Two pieces of advice my boss said when I left Ogilvy:

  1. Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t hinder yourself with the thought that you’re not good enough.
  2. Don’t let people step on you. There will be people out there who will try to steal your spotlight. Don’t let them get the satisfaction of taking it from you.

 

Memories best left forgotten

I’ve been recently added to a Viber group where it’s just me, two of my college friends and another person who used to be an acquaintance also from college. I haven’t replied to any of their messages, and it’s been about 2 days since I’ve been added to the group. It’s very fickle-minded of me to do so, being that the reason for this behavior is that that certain acquaintance is a direct link to a memory that I’ve worked so hard on forgetting.

My first year (or less) in college was the most shameful thing I’ve ever let myself to be to date. I had this big crush on someone – who I now am terribly embarrassed for having a crush on – who was a year older, and was…weird. Kind of douchey too, in a sense. I remember him telling me that he only likes girls who are fairer than him, and this was coming from someone who was as white as paper. I found it superficial, but I for some reason liked him anyway. Before, he also already had a strong idea that I liked him and yet he kept telling me that he had a crush on one of my friends. He was that kind of douche.

I need help identifying the title of this piece, but I'm pretty sure it's by James Jean. Help?

I need help identifying the title of this piece, but I’m pretty sure it’s by James Jean. Help?

My sense of empathy was so strong and gravely stupid at the time. To the point that I positioned myself as happy when he was happy, and miserable when he was miserable. I went out of my way to do things for him, to make him like me – to no avail. My first long phone call with a guy was with him and we talked about stupid things. Where he goes, I go. That sort of thing.

I’m so glad I immediately kind of grew up and snapped out of it. I just dropped him out of my life. I’m so glad I did though, since I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of my self-imposed one-way chase for someone’s affection, that could have helped me grow as a person.

Anyway, that was my first crush (that wasn’t inanimate. Hello, animé.)

And here I am, added into this Viber group with a person who is really close with him. Ugh, no please. Sorry, acquaintance, but I couldn’t bring myself to care enough to be part of your conversation. You are unfortunate enough to be a key to remembering the pathetic person that I was in my early college days, which is why I won’t be engaging in talks with you soon or ever. 

Memories are there to remind you of great things as well as mistakes, but some memories are just better left buried six feet under. In a case with its key thrown into a distant ocean, lost forever.

——

On an unrelated note, here, have a song that somehow somewhat captures a familiar recent memory. It wasn’t one to forget, but something to cherish and learn from. 

Hurts so bad, I don’t know what you want from me
You know I’m trying, you know I’m trying
And now we’re hanging on by a heartbeat
You know I’m trying, I was always trying

Maybe if you let me be your lover
Maybe if you try then I would not bother
Telling me that basically you’re not looking out for me
Everything is true to me, never words where you would see
Maybe if you let me be your lover
Maybe if you try then I would not bother
I’ve been hating everything, everything that could have been
Could have been my anything, now everything’s embarrassing

Rules of Life

For life in general, career, love, and what have you.

1. Know what you’re getting yourself into.
2. Know if it’s worth working hard for.
3. Take a calculated leap into the unknown.

Divine Discontent

I was reading this article about advertising legend George Lois, which had snippets of his wisdom on how to make creative work matter in a saturated industry. Someone saw me reading it and basically the short chat went as such:

A: What’s that?

B: This article my friend linked me. George Lois? Says here he won a Clio Lifetime Achievement award last 2013.

A: You’re…not one of those award-hungry creative types, are you?

B: No. But I think awards are nice-to-haves!*

A: Good.This is just a job, you know. Because I know a lot of people who have like a few awards, and they’re not even in this industry anymore.

——

That was it. The way he said it was so demotivational. (Yup, that’s a word now.)

He said it like it’s a bad thing to want to have awards. To me, it sounded like mediocrity was acceptable and something he’s settling for. It just came off so wrong to me, considering I’m not even a hardcore “I want a (Cannes) Lion!” type of advertising creative.

To be honest, for me, the ordinary is just not an option when it comes to creating work. Work might just be work, and choosing your (office) battles is fine. But if there is always that lingering chance to be great at it, making an impact on people, etc. — why not take it?

“Divine Discontent” is something that I learned in Ogilvy. It essentially means to never settle for what you think is already good; but in fact, one should keep pushing the limit to do greater things than the last that you’ve previously done. It’s a fantastic philosophy for anyone who is passionate in their work, I believe.

We work in the advertising industry. We have the power to affect human behavior. There’s just so much potential in doing a good kind of change in my line of work, regardless if you think of it as just a job or not. Why anyone would box this opportunity to be a catalyst of change, is either simply ridiculous or not in the right business.

*Can I boast that I have a few awards. Not the big international kind, but still awards nonetheless. They really are nice-to-haves, like a physical form of acclaim for your work! It reminds me to strive to be even greater.