“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment
would you capture it, or just let it slip?”
Eminem – Lose Yourself
As Eminem so aptly put to us in his song “lose yourself”, would you let that fleeting moment of opportunity get away from you without taking it and knowing what you want to do with it?
He goes on to say a bunch of stuff about losing yourself in the moment, you owning it and you wanting it etc which is actually something worth taking a look at for a second.
I became fascinated a couple of years ago with a book about talent. It goes into detail into about, among other things, the intrinsic and extrinsic mind. The best way to think of this is for most of us to imagine we are driving a car. I have been driving for almost twenty years, and I don’t have to think about putting my left foot on the clutch, finding second with my left hand, whilst turning the wheel with my right hand, coordinating that with my right foot and my line of sight and getting around a corner. I just do it. It wasn’t always that easy though. I stalled the car more than once when I was learning just as everybody did. Back then I had to put all my focus into the coordination of it all to get it to work. That’s the extrinsic mind at work. Consciously telling you what to do, when to do it and being in control.
Conversely, nowadays, sometimes I get home and get in the driveway, and wonder how I got there so quick. That’s the intrinsic mind. I’ve done it so many times, driven those streets and turned those corners enough to not think about it anymore so much that my mind wandered to other things, like what I have to do when I get home, emails I have to write, projects I have to finish… you get the drift. The extrinsic mind has given up control and let the intrinsic mind take over so you can get to work thinking about other things. In a way, you lose yourself in your thoughts.
Except when you catch yourself doing it!!
Then you’re locked in an epic battle within your mind. A battle for control. Think about another situation, a really common situation. You’re telling your friend about your weekend and a story about something, and every word is falling out of your mouth as you tell the story, but then you catch yourself saying something odd and start listening to yourself talk. That’s your extrinsic (some would say conscious) mind trying to take over the control when it doesn’t need to and sometimes it will get the better of you and you’ll lose your train of thought and falter in your story. The extrinsic mind can be a power hungry demon child sometimes.
I think it’s fair to say that to lose yourself is to be free from that self conscious control and be “in the moment”.
Owning it, and wanting it….
That’s all fine and good, if you’ve got an it!
If somebody asked you where you wanted to be in five years time, could you quickly and concisely put together a summary of the things that you find important and outline your goals that are driving you forward day to day?
My guess is sportspeople, successful creative people, and driven business people would find this question easy. Many people older than 40 may find it relatively easy I’m sure you’ll agree, but many young people would find it incredibly difficult
That’s no surprise I’m sure. Not reinventing the wheel here in this blog that’s for sure.
So what’s my it? What would be my goal? What, if I got one opportunity to seize it all, would that opportunity look like, and what would I do?
That’s where the elevator pitch comes in. I went to an industry night recently run by the QLD Youngbloods association which tries to bridge the gap between the academic pursuit of advertising and marketing, and the ‘real world’ of the industry. Marketing 101 says “define your objectives” and as this event I attended was titled “prescribing your career” the gathered wisdom came together to offer tips for a hundred or so thirsty university students. One of the nuggets of wisdom that panned out during the event was fundamentally simple, but I can guarantee not one that is often verbally spoken about by young ‘go-getters’ or new ‘career seekers’.
Why are you studying this industry?
What drives you and what is your passion for the industry?
What is the job you want?
What have you got to give?
Tough questions. But the answers help to inform my pitch.
If I had one chance, it would be a pitch to a senior director of a creative agency like BBDO or Leo Burnett, and it might go a little like this.
My interest in marketing and advertising is bought about by strategy. My fascination is in the mechanics of it. How it was put together, how it was informed by history and how it was making history. I have the same fascination with music. Music will engage, empower, inspire and excite people, just like creative marketing campaigns can. I want to orchestrate business. Scoring all the elements together to create a functional, artistic and memorable piece of communication that stands as much on its own, as it does for its sponsor. There are many people with ideas, but not so many conductors. There is a place for me in orchestrating, arranging and conducting creative campaigns, and it’s working for you.
Well that’s today’s effort at least. What do you think?