Mad Men

View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers

I do love a good advertisement! I love print ads best, especially when they draw me in and interact with me. Lately there seems to be a lot of really nice ads that ask provocative questions, invite me to think and reflect, and then they try to sell me something. I am not particularly “print ad responsive” (okay, I admit I hate shopping!) but I do enjoy a good ad!

Recently I was waiting for an appointment and flipping through a magazine when an ad for a major national clothing retailer caught my attention; it was 12 full pages long and on each page was a model wearing a clothing item being advertised and across the page was a question…each page was a similar format with a different question.
The questions were:
  • Trust your own __________
  • Originate your own __________
  • Free your own __________
  • Make up your own ________
  • Perfect your own __________
  • Look for your own __________
  • Compose your own __________
  • Name your own __________
  • Invent your own __________
  • Create your own __________
  • See your own __________

I am not too sure what the questions (and possibly my answers) had to do with motivating me to purchase clothing, but that’s another matter. What I really like is where the questions take me. The questions point me to planning for the new year and to what is possible. The questions move me forward into creation and limitlessness. The questions–and my answers–make me feel good.

If you’re game, answer the questions for yourself. Where do they take you? And in 2009, what are you going to do about it?
Enjoy the season!
P.S. In case you were wondering:
  • Trust your own voice. Sometimes I actually do know (contrary to what my teenager wants me to believe).
  • Originate your own story. The story of my life is the story of my life. I get to create it.
  • Free your own creative contribution. I try to unlock what is in me and do it!
  • Make up your own mind! It amazes me how much of our world is about trying to convince others how to think, spend, pray, and vote. I have to do that for myself.
  • Perfect your own life. No one is going to do that for me. My life and my happiness is my job.
  • Look for your own wonder. I look for the wonder in my day; snow in my yard, sea glass on my beach, my son turning into a man, my hair turning gray. It’s all pretty cool.
  • Compose your own soundtrack. As I go about my day I try to hear music and lyrics. My life has a musical score, sometimes an opera and sometimes a country song.
  • Name your own price. Asking myself “what will it cost me to/not to X” helps me to remember my values and make a better choice.
  • Invent your own anything. I draw from those before me and then invent my own whatever! I make it up.
  • Create your own success. Having success is an active, participatory experience. It isn’t going to be given to me.
  • Believe your own story. I worked hard for my story. It’s mine.
  • See your own future. I try to keep looking forward, out, to the horizon. Sometimes it’s not too clear and I do keep looking out there.


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