I happened to very intentionally stumble upon Ivanka Trump’s Instagram page, given that I’ve been observing her and her public initiatives from a distance for some time now. The persona intrigues me (the underlying question being: what will she actually do with all the cards she has in hand to trigger progress in some areas?)

She recently published a book called “Women who work – Rewriting the rules for success”, which clearly inscribes itself in the purest American tradition of “self-empowerment” books.

A few quotes:

“Create the life you want to live”.

“The skill set habits that make you smarter: less Netflix, more skillshare”.

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”.

And everything, including her Instagram page, follows this trend of constant positivity and willpower. Absolute perfection in the eye of our Western society’s standards.

Of course, no one will deny that willpower and positivity are necessary qualities. Yet ignoring things as common and formative as failure, doubt or momentary lack of will seems a bit unrealistic and… not so desirable after all.

So let’s take a look at these quotes: “Create the life you want to live”.

Yes, of course. Life is just a lump of play doh which you have absolute control over and you can just do absolutely anything you want, everybody knows that. Taking this motto literally is the best way to cry on your couch every evening (and to not live the normal life you could be living at that very moment).

“The skill set habits that make you smarter: less Netflix, more skillshare”.

I’ll think about it the next time I binge-watch Twin Peaks until 3 a.m.

Seriously though, everybody needs to air their head out after an intellectually stimulating day. Down time of apparent unproductivity is actually excessively important, be it for an evening or more, because they allow for a process of internal maturing to take place.

“If not me, who ? If not now, when?”.

Well, someone else some other time. We’ve all been confronted with failure, and probably lived them very badly at first. To finally understand that there was nothing to regret.

I like the idea of willpower, but I also like the idea of the “black swan”, the apparently negative event that you didn’t want but must fully embrace in order to turn it into something positive.

If I take a moment to look back… I should have been a paralegal in a bank with no children and a dog (that was my initial plan, at 21). Thank God, the course of life has taken me elsewhere, because after one hundred interviews and psychological tests for the same job, the bank did not hire me: I was perfect for the job but I was too free-spirited for a big corporation, they said.

Today I am, amongst other things, a lawyer, a digital ambassador, a mother, and the happy owner of a golden retriever living on a farm in Ireland.

I often tell my dear teen that one must turn metal into gold (yes we do alchimie at home, life alchimie) and I truly believe that is the recipe for success, be it professional or human. As an illustration, I will turn these sunburns, which I can only explain by my total failure with regards to applying enough sunscreen, into a glowing tan with a bit of patience, consistency and a lot of after sun nourishing cream.

July 6, 2017






Eres swimwear – Face A Face sunglasses – Dior vintage clutch – The Kooples hat embellished with a ribbon