Not what you say, but what you DO defines you…

photo“What you do defines you”…this is what someone told me a while ago and it keeps coming back in my thoughts over and over again. Maybe because it was like a wake-up call or maybe just because it is a simple truth that we like to ignore. We may say we believe in this and that, but at the end of the day what we do or how we act proves what we stand for in reality. What we say we are is just a cover-up if it is not backed up by actions.

We live in a world where we learned to communicate very well who we want to be (through Facebook, Instagram, verbally, and so on). We have learned HOW exactly to communicate what we stand for, what we represent, what we believe in so that it creates the best positive feedback in reference to the outside world. We have learned to bend impressions and the truth about ourselves. And yes, you may say you don’t care about the others, the outside world, but deep down, more often than not, you actually do. We are social beings by nature, so yes we all care, to different extents and in different levels which is true, but we all do care. Now the reality is the following: what we can’t control is WHO WE REALLY ARE when we actually DO things, ACT on what we say or don’t say, and that is WHAT ultimately DEFINES us as characters or people.

I think this is exactly that kind of truth no one wants to hear, because we like to believe certain things about ourselves which build up to our self-confidence or to our wanna-be personality, but sometimes we are not bold enough to make those beliefs actual reality and facts about ourselves. We may think or say we are courageous, fair, honest, hard working, optimist, good, generous, and so on, but when we need to exactly act upon these, we often fail. Think about all those things that you think characterize you and then think about all those situations when you proved to be the exact opposite. Of course, we all have excuses for those situations, but deep inside we know better we sometimes fail to be who we believe we are or at least who we want to be or pose to be.

It just takes a bit of honestly to one self and then some courage. Of course, both of these are not easily attainable, however, we do owe it to ourselves to be both true and also courageous enough to change so that our words and impressions match our actions. Being honest to one self is one of the most difficult things to do, but once done, it feels liberating. Because after you admit who you really are (with good and bad), from that point you can start building on the actions and reactions who can shape you in who you want to be. And then, all you need to do is stay true to that… A challenge probably, but in this world and era, I think we owe it to our true nature to be more genuine.

Don’t be an ALMOST!

photo (2)There is one word that leaves me with a bitter-sweet after-taste most of the time: the word “ALMOST”. I don’t like it at all and I don’t like how it defines one as a person.

I can’t say I did not fall many times in the temptation of embracing it, as it is the easy way out of a situation, but honestly it is a concept that should not be part of who we ultimately are. “Almost” is sort of a “maybe” that makes one feel slightly better…that AT LEAST (another unfortunate phrase!) he tried, but honestly it really means settling for less. When you use “almost”, you simply did not try enough or you were simply not that good at that thing, bluntly speaking. It’s like fooling yourself you finalized something…an illusion of success, a sort of “Oh well”. And yes, I can’t stand that!

Obviously after an “ALMOST” situation there are two possible scenarios: 1. You try harder, in which case your “almost” experience was a means to succeed in the end. OR 2. You settle for the “almost”…which is sad, and proves why I dislike the concept so much. It’s a smooth giving up.

I saw this video last week that is practically voicing out what I am trying to put in words over here: it’s called “All the way”, by Charles Bukowski. You can view it below:

It is a powerful poem. It made me pause for a second and think exactly of the idea of “almost”. It’s so comfortable to use it or to think in that way. It is like a pat on the shoulder, saying “I did OK”… But “OK” is not accomplishment, it is simply not good enough. And, yes, life may get tough, we may stumble and fall, but settling for “almost” is not what a strong willed person should do, not what a fighter should do. So watch your “ALMOSTs”, deal with them and get to the top…of the world!

The Power of ‘WHY’

IMG_5421I had a very interesting discussion today with someone working in a creative agency. And because we were trying to solve the identity of a brand and get to the depth of what consumers ultimately feel, need, want or are, obviously the discussion got very intense. It ended up to be a great debate actually.

However, one thing particularly moved me. He asked me the following question: “How do you know that you got to the real depth of an issue/question/anything? How are you sure you are not still looking at it superficially or hiding from the real truth? Let me tell you how. Try to ask yourself/question the thing with ‘WHY’ five times in a row (building upon the answers like a 5 years old child), and only after the fifth one you will get to the actual root of what you are trying to figure out”.

I rarely fall into the whole marketing/motivational bullshit, but this guy made me reflect on this. I tested it on my way back home, and I realized it actually makes a lot of sense if you answer truthfully to these questions of WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY, because every answer raises another source of origin, and slowly you are moving to the root cause of a reaction. Honestly, it was a “AHA!” moment for me and I believed it is worth sharing.

We live in a world in which we are being bombarded with a lot of information (news, ads, messages…). And as we try to grasp as much of it as possible, we usually get bits and pieces of everything, but rarely go into depth in topics, because there is so much out there to find out about (and acknowledge), that missing it, is not an option, and deeply getting into it, is a choice. As we grew up like this, we tend to treat our problems, questions, issues the same way, tackling them from the surface and not getting into them deeply. We most often than not lack depth…and sometimes a simple silly exercise like the one above “Questioning something with a WHY for 5 times” can make us pause for a second, and just go slightly deeper and figure out ourselves a bit more.