If one person tells you you’re a horse, they’re crazy. If three people tell you you’re a horse; there is a conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you’re a horse, it’s time to buy a saddle.
I did branding once with a rock band I was playing in and my band and I were trying to figure out our ideal listening demographic through a series of interactive questions led by a branding expert we had hired. I was expecting questions like, “What age group do you think your music would appeal too?” Instead we got, “If your band could be a vehicle, what kind would it be?” I glanced at the guys in bewilderment only to be met with 3 equally puzzled expressions. Pardon? Eventually the guys started sputtering out answers like, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Porsche, only to be laughed at by the Director. We were supposed to be answering as if the music were speaking, not declaring our dream cars.
Tip: there are associations in marketing that help you define your imaging and branding so that it’s appeal will indeed meet your music’s target audience. Who knew?
We discovered hours later that we were, as a collective unit, a Volkswagen Jetta. The guys were bummed.
If someone asked me if I’m nice, I would say yes. If someone asked me if I’m a good wife, or a good mom, or a good friend, again, I would say yes. If someone asked me if I’m a forgiving, happy, disciplined, thoughtful and positive person, I would 8 out of 10 times say yes – I might hesitate on days when I haven’t had a good sleep or a good cup of coffee (ha) – but in the end I will always say yes, because A. I happen to think I’m someone who truly try’s to be a good person and B. As if I would admit otherwise. Admitting that I’m not would warrant change and change is hard.
I asked my husband once if he thought I was a gentle person (I was studying the fruits of the spirit at the time and was curious about the gentleness trait). He said, and I quote, “For the most part, yes, but sometimes in your attempt to get things accomplished you sort of come across as a steam roller, like, you’d be willing to step on anyone and anything to get ahead. Are you mad?” Ouch! What did I do? I called my sisters for some positive reassurance but sadly, they agreed with Chris. And in a similar conversation with my mom later that week, she lovingly clarified, “Well, you are like your father.” Double ouch! That truth left a haunting impression on me for a very long time and I must admit, it took me a while to get over. But now in hindsight, it was the best thing that Chris, my sisters and my mother could have every told me. I’ve been careful of that ever since.
Let’s break it down…
If you want to know whether I’m a good friend, you should ask my friends. If you want to know if I’m a good wife, you should ask my husband. If you want to know if I’m a good mom who doesn’t yell and scream, ask my kids, they’ll tell it to you as straight as straight can get. I may genuinely believe I’m not a gossip, but if everyone else says I am, then I am. And if you ask me if I think I’m a negative Nancy or a Debbie downer or an insecure Izzy, I would say no. My peeps, however, might just say I’m a ‘glass is always half empty’ kind of person. I may confidently declare that I am a cute little Mini Cooper, but the music of my life might be speaking that I’m an insensitive-lord it over everyone-high and mighty hummer.
Most important: if you want to know if I’m a good Christian, you should ask my neighbours AND my husband AND my friends AND my kids AND my sisters AND THE GUY WHO JUST CUT ME OFF IN TRAFFIC.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
~Galatians 5:22 & 23