Elephant Polo

My best article from the Nation Newspaper in Bangkok. (For more about me and how I can write inspired long-form pieces or books for you, your agency or company - go here.)   

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Bad Isn't Good

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Bad Isn't Good

Eventually, you’re going to meet someone, maybe at the next meeting, to whom doing something bad seems good. War is like that.

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Stop, Thief!

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Stop, Thief!

Imagine that if once employees are accepted in your company, they know that nobody is going to say anything negative about them behind their backs, ever.

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Why Creativity Never Equals Success

Everyone is creative. Some people are even more creative than others.

But don't get carried away if you're trying to market your business.

The problem with creativity is when it's held as the benchmark of success.  Creativity does not equal success. Being able to produce uniquely does not equal revenue. It doesn't even guarantee appreciation:

Creativity

I think this table and chairs are interesting and creative.

But are you going to buy them?

Let them into your life?

If the objective is to sell, the creativity vested in Gargantua's card table here isn't successful. 

Will the creativity lead to art museum visits? Yes.

Will it lead to sales?

No.

Because you have no use for this furniture. It isn't designed for your life in any practical way.

Most branding is like this furniture: It's really only good for the giants.

Large companies rip percentages out of the market at the expense of their competitors with better branding, and they spend wildly to do it - in the hundreds of millions.

I'll define branding as any activity designed to remind the public that you exist.

Branding may lead to sales with a company or product that is already known, well-enough regarded and highly profitable to a large number of consumers. 

But that kind of loyalty isn't built overnight. It takes a very long time.

We've all started using the term 'branding' when what we mean is 'selling'.

To gain sales you must craft practical, time-sensitive facts of interest about how your product will help your target client. If you can be creative when you do that, good for you. But don't let creativity cloud the sales message with a lofty idea about how you want to show up in people's heads.

That's the corporate language of giants.

Instead, create a relationship. Use your creativity to tell the people you want to help exactly how you will do it, and what they will get from you.

Then you've channeled your message in the best way possible, by creating clients who know you exist.

 

 

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Why Happiness Takes Action

If you don't act on your ideas, you're drifting.

There is no standing still. The instant you create a thought, an intention - it begins to get away from you.

And you don't even notice.

I've always used my imagination. An only child, I've spent a lot of time alone in my mind.

It's easy for me to get lost in here.

The problem with getting lost in my mind is that when I come back out, I'm not entering the world that I left. It's a different place. I don't notice because the change is only seconds, minutes or hours in the making.

But the bits of time multiply. Passing time creates a different landscape, foreign from where you first create your idea. Now you are different, your relationships are different, the whole outside world is.

And where is your idea?

It is wherever it drifted, carried along by the winds of circumstance - both in the world, and within your own unique personality.  The world is swimming around your ideas and tugging at them. Turning them into something you didn't intend.

Turning you into something you didn't intend.  

Everything in your life is moving. Drifting. Your marriage is drifting. Your kids are drifting. You are drifting.

If you are prone to depression, you're drifting the way a depressed person drifts. If you are highly intelligent and motivated, you're drifting the way a high-achiever drifts.

But you're both drifting.

Your relationships, opportunities and ideas will never be quite where you last left them. But time's slow drip, and the static parts of your personality, will make you think they aren't.

The rule is: Anytime you do not act on an your ideas - on what you notice happening within and around you - you are moved by the current.

For many people, their proudest moments are not when they're successful.

It's when they are awake in action.

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