It is no accident that I christened my blog ‘Brand You’, with the ‘x’ being grafted on to represent the exponential genius of the human spirit.
I was well aware of the genre – personal branding etc. – but I felt it most aptly represented my passion for human endeavour and achievement. However, I have not invested as much time as I thought I woud in creating content, collateral and developing a presence, largely as a result of my work in social media.
You will have noticed, over the past few weeks, that I have produced less (original) material. What started out as a need for some down time, ended up with me taking a fresh look at my previous output, and accepting that I needed to take a different approach. Henceforth, I have decided that I will blog on Wednesday’s for social media and Friday for Brand You.
This has several advantages:
1. The content will be more focused;
2. There will be (more) added value;
3. You will know when to expect syndication of my different content;
4. I can develop a meaningful editorially calendar;
5. You will know what is coming next.
I will leave myself some flexibility in the event that I need to post more regularly, but I feel (very) comfortable in being less prolific.
Why Brand You?
At least part of the genesis for Brand You arises from my reading of Rollo May’s extraordinary book, Man’s Search for Himself. This book was first published in 1953, and, whilst it is academic in its purview, it is as relevant today as when it was first written. I quote below two passages that resonate with my belief, long held, that we are capable of achieving a higher sense of purpose and destiny.
“Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves. Freedom is the other side of consciousness of self: if we were not able to be aware of ourselves, we would be pushed along by instinct or the automatic march of history, like bees or mastodons. But our power to be conscious of ourselves, we can call to mind how we acted yesterday or last month, and by learning from these actions we can influence, even if ever so little, how we act today.”
“Thus freedom is not just the matter of saying “Yes” or “No” to a specific decision: it is the power to mold and create ourselves. Freedom is the capacity, to use Neitzsche’s phrase, “to become what we truly are.” (my emphasis added)
Before you race on, let those words sink in. Focus on the meaning as it applies (currently) to your life.
Too much of what we do is predicated on the habit of yesterday. We find a comfortable spot, and assume that that is the best we can expect. Indeed, most people are so afraid of losing what they have, they don’t attempt anything new.
Of course, the idea that we should be striving to be the most of anything is paradoxical. Think about the 2nd Principle of 7 Habits. How can you start with the end in mind when you don’t know what that journey entails or what the end game looks like (I maintain that it is the striving not the arriving that is critical to success)?
Some people hack around or play the dilettante in the forlorn hope that they will eventually find their true calling. This isn’t just a case of searching for greener grass, it’s looking for a completely different landscape. A few people are lucky enough to know, from a tender age, their life’s purpose. For the rest of us, it is a case of thrashing around, taking our cue from our parents and focusing on something that we think will make us truly happy without really knowing if that is the case.
To live a life of self-fulfilment, I believe that we have to be prepared to let go. And I don’t mean throw caution to the wind. No we have to be prepared to surrender our fears and prejudices, and start again.
I have no doubt that you will have read a few self-help books that boldly claim to offer a branded formula to self-fulfilment. But, of a kind, they are quixotic, bland and, in large part, are written from an autobiographical perspective. The truth of the matter is that we know what we should be doing in the pursuit of self-fulfilment but fear, Resistance (see the War of Art by Steven Pressfield) or a lack of purpose stops us from acting.
Having myself read widely on the subject of personal development, my view is that any meaningful and lasting change comes down to one of three things:
Mastery – this means going to work on a few things, regular practice and adopting a Zen like approach to life.
As George Leonard said in the book of the same name:
“How do you best move toward mastery? To put it simply, you practice diligently, but you practice for the sake of the practice itself.”
As to Attitude, I don’t mean the sort of ego-centric crap that seeks to beguile you into believing you are the best. It means having the self-belief and the unflinching attitude that enables you to see when things aren’t working and to focus with lazer like precision on getting things done, even in the face of insuperable obstacles.
But perhaps the greatest ‘secret’ is Trust. Trust in yourself that you will do what you say: the essence of positive habit formation – see Zen Habits by Leo Babauta.
These are serious topics, and, over the coming weeks, I will be exploring the key issues and developing the methodologies that you might consider adapting to your life.
Like any good coach, we all want to make a difference. But I want my legacy to be more than just a few blog posts etc. My vision is to help as many people as possible achieve their potential. As I have repeatedly said on this blog, my life’s purpose is to serve. And I couldn’t think of anything more inspirational than to know that I have helped people to achieve their life’s purpose. It may sound strange but I feel that I am as much the student as the teacher.
Working with me
Brand You is much bigger than a mere label. If you have an unexpressed or unfulfilled dream then it would be my honour to help you bring that to life.