For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted a personal motto. I wanted a maxim that I could really try to live my life by. I mean all the comic book and storybook heroes always have a personal code of ethics they follow. Chivalry! Courage! Enthusiasm! But a part of me could never get myself to create my own motto because I never knew where to start and I never thought I could commit.
"With great power comes great responsibility" is an adapted quote by the great writer and philosopher, Voltaire. More familiar, it makes an appearance in the modern day movie rendition of the superhero Spider-Man. This adage resonates well for the moral compass of men and women in power. It also provides a sense of accountability for those with seemingly limitless power.
"Be good to others and others will be good to you" is another well-known proverb that has roots in almost all of the major religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and many more. Admittedly, although it is less practiced today than it is preached (even by yours truly), it is nevertheless a powerful and admirable motto to live by. Kindness, in this sense, is the ultimate authority in justifying every action.
My personal motto today is comprised of three distinct ideas -- being entitled, being minimalistic and being efficient. Through my limited knowledge, I have come to find that this is simply the best way for me to give insight about who I am and what I believe in.
Entitlement is derived from Malcom Gladwell's book, Outliers: The Story of Success. Gladwell describes successful middle-class visionaries and justifies that these affluent people reach success eventually through a progression from their initial "longing" to a goal they feel like they deserve. Of course, this is not to be related to every aspect of life. But it most definitely rings true in personal ambition.
Being minimalistic is more of a passion for me. For instance, I realized that advertising today is complicating everything. So, I began thinking that maybe this complication is unnecessary. However, this does not and will not qualify as a reason to not give any thought into design nor does it mean that everything in the world should be minimalistic. Personally, I think minimalism looks professional and appealing. Thus, I believe that minimalizing is right for me.
Efficiency is a quality that everyone strives for... right? Who doesn't want to be able to not only work fast but to achieve great results? To some, it may appear to be a daunting journey. But to me, it means that I have a lifelong journey to improve the methods and ideas with which I approach my tasks.
Regardless of motto or maxim you want to live by, I believe that everyone should have one, or two or more. These are all representations of an idealized version of us, in our own perspective. And it immediately provides insight to the type of person we were, we are and what we strive to be. We were never meant to be perfect, but it is crucial to try and live by a belief that will help us reach our potential. All you have to do is know what your passion is and live by it.
What is your personal motto? Does this inspire you to create one? Please comment your thoughts or tweet at me! @thetli8