“In short, we’ve raised an entire generation of people who think they are supposed to be famous. But being famous isn’t what people think it is. And the desire for fame, without the desire to actually accomplish something, is rotting our cultural motivation.”
We are living in a current society where everyone is telling everyone else how to be successful. They’re throwing out pink and purple T-Shirt inspirational stuff that makes my head ring so loud that I tripped over a box this morning (for the second time this week).
Not only that, I was reading an article written by the great Jon Westenberg last night and he nailed down what is going on so perfectly that I went across the street and ate a salad at California Pizza Kitchen. Some people’s writing I just can’t sit there and read because I get too excited. I have to go run outside and do something.
But it got me thinking about all this “Personal Brand” talk and how current millennial and oncoming generation Z is sitting in front of all the social media platforms and scratching their heads (some of them) over something creative to put out into the world. They’re stuck.
Before we get to a bit of Westenberg insight let me tell you something about creativity.
The best thing you could post or write or youtube about is that moment you are sitting at your computer trying to figure out what to post. Know why? Because that’s YOU. Thats the real you in your real self. And thats what people care about. That’s what they respond to. That’s what they connect to. There’s only one of you in that moment. Treasure it.
Anyway, Westenberg wrote:
You know why people want to read Gary Vee’s posts? Watch Casey Neistat’s videos? Give a shit about what Elon Musk pulls out on Twitter? It’s because they do keep it personal, and they let people into their lives. Meanwhile, those social media experts (their words not mine) who just tweet manicured goddamn quote posts all day get minor engagement because nobody really cares.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve put out plenty of cotton candy columns “Feel Good” columns in my day. They do serve a purpose and I’m sure inspire some people.
But I want to be real with you guys. I’m a human with thoughts, goals, dreams, ambition, curiosity and most importantly…flaws. Just like anyone.
Don’t believe me?
I’m not afraid of sharing any of this. My front porch has a BBQ that’s been sitting out there for 2 years because we never used it at the Los Angeles Rams tailgating. There’s dishes in the sink. My desk is in the middle of my living room. I have nothing in my refrigerator except 3 beers, coffee creamer, and ketchup. My current addictions are birthday cake flavored Quest Bars, oatmeal from Starbucks and this health bowl titled “The Funky Monkey” they make at a nearby trendy LA bowl place (what are those places called?).
Oh, and popcorn. I love popcorn.
I’m probably the only maniac in the nation that walks into movie theaters, buys popcorn, and leaves.
The thing is, we live in a world that pushes for fame. We post photos of our “best self”. We always try to look, act, and be a million bucks. And it’s sad. All the bloggers are giving us ways to stand out in the world and we think that we have to look perfect and create something that will send everyone to Mars in a year.
The reality is, what if what really impresses people is not all of that but merely the act of being ourselves?
The act of being ourselves at our true core is the keys that start our engine which in turn inspires, educates, helps, entertains, and influences people.
I feel like often times the people pushing all the “service to others” part miss the important first piece. The car ignition can’t start if you don’t have the keys.
So who are you?????????
Find your raw.
It goes beyond your raw too. So many people think that because a person is famous that is the pinnacle of it all. That we all must strive for that.
Who made the rule that Fame equals Success?
We’re trained to think that we have to stand out. That we have to do something special to be special!
Regie of Regie’s blog wrote a brilliant column recently in which he discusses how we live in a society that feels they are suppose to be famous.
But in the sea of fully realized talent, there is precious little that is truly “special.” And what is special? Special is the thing you don’t see coming. It’s the thing that makes you stop and think …then, re-think. Special doesn’t necessarily make you say “WOW!” Special makes you say “oh …that’s what I’ve been missing.”
We’re not all supposed to be famous. What if you become famous but you were supposed to change the world with a new teaching curriculum? What if while you were chasing a dream, you missed opening that day program for people with special needs (that was your secret desire) and all the people who were going to be changed by it forever …never were? What if while you were practicing for your American Idol audition you forgot to run for city council and fundamentally transform your home town? I wonder.
What defines your personal brand is simply your ability to connect to your own mess. When you do that, things start to happen in your life.
Let me tell you a secret. What makes people famous (and gives them a “brand”) is they weren’t trying to be famous. They were connected with who they were and living moment to moment. That’s why we had movie stars emerge nearly a century ago. Ask any acting teacher on Sunset Boulevard and they’ll tell you great acting is the ability to live in the present moment with a set of circumstances and have a point of view. Stars in turn for better or worse became “brands”.
Let me give you an example rooted in truth. Jennifer Lawrence is a massive movie star. Here’s a moment that gives a little insight into why she found success. Most might not have seen this or paid a lot of attention on first glance. It’s small, but profound. Little things can make a huge difference.
My God she loves her pop rocks. A huge lesson in this small moment. This is The Oscars. We’re suppose to be talking about who we are wearing and what we’re nominated for. Lawrence nearly passes out at the sight of pop rocks.
Her reaction to Poprocks at the Oscars is sublime.
- That is where the mojo is. She’s living in her truth and riding life’s wave. Too many people are sitting on the beach instead of riding the wave or they never learned how to connect to the wave period.
- She knows who she is, how she feels, and reacts accordingly. That authenticity is universal. It translates not just in Hollywood but across every field from brand entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, marketing executives, real estate agents, and youtube stars. We just have to find our authentic self.
So with all this branding talk rather than think you have to make or create something, first think about what makes you, you. And do that. Do you. Live in your mess.
Find your Poprocks. That’s where the magic is.
See you soon.
By Geoff Pilkington
You can connect with me at: www.geoffreypilkington.com