We all grow up in our childhood from different socio-economic backgrounds. Values are instilled in us by our parents, family and society around us. We grow up aspiring to do better in our lives than what our parents achieved through their grit and determination.
We realise that life is not a cake walk. As we finish our schooling and enter college, we experience the competitiveness of life. As we graduate out of college, we get clearer on what we want to do in life. Today, we have the opportunities to pursue what we want and aspire for. The world is an open playground for us.
We dream big and as we begin our career we realise that life is not an easy drive. We dream of acquiring all the best material things in the world, which we only dreamt of in our childhood. However, as we move on we realise that we cannot get everything we want in life the moment we dream of it.
Today everything in life is signified by a brand. We end up living and breathing brands. Aspiring from small brands to big brands is a natural evolution of human aspirations. However, in the process we sometimes may forget that we need to first build our own life brand before we acquire other brands.
We need to realise that brands we possess do not reflect our personality. Nobody in life remembers which suit you wore or which hand bag you carried for a meeting. What people remember is how you treated them and what is the lasting impressions you left in their mind as a good human being.
Human values are beyond brands. We need to realise that we have to first build our brand by living human values of gratitude, humility, respect and trust. This may be a difficult lesson to learn in life. It may be easier to acquire materialistic brands in life but more challenging to live human values.
At a young age, we all believe that the best brands we possess reflects our personality. We tend to believe that people admire us for the car we drive, the suits we wear or the watch we possess. This may be an illusory belief. It is natural and all of us have gone through this stage in life. However, the earlier we realise that human values are more valuable in building our brand in life than all the best materialistic brands we possess, it is better for us.
Life is a journey of continual learning. We all make mistakes and learn from them. This learning journey is no different. There may be nothing wrong to aspire for the best brands in life the day we have earned them through our own sweat and blood. But it is important to realise that the best brands we possess do not reflect our true personality as a person.
As in the photo above, this young girl is looking pretty in a simple white dress, which may not even be branded. So is life. You are not valued by the brands you wear or possess in life but the values you live and the way you treat people around you.
Let us learn to first build our own unique brand in life by living our values and then we may realise that all other brands in life fade away in the background.
Life is learning journey.
S Ramesh Shankar
23rd June 2021