By Flavia Ventura
I arrived at SCA thinking I would question my place in the advertising world, the ifs and hows I would survive the madness of ‘AdLand’. It didn’t take me long to realise it wasn’t myself as a creative I would question but the meaning of life as a human being.
Since the first day at SCA, the majority of mentors put a lot of emphasis on purpose. Who are we? What do we like? And dislike? What is our purpose? our goals? our targets?
Good questions. Needless to say I got sucked into an endless spiral of contrasting thoughts. In less than a week I put in discussion everything and anything about my personal life. I very much felt like Julia Roberts in “Runaway Bride” — unsure of the simplest things, even of how I prefer my eggs cooked.
Not only I realised that as a 22 year old, I do not know who I am on a basis but I am also not entirely sure of what my purpose is.
At the beginning of this week, Deanna had us writing on other students’ backs adjectives that best described them. I found this exercise to be very powerful. It was oddly interesting to see how people have a very different perception of us than our own. I believed I acted and existed in a certain way, only to find out I am perceived in the opposite way by many.
As a person that considers herself quiet, it was very strange to find adjectives as ‘chatty’ and ‘talkative’ on my back. At first, still drowning in that same spiral of ‘unknowns’, I thought it must have been due to my lack of knowledge of who I am.
A week, and a lot of hours spent thinking later, I realised it’s all about perception. As Marc stretched in class numerous times, there isn’t only one right solution to a problem; there is only multiple ways of looking at it. Each and all of us use different criteria of judgment. One might consider a person, let’s say, talkative, based on who they are, who they know and what they know. If one is surrounded by a quiet bunch of people, then an average person (when it comes to talking) might result to be ‘shockingly’ very talkative.
Now you must think this argument is quite obvious, I agree with you, it is. My finding, in fact, is that at times, us people enter a state of chaos and tend to forget the obvious. In those situations, I believe it is important to take a step back, forget the unknown and rather really focus on what we do know. Only after, when our world is back to being sticked together, take that second step.
As Kolb’s self-journal kindly reminded me this morning, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson.