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20 Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

It’s been a whopper of an awesome decade!! Between modeling on South Beach, helping drive a health movement forward and learning about my love for film, it’s been like going all out on a pogo stick-like rendition of joy, style and grace on life’s catwalk! These are just a few life lessons that come to the tippy top of mind.

Cheers! (Bounce! Bounce!)


1. Pretty faces are a dime per baker’s dozen. Successful models take on three professional roles: muse, business woman, and athlete–both physically and mentally. (So do most successful women.)

Depending who you are dealing with you will bring muse, or business woman to the forefront. Combining both in the same acquaintance is always a mistake.

2. Friends and enemies seldom tell you what they really think. Only friends at arm’s length may.

3. When you become all things to all people you become nothing.

“. . . pressure from parents, teachers, coaches, media, and peers erects a physiological glass ceiling that begins to enforce its confines in girlhood and extend across the female lifespan . . . When girls can no longer agree upon the answer to the question “Who is a Good Girl?” we will know they are free to be themselves.”

~Rachel Simmons, The Curse of the Good Girl

4. A social chameleon is a hard life, but a cultural broker may impact people’s worlds (and joyfully compound everybody’s interests).

5. There’s an art and power in being a lady.

“To be called a lady is not a sign of frailty or devotion to frivolous hobbies. A lady is not a female who wears strings of pearls and hosts social gatherings. To be called a lady is the highest of compliments. Even as a woman seeks to compliment a man and calls him a gentleman, remember that ‘a lady is the female equivalent of a gentleman.’

~From The Art and Power of Being a Lady

6. People will bleed for your cause if they know you will not let them fail.

Think of the success our circles will generate (fulfillment each individual may experience and build on) when we learn how to ensure one another’s victory.

7. Natural is most beautiful.

Know that you are beautiful. Harness the power of tasteful accessories and makeup. See polaroids of models undergoing development at major agencies for inspa: 100% no MU, hair and nails almost completely untouched, glowing skin, grown out eyebrows.

Accessories: usually aim for one dominant statement piece. It’s usually the least polished who layer on the most.

MU: dramatize one feature at a time (and show off the rest of you)!

8. Wardrobe expresses who we are as costume on life’s stage.

When intentionally harnessed, our costumes readily attract and repel…even facilitating unspoken agreements. Dawning the artistry of presentation allows those who dare to elicit a desired effect and results.


9. Reserve high heels for the days or specific meeting times you especially need to slay.

  • Keep flats at your desk/in purse/under car seat.

  • Spare your feet anyway you can to keep heels as an effective tool in a visual arsenal. You’ll want to play with these for years to come.

10. Stress, bottled up feelings, unkind words, the way we think and how we treat each other may result in disease.

  • “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me” is wrong.

  • We must learn to be tender with each other. We must learn to think on things that are pure, noble of good report. Ultimately, we can be healthiest when we make the habit to give all our garbage to the great I Am. . . every. single. day.

11. Almost everybody is hooked into an addiction loop. Where are you roped in?

Break a habit and watch where it pops up next. Quitting energy drinks or liquor, may morph into unwarranted spending, to eating, to “smack talk,” to excessive exercise or being hooked on social media. The desire to fill the void will be there unless we intentionally fill it. . . ask Him to help us fill it well.

12. Bite off as much in life as you can enjoy chewing.

  • Sleep is not a luxury.

  • Eating well changes your skin. (Difference may be visible in 1-3 months.)

  • Investing time for prayer and seeking divine help with hopes, dreams, passions and career really works.


13. Perception is reality.

  • Our perceptions can differ from one another’s. So can our realities.

  • Research shows that 20% of what you do constitutes 80% of what people think of you. With so much at stake – 80% to be exact – what little you do, make it count!

14. “Be hardy in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” Dale Carnegie.

Slather it on as if with a trowel! But only when it’s genuine.

15. Confident, not cocky. The difference is subtle and crucial.

16. When our despair is a longing to become, take heart. Longing is the heart’s first foundation to manifestation.

17. Job security: is making yourself so valuable your boss cannot do without you. The value isn’t usually written in the job description.

  • Ultimately, everybody is replaceable.

  • One sign of a strong leader is they make themselves replaceable.

18. If women were groomed to use their youth and essence before they reach maturity, we would slay beyond that which we presently do.

After we lose our invigorated physical appearance, we’d not feel the sting of confiscated influence because we would have leveraged it to invest and obtain the best resources, intellectual tools, connections to tally ho! …completely changing the way we position ourselves.

19. Hope is the opiate of the masses.

Fear of God through a religious set of do’s and don'ts, was previously expected to satiate the hopes and dreams of millions. Today, culture prays for fame in the religion of self-worship and peer-based applause. Both are essentially the same.

20. “Strength” needs to be dramatically redefined.

  • The world sees strength as destructive. It’s perceived as forceful, intimidating, self-serving, exacting.

  • Real strength is epitomized by higher intelligence. Strength processes cause-and-effect. It maneuvers on the fly, to sidestep and disarm (others often unaware). Strength architects a way to live beautifully, in the complexity of love. Destruction is too easy for exquisite strength, because strength wields genteel audacity. Strength yields trust.

BONUS: To offer anything of value, serve.


Kortnye is a model, TV host, and #LymeFIGHTER you can connect with Kortnye at

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