Finding your authentic self. That is the key to any happiness. Honoring it and being brave enough to live in that space is the ultimate goal. That could look like anything and if you are in that space then there is no comparison to celebrity or the Joneses that matters.
After the milestones and life’s to do list, what do you have left? The parties, birthdays, successful interviews, deaths, divorces, the whirlwind of updates and posts.. What are you left with? Trimmings don’t make the meal.
With infinite possibilities for direction and distraction comes infinite confusion, stress and anxiety. For the inner self the world was easier and a better place when it was small. People knew their futures and where they fit or not. Even if they chose to rebel against it, at least they had a boundary to push against.
This is the modern depression. This is the modern quest for self, true self, not a rented self.. The space that you find deep in your heart where you feel like you did before all the noise started pouring in. The “you have to be pretty”, “you have to be strong”, “you have to be rich”.. All those messages, not just from the world, but from your parents molding you in their own image. The self without labels.
Who am I? This existential quest is more acute now than ever. Couched as “your personal brand” can only come from really understanding who you are and why. Although the marketing lingo sounds trite and frivolous, the heart of it is important. If as a culture and species we are to thrive in this brave new noisy world, finding that inner compass is essential. Ownership of your identity and self is essential.
Every book on business development, marketing, and self help… any book written with an eye towards bettering the person reading it in the last ten years, has at least a chapter in this vein. It is clearly a need that is basic and pervasive. This is only going to increase as Millennials begin their searches after a lifetime of being lorded over by helicopter parenting.
I would have to say that since high school these have been the questions I have asked myself:
- What am I good at?
- What do I love to do?
- What is important to me?
Lately I have started ask myself why.
- Why is producing events so attractive to me?
- Why do I love production so much?
- Why is supporting advocacy and equality so important to me?
Unpacking the “Whats” is my current stage of self understanding. I have a pretty good idea of the things I am good at. Some of them are marketable, like my organizational skills, ability to listen and lead a team and some are not like cracking myself up or hanging out.
For a long time I just accepted what is and what was. Maybe it’s a result of being a child of a crazy household, having to just accept the state of things and go from there. It became habit not to look too closely or dig into why things were the way they were because ultimately it did not matter why.
Now, I want to understand how I got here and pull apart the details of why. It’s important to me as my son is getting ready to take flight and I get my life back to understand myself and how I can contribute to the world around me in a meaningful way. Building this new habit and “personal brand” will take some discipline and some courage.
“The authentic self is the soul made visible” Unknown
I am up for it.
Related questions that I ponder:
- Will Millennials ever be able to find themselves having had their helicopter parents in their hair since birth?
- What are the cultural ramifications of a generation that has no self ownership?
- What role does religion and God play in the search for self and is the modern absents of those things contribute to the cultural existential crisis?
#PersonalBrand #SelfOwnership #Identity