Do ut des – literally translated from Latin to mean “I give, so that you may give”. It is a phrase that fascinates me!
I’ve always been a giver. Throughout my career I’ve sought ways to give to others, in order to satisfy my own conditions of worth.
If you’re reading this, then I imagine that in some way, you feel the same way!
The way I see it, if I can positively affect the life of one other person, I have achieved enough for that day.
And so here you are as a Wedding Supplier, giving to others! You give to your clients so that they may give back to you. You provide a service so that they may pay you. OK, in some instances, they pay you first, so that you can provide a service – but the result is the same. One person giving, so the other can also give in return.
Carl Rogers is a chap I can relate to. His amazing forward thinking mindset led to the creation of UPR – Unconditional Positive Regard, a skill that Counsellors use in their approach towards working humanistically through the use of talking therapies.
In 1961, in his book “On Becoming A Person”, Carl Rogers wrote the following…
“…concern about the person and his becoming, in a modern world which appears intent upon ignoring or diminishing him”.
Now that strikes me as incredibly progressive thinking for someone from 1961! It sounds like it was written yesterday!
It’s really not all that unusual for me to be sat cruising in the car, chilling out and listening to one of the several hundred thousand tracks I call my music library.
I take great inspiration from all forms of creative work – film, books, art, photography and yes, music!
The thing that really draws me in to great music is the unique position, or emotional content that it portrays. Sure, every now and then we all like to just unwind with some simple pop, or have a boogy to a banging beat. Other times, like the enjoyment of a fine wine or painting by a master artist, you need soul food and inspiration. Something to elevate your thinking to a new level, and maybe this is to escape yourself and become a little bit more hedonistic for a moment.
Thusly, I’ve been following a Band called “Icon For Hire” for some time now. Their story is an interesting one… separating from their label due to creative differences, up to running a successful fundraiser for their latest independent album, raising about three quarters of a million dollars! Some great work and fantastic fan service has enabled them to continue their creative endeavours in the way they best see fit.
Icon For Hire write a lot about mental health and wellbeing! So I was re-awakened to a topic they discussed on a track called “Background Sad”. Before we even get into the topic, can you relate?
Within each of us lies two ego’s – the Actual Self and The Ideal Self. If you imagine these two egos as lenses, when they converge, everything becomes clearer. In a sense, you will be at your very best. Conversely, when the lenses are far apart, you will find that everything is out of focus, and this is where people suffer a great many problems with their mental heath and wellbeing!
So let’s explore what this means.
Every experience, every conversation, every encounter, every moment in our lives, add up to inform who we are in a greater sense. Slowly but surely, we change over time, informed by everything we are seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, smelling, tasting. It only takes one single sensation to cause change in our brains.
Rewind the clock by 10 years. Where were you personally? What were your values? What mattered to you most? What informed your values and ideas of right and wrong? I’d imagine it was the preceding 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or more.
Fast forward back to today. Where are you now? Have your values changed? Are your beliefs of what’s right and wrong different? I imagine that fundamentally, they are the same. But in detail, they are quite different.
The Wedding Industry thrives on innovation, and Couples getting married are now breaking away more than ever from tradition, instead seeking to have it “their way”. And power to them I say!
Alongside that comes a need that needs to be fulfilled. And the people to fill that need, are Wedding Suppliers!
Over the years I’ve seen so many daring individuals try new things in the Wedding Industry – it’s possibly one of the most daringly creative places for art. Whilst there is a bed of well tested, timeless ideas and ideology informing what is readily available, there is also a thriving underground of surprise and delight that continues to push the envelope for those who are actively looking.
Some of these creative ideas burn out as “one offs”, or experiments that don’t attract enough audience to become a mainstay.
I’ve spent a great deal of time working with, and just chatting with, Wedding Suppliers, all over the world.
And when you spend so much focussed energy on one group of people, you do tend to notice similarities, recurring themes and pervasive thought patterns. It helps too that Wedding Suppliers are also Creatives – and that’s a language I speak pretty much natively.
So after years of building and developing relationships with creative Wedding Suppliers, I’ve come to value three pillars of creative output which I believe inform most, if not all of our thoughts, feelings and emotions towards our work. At the very least, they are at the core of what drives us and enables our creative output to be delivered.
The three pillars are “Drive”, “Confidence” and “Satisfaction”.
We may possess an abundance of Drive, but no Confidence.
Or have boundless Satisfaction, and no Drive!
So you can start to see how important it becomes to have these three pillars in balance.
The first of these influential pillars is “Drive”, without which, well… we wouldn’t get anywhere!
Have you heard the story of the 5 frogs, sitting on a log?
And no, this isn’t the nursery rhyme!
It goes a little something like this…
The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting in the trees, the gentle ripple of a country stream flows past you as you sit comfortably on the warm grass.
As you relax, you notice 5 frogs, sitting in a line across a single log.
That’s interesting, you say quietly to yourself.
Suddenly, and without warning, 3 of the frogs decide to jump into the stream.
How many frogs are left on the log?
Got a number?
OK good! Are you thinking that there might be 2 frogs left on that log?
Well actually there are still 5!
How come, you might ask! Some sort of trickery or details obscured?
Well here’s the rub! It’s all about language and our internal dialogue. The inner voice that constantly translates our day to day experience into thoughts, feelings and emotions. Making snap judgements without due care or consideration.
Well that’s a bold question! And one that I don’t actually have the answer to!
Expecting more? Good, because I do actually have something more to say on the topic!
I don’t have a single pervasive answer because that question is entirely contextual. What constitutes good mental health for one person, will be completely different for another. Take for example cultures that focus on the individual, and other cultures that focus on the community. Is good mental health Deontological (abiding by a set of informed and generally agreed upon principals) or Utilitarian (aiming to be of the greatest benefit to the greater number of people)? See, it’s complicated!
You will undoubtably have your own idea of what good mental health means to you. And that’s perfect! Don’t assume that your idea of good mental health will be the same as the person sat across from you, or standing next to you. They are unlikely to share your exact perspectives, experiences, thoughts, hopes and dreams. We’re all unique, and that’s wonderful! There’s no reason to want to change it!
At times that can make it difficult to see eye to eye, that’s for sure! But at the same time, it is our differences that challenge our beliefs and self worth. It is the clash against our expected norms that challenge us to change, and with change, comes fresh perspective. And with fresh perspective, comes understanding. So I’m all for it! Go forth and diversify!
This is however one universal truth which I keep coming back to. And that is that good mental health, whatever your perspective on what that means, is, is achievable through repeated practice and work. It’s a bit like exercise!