There are many things we learn throughout the course of our life from different folks – mentors, mothers, best friends. And the purpose of it all is to continue passing on the torch. We become activists in a way where we try to inspire the next generation. Although I’m only 25 years old, I’d have to say the following are the top 3 compiled pieces of wisdom I’ve learned and wish to pass down to my future daughter. Special thanks to all the women in my life who have made in impact in the way I view the world.

1. Stand your ground. Really, please do.

Media, friends, family, professors, even strangers you may chit chat with standing in line at the grocery store have the ability to sway you in different directions when it comes to social issues, politics or even the best city to live in (CLEARLY Chicago, in my opinion). Whatever may be the situation you find yourself in, you have to stand your ground. And in order to achieve this, take some time to figure out what’s important to you, what sparks that passion within you to take action. It could be something related to a past event – traumatizing or a revelation – that changed your perspective on a subject. The more you know about yourself, the more confidence you’ll have to show it to the world. And when it comes to the business world, this is most important. You become the advocate for your brand and your ideas, so being able to vocalize it proves to others how much you believe in your mission. We’re all a little different and we may not always agree with one another, but it’s okay to agree to disagree. Just remember to educate yourself in your beliefs. Be prepared to justify your beliefs with something other than a “I believe in so and so because that’s what everybody else believes in.” And when you do stand your ground, against an opposing view, just remember to keep an open mind – the person opposite of you is standing their ground and holding onto their beliefs because those are the factors that make them whole.

2. Be fearless in the face of failure.

Nothing is ever for certain in life and it’s initially scary as hell once you realize this; but remember, there is something completely beautiful when it comes to uncertainty. And something even more empowering develops when uncertainty and fear of failure does actually happen. Without failure, we won’t learn and grow as entrepreneurs…well, really, as human beings. Failure is motivating. It becomes this alluring hidden gem for our curious minds to find out what would happen if we went a different route with different choices. We shouldn’t let failure stop us from wanting to keep going onward. Similar to what Joseph Campbell once said, “If you are falling…dive” because there’s absolutely nothing better than diving into a pool of failure and building your own raft for safety to try again.

3. Emotion is fuel. Embrace it.

I’m sure as women, we’ve all heard that our estrogen can become a hindering factor when making a choice or really, doing anything. We’ve heard it all, and it can all trace down to sexism. But hey, guess what? The emotions we’re all genetically packed with is really the fuel to ambition. Really it is. Especially when it comes to the work/life balance of making a living, taking care of your children or dealing with your personal dating life, as professionals and just as women, we should learn to pave the outlet for our emotions to emit in a different way. For example, myself as a graphic designer and artist, I will give into the most dramatic part of my mood and create something out of that feeling through charcoal or maybe acrylics. Whatever “art weapon” I choose to create with, it’s out there, and not taking over my life. And for yourself? Maybe you can direct that energy towards a new or old hobby you want to get back into. Are you a runner? Maybe use that emotional energy in your runs and heck, you could even find yourself running a marathon. Emotion is fuel. Emotion is a good thing. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise.