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To brand is to simplify the complexity of the human experience to a succinct theme for greed.

Decisions made in consideration of brand guidelines are decisions made out of the audience’s perception, not out of sincerity.

It’s living a lie for self-interest.

It’s manipulative.

It’s a sign of a hack.

So instead of focusing on branding and self-gain, focus on living a fulfilling life and happiness will follow.

 

Days crawl
Going slowly
In the moments
We notice: we’re unchanging.

Until we notice: that we are
Or that we did.

When did we?

We’re keeping pace
Keeping up
‘Til were not.

Then we stall.

We take stock.

Each day
Each moment
Each notice, minted
– Magnificent.

It’s tough to reason
How we plan the seasons
As though we stand cemented
In familiar conventions.

But we change
With the seasons
We’re affected.

It’s more than depressive.

We’re so inchoate.

We don’t know it.

But we think we do.

So we say, “Be like me.”

I’m happy. Take a leave.

Or stay. Either way.

You’ll be fine.

Many think that to be cynical is to just view things negatively. It’s not. It refers to the idea that people suck because they’re selfish.

Jaded means that you are tired. You find tasks that once excited you to be boring.

You probably know that many people become both.

They’ve failed.

Their work is viewed as humdrum, tedious, and bereft of appreciation.

I once had a boss tell me that he wanted to beat the idealism out of me. Now, he’s won. He was right. I’m beat.

Because lately, this is me.

Lately, I’ve failed.

Driving 10 to 15 hours a week, multiple weekly deadlines, haters, and busy colleagues with no patience for thoughtful conversation about the future of American democracy have left me feeling exhausted and uninspired.

And I’m angry about it.

What do I do?

Well, I start fighting: for what I know is right, for what I believe in, for my why.

I refuse to settle for a life without conviction.

I refuse to settle for a life without fierce idealism.

Step one: cleanse my life of news and anything that’s not invigorating. I don’t care if I don’t seem smart to my colleagues. It’s more important that I like myself. And my life.

Step two: recenter myself on my why. I’ve lost it because I’ve grown too focused on getting by. On my challenges. On my battles. On my failures. On what’s not good enough. On scarcity. On fear.

Step three: don’t settle for the status quo. I will speak up. I will make my truth obvious. I will act on that truth. I will readjust and take ownership of my immediate environment.

I will be okay if it’s eccentric.

Weird is expected.

Forget conformance.

Forget the career ladder.

Forget branding.

Forget thought-leadership.

I will just do what I believe is right for me.

I will retake ownership of my life.

Recently I met a man who had a large tumor and continues to have significant health issues.

His experience has impressed upon him the realities of death.

Now he appreciates the small moments in each day: the smile someone gives you when you hold the door for them, others’ life stories, and intimate time in small groups.

It’s a reminder that the minutiae matter.

I encourage you to notice them.

Your life will likely become much more fulfilling.

Relationships, personal and professional, will have conflict.

It’s virtually definite.

A lot of people take the conflict personally.

They presume there must be something flawed, something to be fixed.

There’s usually not.

Expecting the conflict as an inevitability gives you the ability to prepare and to appreciate the situation for what is: the natural result of diverse perspectives –and an opportunity to learn.

You’re not going to be like the people you look up to.

The best Elvis impersonator might look 95% percent like Elvis.

They might dance, look, and talk almost perfectly like the King himself.

But they won’t have the spark that made Elvis a rockstar.

They will have their own spark, which might be smothered by the impersonator’s need to embody another’s personality.

So the trick is to find your influences, people you want to be like, not people you want to be.

You’re not going to be an exceptional comedian trying to do comedy exactly like Eddie Murphy.

You’re not going to find distinction singing just like Billie Eilish.

You’ll find success in discovering yourself by seeking out what you like and continually readjusting your actions to be more in accordance with the true north of your inner compass.

You’re on the right track when you’re feeling excitement, joy, and passion – time flying and acute obsession.

 

 

 

Weird comes from the old English word “wyrd,” which means fate or personal destiny.

In this sense, to be weird might be considered to embrace one’s most authentic expression of life.

Weirdness is who we are.

Often when we aren’t weird it’s because we’re conforming to others’ expectations.

And the most compelling people we’ve seen in our lives have been the ones who have embraced themselves, not the ones who have sought to mimic closely everyone else.

Find your truth, your voice, your style.

Embrace the wholeness of who you are.

You just might inspire others.

And you’ll probably be a lot happier.