Isn’t moving house, one of the most stressful events, you can experience? What with packing all your belongings in boxes, wrapping each item, to ensure there are no breakages. But really, the best thing of all, is having to repeat the ‘same’ experience, hours later in reverse. Forwards and backwards, and hopefully, after many hours of packing and unpacking, you are happy. When I popped out briefly (to do some chores, before the removal van arrived), I was accosted by charity workers, who were trying to tell me, how amazing ‘Greenpeace’ is. Sign here. Thereafter 3 beggars: busking, yelling, and wearing signage to give them money. Then a shoe polisher. ‘Best deal in town’. Lastly, an acquaintance I had not seen for 6 months. All within 10 minutes. With all these interactions, I just smiled. Even though I wanted to say, something quite different. Some people choose to wear grim faces, and blank or dismiss every new encounter. Why? This conversation could be the beginning of a new idea, friendship, personal discovery, or they could just make your day. Smiling is definitely underrated.
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?
When I was speaking to a friend last week, she said that, she much preferred to live on her own. So do many other people, all over the world, it seems. Society sometimes paints’ this picture, that the dream is to be married, have children, go to work, pay the mortgage and personally develop through these experiences, leaving you fulfilled. Really? Well I have encountered, the aforementioned ideals, and realised that I too, enjoy living alone. Is this due to being selfish? Or indulgent? Not wanting to share your space, bed, meals’ or shower, with your mate? Many of my friends and family live alone, due to preference, or broken relationships. According to ‘Euromonitor International’, 153 million people lived alone globally in 1996, and this increased to 277 million by 2011. That is 80% growth in 15 years, staggering result. Living as a singleton in Sweden, takes the cake at 47%, then Norway at 40% and the UK at 34%. Living alone has many advantages, of doing as you please, when you want, how you want. Also, you can be a singleton and still have a relationship (harmoniously), right? Living alone is on the rise, is this a good thing?
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?
Have you heard of Thumb? This app is incredibly simple to use and consumer driven. You just upload a photo and ask a question, to fellow members to comment with text, and add thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral to rate the product, service or idea. Thumb creates serious engagement, with an average of 50-100 responses in minutes. There is everything to comment on from fake nails, exotic locations, products, relationships woes, hot bodies and religion, to name a few. When you rate and comment on an image, along with a question, you then accumulate votes and stars on your profile. Thumb is also on twitter, of course, however they don’t tweet much. Great for brands to get ‘real-time’ feedback, if you want to jump in. Cool app.
Waiting for a friend to arrive. Plane is late. My parking ticket will be a joy to pay, at double the time, initially anticipated. Some people look anxious, others excited and the rest, exhausted. I think travel is an asset to the mind, learning about different cultures, hearing foreign languages, and (hopefully) experiencing overwhelming situations, that will change or challenge your perception. Have you ever fallen in love with a city or place? Maybe you only went there once. Some of my best friends today (10-20yrs later) I met in queues and restaurants in various countries. Still waiting. Patience is underrated.