Simple is as simple does.
Right around 9th grade it’s likely you had a teacher who told you about “Occam’s Razor” and the idea that the simplest answer is often the best (or something along those lines). Judging from the results of the Global Brand Simplicity Index 2012, the same goes for brands - where the 10 global simplest brands outperform major stock indexes by a huge margin.
- Simple is a better experience. You understand what to do and how to get what you want.
- Simple is easier to share. Einstein said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Sharing = amplification.
- Simple cuts through. Brands that make their messages, products and processes simple have taken the burden on themselves to be that way, rather than expect their customers to work hard to get what they want.
- Simple means your employees get it (which means your customers will get it too). Too many brands expect employees to memorize reams of rules & regulations, instead of focusing on a few simple, impactful guidelines to on-brand behavior.
Entire industries, too, have much to do to make things simple - car rental and insurance among them - with huge opportunities and rewards going to the brand that breaks rank and makes things simple enough for a 6-year-old.
Well, I was avoiding doing a sentimental goodbye note but let’s face it… it is completely appropriate. I should acknowledge the time we spent together. There are so many memories, so many hours spent, so many people, so many accents, so many misunderstandings, and so many lessons. This year has left an indelible mark on my heart and my being. I am now sitting at a Panera taking a break from job searching a little under 3 weeks after my graduation ceremony. It feels a bit like I was swept up in a tornado about a year ago and was just spit out. Although the storm tossed me around and I got hit by flying debris that was also caught up in the storm, I managed to grab a hold a few key things. There are definitely some tools to make it in the business world. I can understand and interpret financial statements, know what questions to ask, and write a business plan among many other things. But nothing compares to what I learned about others and most of all what I learned about myself.
I said goodbye to many of my classmates this past week. It was hard to go to airports and not go through security. It was sad packing up cars but having them pull away without me. It was as if the Boston I came to know was leaving. My classmates gave me the most precious things I took from my time in grad school. They let me in to who they are, not just where they are from. There are a few of them I only shared moments with and some that I will call friends for many years to come. But I hope and pray they always felt heard, loved, and appreciated in my presence.
So as I turn the page on this new chapter, I can hold my hands open to what God has for me without any tears of sadness. I used to view these unemployed seasons like they were transitional periods. But they are no such thing. They are seasons of their own. Holding lessons of patience and perseverance and rest. I am excited to let it all sink in and really figure out what I want to do with these past experiences. Business school, I am glad we met. I am glad we spent time together and really wrestled through our issues. I can leave with no regrets. We fought and we celebrated together. So though I loved you violently while with you, I am happy to let you go. Time for you to change some other people’s lives and it’s time for me to walk into the sunset…with a strut… and my hair blowing in the wind… in a business suit.
I was speaking to a good friend of mine the other day and we concluded something that has been true in both of our journeys. There’s a harsh reality about life: Relationships are set up to break your heart. One expects things others can’t give, gives too much or too little, and struggle to live up to the standard they force on each other. In the end, it’s messy because people are messy. No matter how hard we try we never make it without hurting or getting hurt. This post isn’t meant to be a downer and if you knew me personally you would know that I value the relationships in my life more than anything. Which is probably why I have learned this harsh truth early.
All of this being said, God is good to me. This is the only hope I have to be better than I was before. I have been loved perfectly, forgiven perfectly, and given a perfect example in Christ’s love. I’ll be the first to admit that I am no picnic every day. But even with my flaws, pride, and complications I have found beautiful friends in my path. Some have weathered storms with me and have been around for years. Some have stayed in the past in short seasons of life when either I needed them or they needed me. There are also those handful that ended bitterly with only the lessons I learned from the hurt tying us together. Each has left a mark and contributed to the young woman you see today. I have stronger muscles and open wounds on my heart to prove it.
So what to do with this reality? Never make any new friends? Stay single your whole life? Cut out family so that no one gets disappointed? I haven’t gotten the hang of being the perfect friend but I am thinking this isn’t the way to go.There’s a freedom in admitting that we aren’t perfect and accepting that no one on this earth is either. We can then hold on when it’s time to and let go when it’s time to let go: forgiving no matter what.
This is a beautiful song from one of my favorite artists in the world and from my country: Dominican Republic
Juan Luis Guerra
we were once.
“thick as thieves” as they say
linked in this mess of life
making bad decision after bad decision
tangling and untangling the ropes we tied ourselves
only to be left. evaded.
I squinted my eyes to see more clearly
through the forest of my discontent only to find
my own footprints.
Forced to look at parts I dared not look at before
but the mirror follows with an unforgiving gaze.
we were once.
Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem show at Marine Industrial Park. For those of you that remember the cheesy circuses of your youth of clowns running around in bad makeup, sad animals, and old time music: this brings the elements you loved from that time but in a truly magical experience.
Totem is a mix of slapstick entertainment (“The Clown” playing an Italian tourist) and dreamlike acrobatics with the requisite trapeze act but with more flair and enchantment than you have probably ever seen before. The costumes were beautiful and eye catching; all mimicking either a specific culture or a part of nature. Cirque du Soleil describes Totem’s theme as “the evolution of mankind from its primordial, amphibian state toward the aspiration of flight, taking inspiration from many of mankind’s founding myths.” This is well worth it, and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to go for a discount with a large group in my school. So if you want to gather some cash to have some beautiful and worthwhile entertainment find a Cirque du Soleil performance near you.
I remember when I first started writing this blog. I was on the verge of beginning this exciting journey. I read my first two blogs over again recently and was transported back to all of the emotion and expectation that was stirring in me at the moment. Now with this year behind me I can only laugh at the young woman back in 2011. I feel like going back and saying “Oh dear Chela, you did not know what was in store for you. The things you are worried about now are minor. The things you should really worry about…well, you can’t really plan for those. But you will make it out alright.
Welcome back to my life TRANSITION. You are that period in life that is faithful to come around sooner or later. Sometimes you come gradually and sometimes it seems like you smack me in the face with your arrival. I am convinced God brings you around to keep us on our toes. You are there to remind us that ultimately we can’t be in total control of everything around us. We are but mortals trying to grasp onto the little things we find in this world, so at times things need to be shaken out of place to make things new.
No matter how frightening and nervewracking this time is. No matter how long my to-do list is of job applications, networking event, graduation ticket orders, and apartment leasing aggreements. God has been faithful in the countless transitions I have endured. I am closing my time here with strengths I didn’t know I had, wisdom I may not have gotten otherwise, friends I may know for the rest of my life, and friends that will fade to beautiful memories of my past. The things I worried about before are distant and my heartache and failures are healing in grace.
So transition, I am looking at you dead in the face. I can appreciate the looming stare you have over me and the million questions you can ask that I don’t have answers to.
“What are you going to do with your life?”
“Where will you live?”
“Who will you be with?
But I don’t have to answer you just yet. I have enough answers and tools to make something extraordinary happen. You can stay for a while and I’ll gladly say ” See you later” when it’s time for you to go.