Editor's Note: Words of Wisdom from Arnold Zegarelli

Words of Wisdom

I’ve written about my longtime friend Arnold Zegarelli in this magazine before, and I’ll probably do so again because he is one of the wisest and most honorable people I’ve ever known. Over the years Arnold has mentored more young people than you can imagine, and his advice has enabled them to not only become successful hairdressers and salon owners but also to become better people. There was an embroidered sampler hanging on the wall of his salon at Joseph Horne Department Store in Pittsburgh years ago that said, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” So that young hairdressers could cultivate the kind of clientele who would pay good money for their services, Arnold advised them to read the front page of USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the local newspaper every morning so they would have something to talk about with their upscale clients. Each month, he would take one of his charges out to breakfast and ask them about their balance wheel, a system he created that addresses 10 aspects of every person’s life that should be in balance if they are to be happy and fulfilled. There’s wealth, which includes saving for retirement or putting money aside to buy a home, and health, which includes diet, exercise and rest. He would also ask if you were giving back to your community and if you were spending enough time with your family. Spirituality was also important, whether that meant going to church on Sunday or devoting yourself to some spiritual practice that nurtured your soul. Because he walks the walk, Arnold is one of the most disciplined people I know. I have never seen him order a salad without asking for dressing on the side. He gets up at 5 a.m. every day to practice tai chi and earned a black belt in karate when he was in his 50s (he’s 78 now). He is also a devoted husband and father of two grown children. He and his wife Delores (he calls her Dee) have been married for 52 years. Recently I received a handwritten note from Arnold, which may be an old-school way to communicate, but trust me, is way better than email. “The April issue is you!” he wrote. And then, Arnold being Arnold, he shared what he calls the four major disciplines we must relentlessly pursue.

1. Acceptance of personal accountability with visualization and responsibility

2. Deferring gratification, which means postponing rewards, not denying them


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3. Dedication to C.I.I.P. (Consistent Incremental Improvement Program)

4. The balance of all your values in a way that develops you and your potential
for fulfillment

“I live by these four,” he told me, but I already knew that. Now if only I could do the same. ✂ —Marianne Dougherty, editor in chief, [email protected]