What Is Your Brand?
Every moment (of our life) we are projecting our brand. You might think that brands, are only reserved or associated to labels: Nike, L’oreal, McDonalds, Gucci, Tiffanys, BMW are well known to most. So, what car do you drive? Shampoo do you use? Skincare do you buy? Fragrance do you like? Everything we wear, say, behave, walk or do, projects our image (brand), to friends, strangers, retail staff, managers and anyone else that comes in to contact with us, in person or online. Now we are faced, not only with the pressure of making an impression, in real-time, but to also create relationships through on-line activity. All social media in effect, builds your brand and your reputation. Everything posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ remains on the network, so therefore this means your existence, is exposed and live to the world. Are you happy with your brand?
Do we complain too much?
How do you feel about yourself? Or should I say, how do you think other people see you? Over the Easter break, it was fascinating to be apart of a group, that all complained about how they looked, and others’ criticised openly, about what they saw. To elaborate, there was a relative who just had a baby 7 weeks ago, by Caesarian section. Her husband was overweight, with a large stomach due to beer drinking and mid-life spread. Teenage girls that refused to communicate, as their smartphones where more interesting. Then there were other women in their 30’s, 40’s, 60’s and 70’s. Each person was outspoken about their appearance, how children and age had left them disadvantaged. Why? I ask myself (in this celebrity-obsessed world), what do we actually want? To be accepted, surely you have to man-up or woman-up, to life-changing events like birthdays and being a parent. Stretch marks, wrinkles, saggy skin, age spots, white hair, bunions, hearing aids, prescription glasses..the list goes on.
We are all getting older, maybe we should just accept our bodies, be courageous. It can all be fixed with a surgical knife and pills, right? But what does that really solve?
Presently, I am surrounded by several pregnant friends, who are all due to give birth in the next 1-4 weeks. Exciting times for these women, who are about to experience, a permanent and deliberate change in their lives. It is indeed a privilege to be a parent. Children teach us to be selfless, in my opinion. They constantly need emotional, physical and financial support to grow. Each birthday brings new challenges, and special memories, from toddler, to school, through to teen, then adult. Hormonal, environmental, genetic and organic change are all apart, of the tapestry of infancy. Unconditional love, to the hilt, I think.
The art of communication is essential for survival, in everything you do, whether it be general conversation, public speaking, social media, pitching for business and/or building new relationships with a client, or maybe connecting with other actors, in the rehearsal room. That is why teaching drama to children is so rewarding, the ‘grassroots’ of effective communication, that establishes confidence, basic life skills through the platform of role-play and improvisation, organs of articulation and most importantly, listening skills. Children all vary in their abilities, however, small steps bring great results, from not speaking a word in a few months to reciting work (poetry) to an audience. Communication makes a difference, reading the newspaper, watching real-time television or attending a networking meeting, influences and redefines your perception. Constantly. We are what we communicate.
The prospect of getting on a plane and going some place else, fills me with anticipation, without the humdrum. Dealing with people constantly bashing your seat, as they go to the amenities, small children crying due to earache and regular turbulence, only adds to the experience of air travel. Seriously, I endure it, just to taste different (gastronomic) cuisine, speak another language, or maybe ride a bicycle? Living out of your comfort zone is something important to me and maybe to you also, for growth and inspiration. Travel changes perception and outlook, so going to the ‘Eiffel Tower’, ‘Taj Mahal’ or the ‘Giza Pyramid’ is guaranteed to be mind altering, that’s a given. Once you catch the travel-bug, it never leaves you alone. That’s a good thing. Marrakech is next on my hotlist!