful. Instead of burning herself out, Gomez recognizes the importance of breaks, allowing her to reconnect to herself, her body and her priorities. While it might not seem like a big deal, part of this is disconnecting from social media. And when you have millions of followers, any break in content can be problematic if you want to maintain a stream. That’s okay for Gomez, who recognizes the value of digital downtown. “I have a complex relationship with Instagram, to say the least. It has given me a voice amid all the noise of people trying to narrate my life for me and allows me to say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna post this, and this is gonna take care of the 1,200 stories that people think are interesting but actually aren’t, and aren’t even true.’ So it empowers me in that way because it’s my words and my voice and my truth,” she shared with Harper’s Bazaar. “The only thing that worries me is how much value people our age place on social media. It’s an incredible platform, but in a lot of ways it’s given young people, myself included, a false representation of what’s important. So, yeah, it’s a complex relationship. Probably one of my most difficult relationships.”
She goes to therapy.
To become a fully-sprouted, totally-ready, self-aware adult, sometimes you have to talk all of it out. And the healthiest way to vent, process and transform? If you ask most professionals, this level of maturity and happiness is only sourced through therapy. Gomez is an outspoken proponent of this method of healing, telling Instyle how she uses therapy to get through stages of life. “Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, ‘OK, I can only go forward.’ And there are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place,” she continued. “I was in the countryside and never did my hair; I took part in equine therapy, which is so beautiful. And it was hard, obviously. But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, ‘OK, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.’”
The ability for Gomez to not only recognize her mental struggles but to address them illustrates great emotional and mental stamina, especially for someone of a young age. She never lets it stand her way—and encourages others to follow her lead. “Depression and anxiety was my life for 5 years straight. Depression and anxiety was at the forefront of everything I did in my life. I would still do it—I would make myself have the courage to keep going and that slowly but surely kind of happened,” she shared with Instagram live.
She starts each day with positivity.
If the first thought you have when the alarm clock blares is demeaning or unkind, you’re setting the tone for a negative mindset all day long. Gomez realizes the importance of the morning, and shared on Instagram live how she starts every single morning with a book called Jesus Calling. “…I read 1 page from that. I have these dry erase markers and I write things all over my mirror in my bathroom that I need to remind myself of like maybe it’s like ‘hey, don’t forget that you got through something and that was really amazing that you got through that.”
Focusing on her strengths and admiring her ability to push through anything gives her a fighting spirit, and the courage to do, well, anything it seems.
She’s says ‘no’ to stress.
It’s easy enough to be a ‘yes’ person, especially when to your core, you lean kinder and agreeable. Over time though, being able to welcome only the actual things you want in life instead of being a people-pleasure, is a better strategy. It’s one that Gomez has mastered—and has started practicing.
“I’ve learned the power of saying no—I feel empowered when I say it. Just recently I was by myself with people from my record label, and I looked down the table and said, ‘I respect your opinions, but you’re going to let me make the end call. Just give me a few days to sleep on it.’ And I walked out and it felt like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, like, “Did I just … do that?”,” she told Instyle. “It felt good because I wasn’t being disrespectful. Just honest.”
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