Fake it til you make it?

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Are people basically divided into two broad camps – the ‘fake it til you make it’ (the marketers & promoters) and the ‘keeping it real’ camp’?

‘Fake it til you make it’ is about projecting confidence, whether real or illusionary. It’s downside is arguably in making our social groups less cohesive and less real. ‘Fake it til you make it’ can be spectacularly successful – politicians, singers/rappers and A-list movie actors being examples of this. Ironically though, politicians campaign to solve real problems, rappers rap about their gritty own life struggle to success, whilst successful actors choose to star in movies that often have themes of real strength from overcoming adversity of some kind.

Some pioneering cultures have a phrase about ‘keeping it real’. Others talk about ‘keeping your feet firmly on the ground’ (unless you work for the weather service, the airlines, the navy, NASA or Virgin Galactic).The ‘keeping it real’ camp includes support groups, social workers, therapists, counsellors, teachers, coaches, trainers and assessors of all kinds. This camp arguably advocates that ‘struggling to succeed is simply walking the journey’ is what life is about and that being honest about this struggle helps us to build important bridges with fellow human beings. In the world of entertainment, reality shows are in theory about ‘keeping it real’, although programme directors inevitably choose hyping the truth over the reality, if if means improving the viewer ratings in a competitive industry.

What about in the field of design – which camp do designers fall into? Steve jobs said ‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ In product design, great and successful designers don’t tolerate fake. They are obsessed with building amazing, perfection and excellence. In contrast, fine artists can excell at illusion in their art, folling the viewer’s eye into almost believing the two dimensional is actually the three dimensional. Or that the World shown within their art reveals a far more beautiful perspective on the World outside. Musical artists and actors generally want to create real. It’s the marketing staff of their companies that want auto-tune, edit and airbrush.

Whichever of the two camps a person falls into, perhaps real performance is still the key goal and ambition the driving force. Oscar Wilde famously said ‘all of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.’ Life arguably isn’t about ‘suffer in silence’, ‘know your place’ and ‘mustn’t grumble’. It is about ‘be the best that you can be’, ‘dare to dream’, ‘give yourself a break’, ‘learn from your mistakes’, ‘recognise the perfect parent does not exist’,  ‘respect yourself’ and ‘strength through adversity.’

Lastly, somewhere along the line, as we switched from selling the products of our labour to selling the services of ourselves, the ‘fake it til you make it’ mantra started to dominate, in business, in our romantic lives (as singles) and increasingly, everywhere else. How do we jolt ourselves out of that mantra?


The most beautiful photo ever…

Just saying. You decide.


Speed meets science, him and her

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The speed of decisions – science runs at the speed of ‘genetic expression’. Him speed: ‘will you?’ Her speed: ‘what’s taking him so long to ask?’

The speed of preparation – science runs at the speed of gestation period per species. Him speed: ‘Keys? Wallet? Let’s go.’ Her speed: ‘Let me run through my wardrobe options one more time…’

The speed of sound – science runs at the speed of 343.59 metres per second in dry air at 20 degrees Celsius. Him speed: ‘how much more flirting and banter do I need to provide?’ Her speed: ‘ My phone number is…’

The speed of energy transfer – science runs at the speed that the electrons in a substance get excited. Him speed: ‘I can feel a definite rush of blood to my central extremities’ Her speed: ‘those butterflies in my tummy are back and making my knees go weak.’

The speed of imaging – science runs at the speed of light. Him speed: ‘she looks utterly stunning.’ Her speed: ‘He needs to drink less and work out at the gym more!’

Vision statements

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Picture this. In my mind’s eye, the eye of the hurricane has the best view.

Developing a shared vision in advance (even if not completely clear), beats having the group having 20/20 vision in hindsight.

You have to stand back to see the wood for the trees. But if you don’t know where you’re going, any path will do.

The best things and the worst things are often hidden in plain sight. So reach for the stars instead.

Social media relies on visual screens and filter screens alike.

Life isn’t measured by the breaths we take, but by the images (and moments) that take our breath away. That’s probably why we take so many photos.

The best way for a human designer to be inspired, is to see the beauty of nature first.

Garden makeovers – good for the Soul?

They make you buy power tools to cut away the old decking.

They encourage you to work to pay for all the new additions (tools, plants, fences…).

You get a serious workout, without a fitness coach or gym membership.

You get to do something good for the Planet (plant carbon dioxide-breathing, organic thingies).

They create a habitat for wayward butterflies and bees.

They impress your partner (momentarily) with your newly developed DIY skills (just in time abilities).

You get to practice your problem-solving skills and achieve something tangible, if not beautiful to look at.

You get out of doing boring housework like washing, cleaning and cooking.

You become just that little bit more self reliant.



Politics, glamour and sport

Parapente enthusiasts use hot air to thrill themselves and us.
Politicians use hot air to thrill themselves and annoy us.

Supermodels wouldn’t be seen dead wearing thermals.
Parapente enthusiasts would be seen dead without wearing thermals.

Some politicians hope to use politics to achieve a beautiful output.
Some supermodels hope to use beauty to achieve a political output.

Politicians love voters and power. Supermodels love shopping and power. Voters love supermodels and shopping. No one loves politicians shopping for power.

Fashion and jewellery

Jewellery up close and personal; rings high-fived, earrings called for, necklaces framed in the act and bracelets handed down.

Jewellery is to body piercings what investment art is to graffiti

Tattoos – art you wear while you’re saving up for great jewellery.

Go green when you have envy for jewellery, mined from the Earth.