To this day, I can’t walk past a Barnes & Noble or The Strand, without peeking in to take a quick stroll. Result: I ALWAYS walk out with a book.
Yes, it’s the age of Kindle and iBooks, but I’m still the traditional touch-and-feel person. So today, when I walked by the store, the new Harry Potter and The Cursed Child stared right at me through the display window. Between there and the ten steps I took towards the door, my entire early teenage flashed before my eyes. The anticipation of the new books, the overnight binge reading, the racing of my heart beat while reading the scene where Sirius dies (yes I cried too!), and the endless discussion with friends to unravel the mysteries of the Albus Dumbledore.
Of course I bought the book. While taking my usual tour of the store to see what else was out there, this book in the clearance section caught my attention. Titled “What I’ve Learned”, this is a collection of interviews of famous artists, athletes, legends, on what the meaning of life is to them. All our life we yearn to find another life, accomplished and extraordinary, and wish to have the opportunity to extract their secret, through books, articles, anecdotes, or if we are really lucky – real conversations. Every person comes with his or her plethora of experiences, and every interaction is an attempt to blend these experiences into a new stroke. It is in opportunities like these where you really have a chance to open your mind to a new perspective. In one lifetime, it is impossible to feel every single feeling or know every single thing there is to learn. And therefore, it is crucial for any kind of growth to listen to the stories of others. Great things happen when you just listen.
Being an anthropologist at heart, this book is like a magic potion for me, one which takes me through the thoughts of these legendary people, their lives, and the meaning of it. Nothing compares to the authenticity of real conversations. As a marketer in this digital age, this has even greater meaning for me. It is the time of inauthentic authenticity, where nothing other than authenticity sells. So how does one come across as genuine, when a hundred others are saying the same things as you?
Well I guess that’s where experiences matter. No one will remember what you said to them. What they will remember is how you made them feel. And THAT is my biggest takeaway from What I’ve Learned (pun intended)!
Have you read Words that Work – Its not what you say, its what people hear. Heavy read coming from an author with history in politics and business communication. Very relevant for a marketer though.