One just knew. There was no need to overthink anything to death. There was no need for analytics and algorithms and needing the proof of the plum pudding fairies before leading with the heart. It was knowing when to Just Do It.
It wasn’t Simon Says or Nike says. It was knowing something was right for you and screw everything else.
You met her and you knew she was the one. Nothing else mattered.
You heard a song and there’s a reason why it’s lived with you forever. There’s an emotional attachment.
As my mentor in advertising always said, Appeal To Heart And Mind. He was an original “Mad Man”. Some say that he was Don Draper. It doesn’t matter.
We who came through all those times, especially in Hong Kong, learned so much by watching and listening and doing because you knew what worked best for you.
It wasn’t about what “qualifications” you might have had. It was about intuitively knowing. Knowing to separate the wheat from the chaff and get to the heart of the matter instead of being caught up in the crosstown traffic of power plays, corporate speak and seeing Dylan’s Mr Jones right in front of you.
One was free to explore and make ideas come true.
There was no success like failure because there was no failure at all. They were learning lessons.
It wasn’t about the money, money, money. It was good to have, but it didn’t rule nor rock your world.
You knew that you couldn’t take it with you, and how what mattered was something within.
You either felt it or you didn’t. You believed or just folded and walked away.
Nothing was perfect, but imperfections are great learning tools.
There was nothing to be scared about. There was everything that one’s inquisitive mind questioned. And then one did the maths and decided what added up and what wasn’t for you.
No one had time for unholy alliances with Mr Jitters.
We laughed, we cried, we fell down, we fell apart and we picked ourselves up by ourselves and did things for ourselves because no one knew us better. Guess it was about being an individual.
It wasn’t trying to be the most popular kid on the block. It was about being true to yourself and damn the torpedoes.
Rules were meant to be broken, and we did fine living by our own rules even when others might have thought we were living by theirs.
That’s where balance came into play and you knew what cards you held.
It wasn’t about being a one trick pony. It was about being the best you could be for yourself.
There’s a time and place to be selfish to protect one’s self from drowning with the fish.
It’s was about keeping your head above water and charting your own course.
It was swimming with the sharks, sailing against the wind, and navigating one’s self through the shallowness of it all hiding in the shadows.
It was believing in dreams, but knowing never to get lost in them.
It still is.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
It’s about adaptability but without selling your soul to belong.
Hans Ebert © May 2022