On Linkedin I was answering a question regarding design briefs and also I was remembering a question I had asked a few weeks back: to what extent do you identify yourself with your work? Do you still respect yourself if you have no work to go to? Would you know who you are if you didn't work a 9-5? Who are you really? Mostly we don't think about this much, it's either too hard or it would freak some of us out. What do you mean who am I? Jeez girlfriend, I'm not into that stuff. You know, get real.
To some this may seem like an outrageous stupid question: who am I? That's fine, but you'd be surprised how many people link their abilities and personality straight to their work. Even our 'talents' are put up against our work to show we did well. Work has become 'proof' and a means to measure on how well we are doing in life. Would it matter really? To a lot of us work is related to status so yes it does I guess. I know I get excited myself if a fabric design takes off.
I think it definitely helps if we have a self esteem regardless of what we do in life. If you like yourself and have a fair idea of who you are chances are you will do a heck of a lot better should you be made redundant, then someone who identifies too strongly with their work. So are we talking attitude again? Well yes that's always got a lot to do with how things go in life. Funny that.
The design brief question I was answering was about how to respond to clients who basically determine your paycheck and who like to be in control. I felt the question related was about power play, the pulling of strings and the resentment this causes the puppet. We all have people in our lives who effect us and who's opinion we could choose to be dependent on. What it boils down to is: will you let them or do you go with your gut feelings and stand your ground too if need be? Will you have the confidence to cut the cords?
It would have been very unlikely we would have heard of Nelson Mandela if he had chosen not to do anything about his imprisonment. Being remarkable is, to do something for yourself as well as others, that sets the bar higher then what is accepted at the time. Having a standard cannot only be a good thing, but necessary as well.
Here's to the comeback of ethics and moral fiber. Celebrate your uniqueness while you're at it: there's only one of you. Cool or what!