Branding is one aspect of our modern narcissistic culture that really sets me off. Phrases like, “I’m creating a brand”, “I’m reinventing myself”, “I’m creating a new and better me”, are for me, the height of lunacy.
For it is one thing to have a degree of detachment from the role we play in the game of life, quite another to see ourselves as some sort of product we are peddling on the market. The moment we do this we are giving the market – the Game – the ultimate power in determining our worth.
From my experience as a financial trader, on the purest level there is no intrinsic value to anything in the market. Value is created by the likelihood of the next person being the “greater fool” – willing to pay more than we did for the same thing. In other words it is the perception of value, rather than any real value itself, that is of importance. Those traders who understand this, win; those who do not, lose. The same applies to those out there in day to day life.
Shakespeare says “nothing comes from nothing”. From something devoid of substance, we cannot create substance. But that does not stop us from taking something that has substance, and reducing into nothing. This is precisely what happens to us when we turn ourselves into a Brand. Not only that we are creating a prison for ourselves at the same time. Like the actor who plays a character for too long, the two begin to merge. The multi-dimensional you, becomes the two-dimensional caricature that the world comes to know. Not too different from the ones we see on reality TV.