When I was an office worker in Tokyo, one day I looked at my name card. There are company name, department name, my title and my name. In the salary sheet, there are company name, my name and some numbers as well.
Another day, I was on my way back home from the office. Cool wind in October touched my face while standing on the platform on Koiwa station where I always transfer trains from Sobu Rapid Line to Central Sobu Local Line in Tokyo.
I looked somewhere far away while thinking what I’m doing everyday in the office: sending emails, visiting customers, producing documents….and what does the number on my salary sheet mean…..my ability? My work value? Or simply my head and my time?
If I take the name of the company off, take the name of my department and my job title off my name card, what could be left? Does my name, my brain and my hands worth the number? I want to know. I want to know the truth, so I choose to be an entrepreneur. 5 years after that day, I establish a small company in northern Europe.
The result so far is simple: bad.
Those “Brands”…….including great Taiwanese academic degrees, top Japanese academic degrees, don’t mean anything. Maybe you can produce very beautiful powerpoint slides and maybe you can show out your shining backgrounds and your ability, but so what? After all, all your clients care is how much you can earn, directly or indirectly for them.
Academic degrees, employment history, name of the company, job title, salary, language ability, brand car, big house, brand cloth or watch can all be called “Brands”.
Brand is an efficient way to deliver messages. It could tell people clearly, “I’m good. I’m excellent. I work hard, or I’m rich”. In some other situations, it can be used to raise credibility of words or information.
Of course, companies check academic and employment history to understand a person more efficiently in recruitment and avoid picking up the wrong person. We also ask people some questions about their backgrounds to understand them more when we just knew them for a short time.
However, an interesting point is, what is the difference between “Letting people know minimum brand information of yours under a necessary situation” and “Letting people know your brand in purpose under an unnecessary situation”?
Actually, I know that even this article is a kind of brand, because my name will be shown at the end of this article. When this article is published on the media, it becomes a brand to me since it’s telling people, “I’m writing articles on the media. I’m different from other people.” (This article was published originally on a Taiwanese media)
But I know. Maybe you also know when you listen to the deep bottom of your heart that really great people don’t and never need to tell people their own brands in purpose, because others know the really great people naturally from other channels or other people.
Then, why do we try to let people know our brands? Why do we try to show people we are good?
Because we are self-abased somewhere in our heart. (It’s also kind of natural desire of being recognized by the society)
Because we know we are not that great. We are not that famous. We are not that influential, and we are not considered that important by the society as we expected. So we try to show people our academic degrees, our company name, our job titles and even the number on our salary sheets.
Then we expect. We expect words from people to praise ourselves. We expect people to look at you with a respectful mind. We expect ourselves to forget our self-abased mind deep inside ourselves.
Ironically, when a person try to reveal his/her own brand information under unnecessary situations, that actually means that he/she may be trying to pull up the image of his/her social image while telling people that he/she is not satisfied inside his/her heart and even somehow self-abased.
Maybe, the influence of “brands” to a person is determined by “he/she knows what he/she really knows or not.”
Maybe, when you know what you’re doing is exactly what you want to do, you know your life is exactly what you want to live, and you know you won’t let yourself in the future regret for what you’re doing now, then I guess you won’t really care about those external brands so much.
Yes, it’s not easy, but life is never easy anyway.
It’s not easy to find what you really want to do. It’s difficult to stand steady in a huge social stream. It’s also not easy to satisfy your self-abased heart.
There is no (or very few) standard answers in this world.
But maybe you may have some chance to choose. To choose what you want is current life or a new one. To choose what you are doing or a new one. To choose what you are now or a new adventure.
At the end of this article, I want to emphasize that the purpose of this article is not to criticize vanity, neither to encourage people to throw everything away to chase dreams. This article aims to bring readers a short moment or a small chance to think over again where and what is the value of your life.