Brand as culture, Brand as purpose, Brand YOU

A manifesto of human aspiration

22 September, 2017

In his book Good Work, the economic thinker E.F.Schumacher describes the ‘longing for freedom’ that has become so widespread in society today:

I don’t want to join the rat race. Not be enslaved by machines, bureaucrats, boredom, ugliness. I don’t want to be a moron, robot, commuter. I don’t want to become a fragment of a person.

I want to do my own thing. I want to live simply. I want to deal with people, not masks. People matter. Nature matters. Beauty matters. Wholeness matters. I want to be able to care.

This poetic manifesto of human aspiration, written in the 1970s, is one that resonates with many people today who feel unfulfilled by their jobs. I know this because when I ask people in my Brand YOU workshops, “What does success look like … for YOU”, this is what people tell me.

And so how can you begin to satisfy your desire for ‘greater freedom’? I think it requires addressing three dilemmas, or challenges if you like.

First, whether you should opt for the security and stability of a salaried job, or embrace self-employment and invent your own job. After all, you are the CEO of your life.

Second, whether you should abandon the goal of making a (successful) living, and instead create a fulfilling life. People’s number 1 career regret is, “I wish I hadn’t worked for the money”. Make sure that’s not you (as you lie on your deathbed).

And third, whether you should wean yourself off the hard-work ethic and stop filling up your time by being ‘busy’, and start being productive. Do stuff that matters. Do stuff that counts. And forget the rest, it’s all a waste of your precious time.

Is freedom a risky business? You bet it is. That’s why its called ‘freedom’.

 

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